joy, gratitude, grace.

The title of this post comes from Brene Brown, whose book Daring Greatly was recommended to me by my therapist earlier on in the summer. Aside from kicking me in the gut on various pages (my copy is already dog-eared and wrecked up with hundreds of underlined and highlighted passages), Brene has offered me so many different ways to fully assess and understand my life from a different angle. The full quote is thus:

“I’m learning that recognizing and leaning into the discomfort of vulnerability teaches us how to live with joy, gratitude and grace.”

This year has been…well.

How does one really come up with the words for when your life is absolutely ripped up from the foundations, and everything changes in the span of even three days, let alone the 14 months it’s been since I last sat down to write a post? When we last talked – for I really do see these posts as conversations, at least, I try to, when I’m not ranting and raving about something – I was feeling good. My life was stable, and safe, and I was looking forward to a few different things on the docket. The plan was simple – keep teaching at UConn, do some plays, work on some writing projects and keep freelancing. I had learned to embrace my stressful, slightly overloaded life.

Well, you know what they say – when you want to make God laugh, tell her your plans.

Last November, while sprinting across the UConn Storrs campus to teach a class, I got a text message from the head of the English Department at my alma mater high school. I had applied to teach there two and a half years prior, and while I didn’t get the job, they had promised to reach out if any other openings came along. I thanked them and promptly forgot about it. Well, they hadn’t; one of the teachers needed a long term substitute for maternity leave, and the department head reached out to me. The offer was to teach 9th and 10th grade English for the spring 2018 semester, with the possibility of a full time position for the following school year.

I stood there reading this text message over and over again while my college students wrote responses to a prompt on the gender politics of Thor. I texted my Mom and one of my best friends who had just had a huge life change involving her career. I showed them the text from the Department head, and while my Mom immediately flipped out and told me to do it (proving that it is indeed possible to convey tone through text, if you use the right amount of exclamation points), Lindsay was more direct. Do you want this she asked.

I don’t know I replied. I do because holy smokes it would be amazing but I’m also – I’m really scared.

That was putting it mildly. I had just settled into a pretty good routine. A safe, orderly, structured routine, but that appealed to me tremendously. Lindsay, though, had me with her next point. Remember when I said the same thing about taking that job, and you told me to go for it? Well, it’s my turn. Do it. DO IT.

Friends who kick you in the ass are necessary. I messaged the head back after I got out of class and told him I would love to meet with him.

A week later, I had a meeting and demo. That night I received a text from the head: Welcome aboard!

I sat back in my chair, unable to fully comprehend just how much my life had changed in those two words.

I was ending my job at UConn (where I had worked for six years) and I was taking a chance.

I don’t do this. I don’t do ‘taking chances.’ I pontificate about that stuff, sure, but I don’t actually do it.

I started in February, and while the difference between high school and college is stark, the students and faculty were amazing, the workload actually got a little lighter, and it was incredibly rewarding and wonderful to have a full week of work. I felt challenged, supported, clear-headed about what I wanted. The curriculum was so much more fulfilling than anything I had done at UConn, because the students cared about what they had to say in my classroom. I was also so amazed at how elevated they all were! They were caring about things I definitely didn’t at that age. I learned how to ask for help, how to really work with my colleagues, and I tried to let go.

In May 2018, after three months of falling more and more in love with my work at the school as well as my students and coworkers, I met with the chief academic officer. After some small talk, he slid a piece of paper across his desk. Written on it was my contract to become a full time member of the faculty for the 2018-2019 school year. I had impressed them enough to secure a spot in the department.

I sat back in my chair, staring at the piece of paper, my hand at my mouth, while the academic officer talked about how happy he was that I was coming on board. But all I could think was – Eight months ago, I had 100 dollars in my bank account. Eight months ago I was working four jobs just to break even. Now? I was going to get a full salary. I was going to get health care.

I put myself out there. I said yes to a random text message in the middle of a November rainstorm. I said yes.

But was the universe done with messing around with me? Oh no, it was not. Not by a long shot.

Right after I got the job (I’m talking, like, a day later), I was speaking to a girlfriend, and I mentioned to her “I want to get better at casual dating. I’m not good at it. So this summer will be the summer I just casually date a bunch of people and see what happens with it. No attachments, hashtag single life.”

I don’t want to say too much, but about a week after I made that proclamation, I was proven very, very, very wrong.

I took a chance, again. I put myself out there, again. I said yes, again.

It’s super hard. Vulnerability is never something that comes easily to me, despite my reputation of word vomiting onto the internet. But I’ve lived more in the past 9 months than ever before. It’s exhausting and heartbreaking and so utterly worth it.

This was the year I started actually saying ‘yes’, instead of just talking about it. And I hope to continue that pattern.

You might not see a lot of updates from me in this space. I want to keep a clear line between professional and private matters, especially now that I’m teaching at a high school. I don’t have anything to be ashamed of, but there’s a different type of work that comes with HS, and I want to make sure I’m presenting myself well to the students and faculty.  When I do update, it might be different from what you’re used to seeing from me, but I promise you. It’s still me.

Nine years ago when I started this blog I didn’t realize what my life was going to be like, but I had a very clear plan. Plans are meant to be changed.

Life is crazy. Grab a rein, and try to hold on.


Body Say. 

Over the past three years my body has been held hostage. 

In January 2014 I was hit with a round of panic and depression that took me nine months to fully address and recover from, but that period, combined with a difficult birth control and a toxic relationship, caused my weight to climb. I was at 170 pounds by August of that year, after maintaining a comfortable 150 for a solid year. 

150 is the weight I am at when I’m working hard in the gym, avoiding the foods I’m allergic to, and also enjoying treats every once and a while because I’m not a robot. It is 18 pounds heavier than my lightest weight, which took starvation and hours of cardio at the gym to maintain. Depression and hormonal imbalances caused me to gain twenty pounds from that happy weight. 
I am using numbers because I don’t want to be afraid of them. I use numbers because I want you all to understand what it means to be healthy. 

The story continues. 

In August 2014 I was put on a beta blocker to manage my heart condition. My cardiologist suggested I lose weight. So I set about getting healthier, and recovering from my depressive episode. 

My clothes still fit (I’m a size 4-6 in most stores), and some of them even got loose. I developed muscle. I felt good. 

In the fall of 2016 I went on Prozac to deal with OCD, chronic depression, and anxiety. It fundamentally changed my life. Not only was I healthy physically, I was finally at a good place mentally. I didn’t look at my weight once but I was still fitting into all of my clothes and a lot of them were getting looser.  

Last week I went to the cardiologist expecting to see a significant drop in my weight. It was the same as it was in 2014, when I was at my lowest mental point. 

As my brain’s logic center worked to remind me that I am so much healthier than I was a few years ago, that the Prozac and beta blockers make it hard to lose weight, that I’ve put on muscle, that the numbers don’t matter, one of the doctors said to me, “you need to change your diet. Tell me what you eat.”

It hit me that my cardiologist thought all of this wasn’t because of hormones, or Prozac. It was because of something I was doing. That I was simply not trying hard enough. 

Keep in mind, I am allergic to gluten, peanuts, eggs, and dairy, but I do slip and have them on occasion. I quietly told my doctor about this, and as he loudly pondered if I was exercising enough and how much fruit I should cut out of my eating plan, I silently began to cry. 

For the first time, I was physically and mentally healthy. I was strong. I was doing work I loved. I was able to be emotionally and mentally present in my life in a way I had never been before. My blood pressure and LDL levels were perfect. And this doctor couldn’t get past the numbers. 

I work out six days a week. I eat healthier than you. (No, I mean that. You, reading this right now? I eat healthier than you.) 

I am at a weight that I cannot control because of medication that is saving my life every single day, and you want to talk to me about the kind of grapes I eat after dinner?

I must say that when my doctor noticed my tears he felt terrible and immediately remanded his comments to say “of course the Prozac makes it very difficult to lose weight and you are very muscular, so I bet a lot of it is muscle.”

I called my psychiatrist the next day and we worked out some medication options that she says will help counteract the Prozac’s physical symptoms (so far it’s been working pretty well, I think) and I have been seeing a nutritionist to check if I have any other allergens in my diet that could be causing inflammation. Both of these doctors are women, and they listened compassionately and kindly to me. They nodded when I mentioned my difficulty with hormones and eating disorders, and I want to thank my nutritionist for understanding my desire to lose a little bit of weight without going into Eating Disorderville. 

When she asked me how much I was looking at losing, I thought back to my old self, who insisted that any weight above 140 was not good enough, and replied “I’m happiest at 150, 155.” She nodded and said “that sounds good to me. Let’s get you on a plan that’s right for you.”

But before I saw that other number on the scale, I was truly and entirely happy with my body. I am strong, skilled, and powerful. I am sturdy. I am sexy. I am so many things I wasn’t three years ago at this exact same weight. 

I would rather be happy and working on losing a few, than skinny and filled with daily terror about life itself. 

So, here’s to the journey, and here’s to wellness. 

Me this afternoon after lifting heavy shit at the gym. Get you some.


(Mom, Dad, literally any family members I have – STOP READING. NOW.)

I have not had sex for two years. I’m planning on not having sex for a while longer.

This isn’t a misandrist protest, or a Lysistrata-esque act of defiance. This is just me, standing in front of myself, asking myself what I truly need and want out of life. Right now, that list doesn’t include sex. Or romantic love. Or even dating.

As women we are conditioned to be fully willing to chase sex, want sex, be completely submissive to the idea of sex, but at the same time we can’t be vocal about our desires to have sex because it’s seen as slutty or classless or distasteful. This left me in a difficult bind for most of my adolescent years; I wanted intimacy and love but I was terrified of anybody seeing me naked (probably a bad thing to be afraid of if you want to get laid…I mean I haven’t had sex in a while but I’m pretty sure being naked is still part of how the whole thing works).

For years I was obsessed with the idea of sex. Well, that’s a little inaccurate. I was more obsessed with the idea of the intimacy that springs up from sex. I was starved for some type of attention or validation. Blame the years of eating disorders and body dysmorphia. When the first man I ever loved held my face in his hands and told me he thought I was beautiful, I burst into tears and thanked him even as my brain yelled BULLSHIT. I had never even dared to think that of myself. And now this person, this person I thought was so wonderful and smart and handsome, thought was all of those things?

Once I became sexually active, it became like a drug for me. I wanted it all the time. I thought I was being selfish, especially if I wanted it at a point when my partner did not, and I would feel absolutely terrible about it. In therapy sessions, I would talk at length about why I needed to be more understanding, more supportive. More silent. More acquiescing. As a result, I never instigated or asked for any sexual encounter during the entire four years of my previous relationship, and the one time I did, I was turned down.

After we broke up, I spent an entire year feeling like I could never experience sexual desire for anyone else ever again. I thought I might as well close up shop. I was thirty, single, childless, and sure my career was on the up and up and I had just gotten a new nephew and my friends were absolutely incredible (one of my best friends literally threw out all of the jewelry my ex had given me, then sat on my lap and held me while I soaked her shirt). But did that matter? Did my successes matter? Of course not! I was alone. Sexually inert.

It wasn’t until last summer, when I ended up kissing a guy after a perfectly nice date, that I realized: Oh. There it is. 

Then it became all I thought about, for months. I just wanted a boyfriend. Or rather, I wanted to skip all the annoying parts about dating and get to the ending with a house and a husband and kids. So I chased guys who weren’t ready. Chased guys who weren’t interested. Chased, in general.

Was something wrong with me? Why wasn’t I getting dates? I’m pretty. I’m smart. I’m passionate. I’m kind.

After a lot of thought, a lot of meditation, and a lot of inner demons, I came up with a facsimile of a reason.

I realized that I end up wanting people – wanting feelings – so badly that I forget about myself sometimes. I forget that before I can give any of those feelings and heart to anyone else, I have to do it for myself first.

So, I have made a major decision. I’m not dating or having sex. At all. I’m not even going to look for a date. I am going to stop looking. Not because I think I’ll find someone when I stop looking, because I need to stop thinking that heteronormative love is the end game.

I have never been in a situation where I’ve not been looking for a boyfriend. That brings me back to the conditioning I was talking about at the beginning of this. The idea of constantly looking for someone. The idea of partnership being the end game. That’s the main reason why I was terrified to break up with my ex – I thought being alone meant I’d failed, when really, leaving that relationship and striking out on my own has been the best thing for my overall health and career.

For so many years I thought being single, being a virgin, being inexperienced at sex made me a failure of a human being. Meanwhile, I’ve done more in the past two years than most people do in ten, and none of that had anything to do with sex.

The idea of a husband or a boyfriend has never even really appealed to me, to be honest. I have always latched onto the concept of a partner. A soulmate. Marriage and labels are fine if that’s your thing, but for me, it’s always been about finding someone who holds my heart forever. That’s the most important thing for me.

I am not going after anything unless I am positive it is absolutely in accordance to my standards. I will not accept anything less than what I absolutely deserve. But in the meantime, I need to look out for me.

This summer, I am abstaining. I am saying no to dates. I am saying no to sex. I plan to work on my book, see my friends, get more hours at the bookstore, go to the beach. If I meet someone, that’s fine, but I’m not going to go out there hunting for it. I just end up getting hurt and heartbroken when that kind of thing happens, chasing after something ephemeral because I miss the idea of loving and being loved, or chasing after the wrong people, or the wrong types of love.

I am perfectly loved and loving as I am right now. Men can wait.

I need to cut myself a break, and put myself first for a little bit. That isn’t selfish. That is self-care.

I am thirty-one years old, and I am saying no to others so I can say yes to me.


A Crash Course in Dictatorship, By Way of Romania.

History lesson, guys!


A lot of people have been comparing President Trump to Hitler. Godwin’s Law, I know. But hear me out. There’s a little bit more here.

I think the rhetoric makes for an apt comparison (they both have the same type of rhetorical language; Hitler’s was based on Germany actually being a garbage fire when he took power whereas Trump seems to forget that we are actually in a pretty good place) but in my research on fascist leaders and dictatorships, I have found a startling amount of resemblance to the late stage reign of Nicolae Ceaușescu, the Romanian Communist leader and eventual President of Romania. (Note: he installed himself as President, and ruled Romania for over 20 years).

The reason I think it’s an apt comparison to make is that Ceaușescu ran Romania with a strong focus on nationalism, police presence, and cult of personality. He outlawed abortion in 1967, made it more difficult to get a divorce, and by the 1980s, due to poor health policies, Romania (despite being very small) had some of the highest rates of pediatric HIV/AIDS. By 1987, he installed “austerity measures” which led to food rationing, electricity blackouts, and the closure of all radio stations. This was because he had debts he needed to repay to other countries. 

Frightened by growing anger in his people, he ordered his secret police force, the Securitate (similar to the Stasi), opening fire on a crowd of protesters. He gave a speech later condemning the protesters, stuffing the event with people who were bused in to look like he was popular. (Ring any bells?) This resulted in the entire nation, even the military, turning against him. This led to thousands of street riots over the course of a few weeks. Ceaușescu and his wife, Deputy Prime Minister Elena, were chased out of their own capitol building in Bucharest to the screams of joy of thousands of protestors and student revolutionaries. (Sebastian Stan recently gave an interview for Romanian television in which he described watching the footage of this on YouTube and feeling like “a knife had gone through me.” This shit is really, really sensitive to Romanians, guys.)

Elena and Nicolae were quickly convicted of genocide and executed, the last to be in Romania. Of course, this was part of the Revolutions in the late 1980s, which led to the downfall of Communism in the Soviet bloc.

Romania is now a democratic nation but the scars of Ceaușescu still remain – they have a very, very high child poverty rate.

These dictators, for the most part, do not die safe in bed at a ripe old age. Sometimes they do, of course – Pol Pot and Stalin were two of them. But a majority of the time, they die like this. Run out of town. Executed. Terrified of the beast they’ve awoken. Or, they are cornered like a yowling cat and seek suicide as the way out (like Hitler, and right now, President Trump is acting like he’s in full tilt bunker mode).

Perhaps President Trump should crack open a book and learn that those who ignore the past are doomed to repeat it.

An Open Letter to President Donald Trump.

How dare you.

No. Seriously. Take a second and breathe this in.

How dare you.

J’accuse, POTUS. J’accuse.

I accuse you of the following crimes.

  1. Failing to release your tax returns, which obviously just gives everyone in the country  the impression that you fucked your taxes like Tory Lane. The people who voted for you didn’t give a shit because you played into their fears and anxieties. The fear of econoimic instability, despite the economy being in the best shape it’s in since the 2008 financial crisis. You played into their innate inner xenophobia, their ability to dismiss misogyny and rape culture, and their ultimate fear of being left behind in the equality wave. When all you’ve known is privilege (and even if you’re poor and white, you still experience white privilege), equality feels like oppression. You played into that, and fooled the right people, and as a result, those people are going to suffer the absolute most.
  2. Being completely incapable of human empathy. Sure, you parade around your wife, Melania, like she’s some kind of show pony, and you claim to have good relationships with your children, but Barron looked terrified, your wife looks like she hates you, and Ivanka is probably just tolerating you until you die and she takes over your empire (which at this point is probably just one jagged-edged Trump Wines bottle filled with your own piss). Your lack of any regard for others showed in Day three of your presidency, when you reinstated the global gag order aka the Mexico Law, which punishes organizations abroad for dealing with abortion. You are going to kill thousands of women in your Presidency. Which I suppose you would think is a bad thing considering you can’t grab a dead woman’s pussy. (Then again, I wouldn’t put it past you to try.)
  3. Reordering the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, a project that will weaken the lands of thousands of Native peoples. The water protectors will resist you in every way they can, and know that the entire nation has their back. Passing executive orders just to spite the people who were here first makes you look like even more of a child.
  5. Making the entire country so obsessed with a woman’s fucking emails that we voted into office the most unqualified, idiotic, myopic, temperamental, foolish, nuke-happy, fascist-wannabe, Berlusconi bunga-bunga emulating shitgibbon to ever hold the office of the Presidency.
  6. Going through with your promise to cut down on immigration from Muslim-majority countries. Now, I’m not a Muslim, but I am the daughter of an immigrant to this country, who came here just forty years removed from a time in which Congress was seriously debating passing a bill that would formally make the argument Italians were mentally inferior humans. My Nonna hid from the Nazis in the mountains of Italy. She had to run from her home, leaving behind her mother, not knowing if she would ever go back again. She’s the best human being I know. And, by the way? She hates you. She’s known men like you her entire life, and she hates you.
  7. Repealing parts of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, including stripping the coverage for preexisting conditions. I have ADHD, inattentive type, and while I do not use medication for it right now, I might need to in the future. I do, however, take Prozac for depression and anxiety, and without the coverage I’m afforded through the ACA, who knows if I would be here right now.

I am disgusted as as an immigrant’s daughter, as a feminist, as a pro-choice advocate, as an LGBTQ ally, as a HUMAN, and as an American. You are everything we are taught to despise about America, and you played into the country’s worst misogynist and xenophobic tendencies and it was a gamble that paid off.

The sad thing is, I knew you would win, because you can’t argue with people’s feelings, and you took the feelings of the heartland and put a mouthpiece to them.

There are people who voted for you even though they don’t like literally everything about your personality. But that showcases their privilege, too. They were able to look past all of that. Well, I can’t. I won’t. I refuse.

My Nonna didn’t hide from Nazis and flee to America for a better life just so her granddaughter, whose middle name is her first name, would lay back and let fascists do whatever the hell they wanted to her country. She would want me to fight, to never back down.

If I were capable, I would drive my ass down to the White House right now, chain myself to the fence, and sing “We Shall Overcome” at the top of my goddamn lungs until someone came out to arrest me.

Or maybe they wouldn’t arrest me. I’m white, after all. The new laws you want to push through would make it easier for cops to arrest people of color for protesting. So maybe I need to get louder to make up for all of my brothers and sisters of color who are being unfairly persecuted just for their desire to be seen.

In conclusion, President Trump, I do not hope you have a successful Presidency. That will just breed more opportunity for assholes like you to take office. I hope you fail. I hope you fail so utterly, so spectacularly, that you are impeached and driven out of office by July. I hope there are protests every single weekend. I’ll go to all of them.

4.5. million people marched in unity and love against you on Saturday. There are more rallies planned for February 11th (to protect Planned Parenthood) and April 15th (the day we will demand you release your tax returns). We aren’t going anywhere. We are pissed off, and ready to fight.

I am as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore. Because we will win. We are the majority. You have zero mandate.

God bless America, and God Bless all who resist.

Liberty will always win. Remember that, President Trump.

There have always been men like you, and men like you always lose.


2016 – the Year of Awakening.

I know this year has been…difficult. To say the least. So I just wanted to say this, in case you were looking for a little bit of light.
This year, I got to play three (count ’em, three) of my dream roles. I got to dance onstage again, despite getting plagued by injuries. I got to watch my nephews grow (literally, my godson shot up like three inches). I got to make a bunch of absolutely wonderful new friends. I got back into shape. I got published by amazing applications. I got to direct my first ever production, a staged reading of David Auburn’s Proof. I got my work showcased in PlaybillThe Mary Sue, and most recently ESPNW. 
Personally, this has been one of the most transformative and positive years of my life.
There have been lows. I got dumped via text message in February, two days after Valentine’s Day. I lost a bunch of friends for daring to be outspoken. My Dad had to go to the hospital, and even though it was fine and he’s perfectly healthy, seeing your father wired up to an IV made me very, very aware of mortality.
But the friends that matter are still here. The men in my life are kind. And my Dad continues to putter around and yell at me for not doing the dishes when I come over.
I am very lucky.
I’ve talked about my experiences with therapy on here, many times. But this year I decided that therapy wasn’t enough. I was dealing with some thought patterns that I knew weren’t healthy, and after a few months of trying to deal with it on my own, I realized that I needed help. More help.
I visited a psychiatrist in my town. I got diagnosed with OCD, generalized anxiety disorder, chronic mild depression, and panic disorder, along with a confirmed diagnosis of ADHD, inattentive type (I’ve known about that one since sixth grade).
I was put on an SSRI. It took about five weeks for the medication to kick in. When it did, my life was forever changed. I could suddenly do things I wasn’t able to before. Going onstage didn’t fill me with that familiar, icy terror. Going on dates, being with friends, dancing at bars – none of it was that scary anymore.
And on November 9th, 2016, when I snapped awake at 2AM and saw the election of Donald Trump on my Twitter feed, I didn’t grieve. I wanted to get up immediately and go to work.
This year was full of heartbreaks, both personal and global. We see the disaster in Aleppo. We see Donald Trump refuse to be Presidential. We see the rise of Neo-Nazism because they think they have permission to come back.
It is up to all of us, as individuals, to stand up and be kind.
According to spiritualists and mystics, 2016 was supposed to be like this. It is a year of awakening, reckoning, and and heartbreak. But take care to remember the poet Rumi. Let this year be the year we finally saw the world for what it really is. Flawed, and at times unbearable, but also stunningly beautiful.
The same mystics say that 2017 is going to be a time of renewal and new beginnings. The energy in the universe is profound right now. I hope you all feel it. There’s a giant shift in the air. Many would say it’s towards a negative end. I don’t think so. There’s an awakening happening right now, all around us. It’s our responsibility now to take up the causes we’re passionate about and fight for them.

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Let this be the year that is clearing us out, cleansing us, preparing us, for the new delight and new awakenings and new transformations. Every single human experience we have is an opportunity for the individual soul to transform and head towards enlightenment. (Can you tell I’ve been doing a lot of yoga?)
May the great work begin.
PS. If nothing else, this year gave us Captain America: Civil War. Oh, Bucky.

On Privilege, Entitlement, and Doing Things With Your Life.

It was my first day off in about seven straight days, after a tech week for a production of Twelfth Night. I’m playing Olivia, a role I’ve always rather coveted, and the cast and directing team are a dream because they just always want to make me laugh and they’re nothing but supportive. It’s been a really fun summer. So yesterday I took some time off to rest and recharge. I read an entire book by the pool (The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead; brutal, but stunning) and I took a little walk to the jetty near our Niantic beach house. It was, by and large, a good day.

The previous day I had come off a good run of our show to an older woman who volunteers at my theater. She congratulated me on a job well done. Before I could sign out of the conversation – I was exhausted and just needed to get home and rest – she started to talk at me, rather than to me, about my father and the Rio Olympics. I’m always okay with people asking me about my Dad, but this particular day was just very tiring and I was feeling on edge. It reminded me of when I performed in a production of Shrek last fall and we got a review that focused nearly 60% of its content on my Dad’s presence at the show the reviewer went to, and not nearly enough on the brilliant cast involved.

So when this woman did it, I smiled of course and answered all of her questions, but when I got home, I felt a little edgy still. So I did what any self-respecting woman in 2016 would do. I talked about it on Facebook. Nothing bitchy, just a small comment.

While I sunned at the pool, I scrolled through Facebook and found a comment on my post. A girl I barely talk to that I’ve known since high school decided that this was the right time to make her presence known. She commented something along the lines of Oh really? You’re going to complain about someone not caring about your dumb little show because your dad is at the Olympics? Humble brag much?

I immediately wrote back Your disrespect of what I like to do with my time says a lot more about me than it does about you.

I hoped that would be the end of it. She then completely swarmed my Facebook with five comments in a row – because that doesn’t look crazy – about her various accomplishments, including how she’s a patron with the Royal Ballet, about how she “had no idea who your dad was until we went to high school together, you talk about him all the time, Jesus Christ” and how I’m the “most entitled person she’s ever met” and then (and this one really pissed me off) how “sure, you’ve had eating disorders, so does every privileged white girl.” Basically, an entire list of things that had nothing to do with the post. She closed her rant with “You should just defriend me, because I am offended by basically everything you post.”

Before I could even respond to this verbal garbage dump…she had deleted every single one of her comments. But remained facebook friends with me. So I did what a normal person does – I blocked her on every single social network I have.

But the guilt and fear engendered in me from those comments has gnawed at me for 24 hours. I didn’t know what to think, or do. I didn’t cry, nor get mad. It’s just been sitting in my gut like a rank fish at a market.

The first thing I felt was pure empathy. When someone has to go off on someone like that in public it means they hate themselves. I’m serious. That’s why a small, SMALL part of me feels bad for Donald Trump, because he’s probably got the self-esteem of the head of a pin. (Probably the same size as his baby hands.) I felt really bad for this girl because no one who feels good about themselves has to rant and rave that hard.

The entitlement thing makes me laugh the hardest though – I don’t tell anyone who my Dad is unless they ask. I haven’t asked my family for a cent in a very long time, unless I absolutely need it. I don’t make much money anyway, but during the summer it gets pretty tight. I’m still trying to figure out a way to make all of my various jobs coalesce into a decent yearly pay. It gives my mom some headaches but I’m happy. I like where I’m at.

I also felt really bad for her that she seems to have this cavern of bottomless jealousy for me and my family. When I post about my Dad or something going on with my family, it’s not to brag or to be entitled. It’s because I’m proud of him and of them. It’s to show how much I fucking love the guts out of my family and how goddamn rare is that? My family are my favorite people on this planet. I got to wake up this morning to my 3 year old godson putting me in a chokehold because he wanted me to wake up and play so badly. I wake up nearly every morning or go to bed every night to a text message from my mother telling me she loves me (and occasionally one from Dad too but he’s not much for texts). I have a text chain with my sister and brother that’s full of just gifs from Friends.

If that’s entitlement and privilege, than I am one privileged and entitled motherfucker and I own it. I am privileged to have a family that loves as ferociously as mine does.

I don’t think it’s a crime to have a happy family. I wish everyone got that privilege.

The list of her accomplishments made me feel guilty that I don’t do more with my time. But then I remembered – I was put on this earth to communicate deep and weighty emotions through words and stage craft. If that’s not worthy of recognition, I don’t know what is. I use my privilege of performance, of writing, of unabashed loud fluid feminism, to educate and help people.

And, not for nothing? But I just try to be a good person every single day. Every single day I get up and wonder to myself how I can make someone else’s life better or make myself happy in a way that’s also impacting the world.

She showed me who she was in that Facebook comment. I show the world who I am every day. In the words of Augustus Waters, I like my choices.

Also – I found it hilarious she’s offended by the things I post on Facebook mainly because I tend to solely post photos of Chris Evans on there (he is my Internet Husband, sorry Jenny Slate, you can have him when I’m done).


PS. Some people have asked me why I wouldn’t just change my name. Well, it’s complicated, but the simple answer is this – for years I hated my name. Not because of the attachment to my Dad, but because of how ethnic it is. Alysa Marsiella Auriemma? When everyone else in your class has nice WASP-y names? No thanks. But now, I absolutely love my name. I’m holding on to it with my bare goddamn hands. It’s the only one I’ve got, thank you.

PPS. Everything I’ve written about in this post is also a great way to weed out guys who are easily threatened.