Healing for Dummies and Stubborn Millennials

I’ll never own property because of Uber and Seamless.

Tonight I’m taking a page out of a friend’s book and opening my WordPress app while drinking a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau and watching my very favorite movie (Love Actually).


That’s a Jeopardy joke.

For the next however long, I vow to write what is on my mind. For me; not for anyone else.

And I wish do my best to not “edit” myself.

So… first off. I’ll never own property because of Uber. And Seamless.

It seems that no matter how low my bank account is, I can always convince myself that I need to order a car to pick myself up. Or that I just have to have one tuna roll, or order a bagel and gator aid on Saturday morning because it’s going to help my hangover.

Why am I sharing this? Well I’m very stressed out lately. Mostly because I’m really broke right now. Like scary broke. Like sometimes I wonder, oh shit, am I going to have to move back home broke???? And it’s making me feel so insanely STUCK. I’m rooted to this spot, to this city. Which I’m sure would sound crazy to some people. She’s stuck in New York in a beautiful Brooklyn apartment, poor her!

Well guess what! I can’t afford my beautiful Brooklyn apartment. A couple weeks ago in a bar a Russian man walked up to me and asked, “How much?”

It took me a couple moments to realize that he thought I was a prostitute (I was in a sequin mini dress, faux fur coat, and gogo boots — it was Halloween, give me a break.) I should have looked at him and told him $4000.

(sorry for that anecdote, Dad…)

BUT HERE I AM, not a prostitute AND STILL BROKE.

But I’ll always manage to talk myself into an Uber pool. Or a bottle of cheap Pinot. Or the $12 burger & fries from Enid’s down the block.

I wonder, is that a millennial thing? Or is that a me thing? I truly can convince myself to do almost anything. I can convince myself a lie is true — ah I’m so sorry I can’t come to your horrible sounding birthday party at that God awful bar in midtown because I have a horrid migraine — low and behold guess who has a migraine? Except do I? Or have I just convinced myself I do?

And now I’m back to why am I sharing this why am I sharing this….

I’ll never finish reading Middlemarch because I keep getting distracted by silly romance and chic lit novels.

Every few months I try to pick up a book of substance to balance out all of the shit I read (I’m still trying to make up for that series of trashy Olympic themed romance stories last February). My roommate is an editor so our apartment is filled with gushy, catchy love stories. They’re so tempting and they’re easy.

Reading Eliot isn’t easy. But it’s fulfilling. I feel good when I read it. I feel intellectual! But not just because I’m reading it, but because I’m enjoying it.

I have this strong desire to do more to improve my mind. I want to read more, I want to take French again, I want to learn to paint without sitting in a class while an art school student tells me to dip my big brush in the yellow and I sip a mimosa! But I keep going back to what is comfortable. Sophie Kinsella is comfortable. But she’s not going to enrich my life. Or maybe she is and I’m being a pretentious asshole. Why is that even important? And that leads me to the next thing…

I’m super torn about whether or not to finish this bottle of wine, because if I do then that means I’m going to be bloated tomorrow. And I really hate feeling bloated.

I’ve gotten better, but I’m still pretty psycho with my body. I used to be first class crazy.

The first thing I’d do in the morning would be to stand in the front of the mirror and examine myself. I’d see how flat or not flat my stomach was t and then plan my meals (or my “not meals”) for the day.

I can’t stand going to the gym and taking classes where I have to look at myself in the mirror. Instead of enjoying my work out, I’ll be picking apart my appearance the whole time. And putting gym clothes on? Fuck ME. I walked out of my room the other day and said to my roommate, “Is there any worse feeling than when you’re too fat for your gym clothes?”

And all of that isn’t anywhere near the worst of it. And here I am editing myself, but these are things that I don’t find it acceptable to share….

And for that reason, I’ll never be able to be truly honest because I don’t want…

To sound like a cry for attention

Your pity

To seem like I’m trying to follow a trend

To whine

And a lot more….

I can’t stand it when people talk about their problems via social media. And I feel like a bit of a hypocrite about that, because as of late I’ve been trying to be more open.

I mean, isn’t this what I’m doing here? I’m writing about my shit. And I wonder, if I own it, does that make it different?

Even now, I can’t go there. I don’t want to go there. I don’t want to share “my shit” with the world. I don’t even want to share it with my friends. It makes me feel so…. I don’t know! Lame. Attention-hungry. Like I’m just saying it to say it.

Just writing those things is making me physically cringe right now. But I am trying to tell my truth. Not what’s going to make you laugh. But what is real!


Whoever survives a test, whatever it may be, must tell the story. That is his duty.

-Elle Weisel

“Surviving the loss of a loved one is it’s own kind of test. What does it mean, that it’s our duty to tell the story?

To tell our story is a way of affirming the life of the one we have lost — The experiences we had together, the favorite family stories. To tell the story is also a way of moving our griefs along, and so contributes to our own healing.

But it is also a gift to others — to tell not only that shared stories of the life that has passed, but our own story in relation to this event — how we got through it. What were our fears, our panics? What helped us? What saved the day? If there was a moment when we felt like breakthrough, what was that like?

Our friends will come to their crises of lost soon enough. Perhaps we can is the way for them. See — it’s all right to cry. It’s all right to rely on other people. It’s all right to be confused and not know what to do. It’s all right and if there are moments of light and hope, wonderful support and faith — why, we need to tell those stories too.”

— Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief by Martha Whitmore Hickman


The other day I was reading my book about healing that I read every day and got super inspired to write a post. So I started writing and I was really proud of it and it felt really really good, and last night I got in the car after my therapy appointment and opened it up to add it it, and low and behold, I accidentally saved over half of the post. And I tried not to get upset and think okay okay I was writing it on my desktop, and I definitely didn’t close the page out so it should all still be there and I can check in the morning and re-save it so that I haven’t lost any of it.

~low and behold~ guess who closed the page out?!?!

So now I’ve lost half of the post and of course, can’t remember everything I wrote and I’m super annoying. I’M ANNOYED PEOPLE. I’ve had such a block and I finally got over it and was proud. I was super proud of what I was writing and HAPPY that I was writing. And now I’m just mad.

The main reason I started writing was to help me deal with my grief. (There’s also part of me who secretly thinks she’s the next Anna Kendrick, plus 6 inches and about 50 lbs, and am using this to live out all of my comedienne dreams. Alas there is no movie contract or book deal yet, so I guess I’ll just keep writing…)

The reason I feel that I need an outlet like this to help deal with my grief is that I won’t allow myself to talk to my friends/family/colleagues, etc. about my pain. It’s a stupid thing I know. But I can’t help but feeling that every time I bring up my loss, I am being a burden to them. And I don’t want that. (Yes, this is one of the things I’m working on with my beloved Therapist.)

I understand that talking about losing a parent is not the same as obsessively talking about a break up for months on end – believe me, I’ve been there, I have the texts from my friends telling me to get the fuck over it – but for some reason I still feel whiny and depressing and like a “job.” There’s some sort of ego there that I’m having trouble getting around. A large Kanye West shaped block that appears in my brain whenever I begin to talk about it, if you will. There’s also the fact that I’ve a note that says “IM SUPER GIRL AND IM HERE TO SAVE THE WORLD” plastered on my forehead since the mid July. (10 points to Gryffindor if you sang that last sentence.)

There are so many days where I feel like I can’t get out of bed, let alone go to work and do my happy Publicist job. But I go and I do it. And sometimes I sit there completely zoned out, in my own little world. Like the damn kid in the Octopus costume on the way to the Christmas concert with Natalie and the Prime Minister.

And it’s awful! It’s fucking hard. But because I decided back when that I need to be the strong one, and present a stoic Me To the world, I think that most of the people in my life forget just how much I’m hurting and struggling underneath that mask. I just started to write “And I know I’ve done it to myself…” but that doesn’t seem right. Because theres a very very large part of me that feels like I have no choice but to wake up every morning and move on with my life, no matter how hard it is.

SO HERE I AM BEING HONEST! Even when I don’t want to.

The truth is, every day is hard. Every day I wake up with a broken heart, knowing that this feeling is not going anywhere anytime soon, if not ever. Losing someone is awful. Especially someone who you always expected to have with you. Every day I walk around thinking EVERYTHING HURTS AND I’M DYING. You know that wonderfully cliche feeling you get when you’re first falling in love with someone, the one that truly makes you want to stand on top of a mountain or a building or a tabletop in a diner and scream IM IN LOVE! Well, it’s like that!!! Except it’s IT HURTS, I DONT WANNA, MAKE IT STOP!!!

So yes. It’s just hard. And it sucks. It sucks so much. It’s this insane, overwhelming feeling of crushing sadness. And sometimes I just want to scream WHY?! Not “Why Me,” because I think that’s a waste of time. Just WHY. Why the sadness. Why the struggle. Why must it hurt so much? Why can’t I just move on with my life?

But the reality of it is that if I did that, it would mean I’m not dealing with it. And Lord knows I don’t need to explode like a shaken up Kombucha bottle.

PS – have you ever shaken up a Kombucha bottle? A little advice: don’t. Just don’t, unless you want your janky brown Raymour & Flanigan microfiber couch covered in Watermelon Wonder.

The truth is I want to talk about Mom all of the time! Of course, I do, as you can tell if you’re reading any of this. I want to tell stories and talk about how beautiful she was, about how she was a dreamer, about how we used to get into trouble together. I want to tell people when they compliment my wide leg jeans that once my mom told me they made me look like a Chinese Grandmother (no offense to anyone reading…) and that I needed to burn them and then handed me a $100 bill if I promised that she’d never see them again. I want to talk about how when I was coming home from London after 5 months she told me not to bother getting on the plane if I wasn’t bringing Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys home with me. I want to talk about how I miss her, and how hard it is, and how sad I am. I just want to talk about it. But I feel like I’m not supposed to because on July 3rd when I got The News I decided that I had to be the one to get us through all of this, and that left no room for weakness or vulnerability.

So maybe I am mad. Maybe it’s not just about losing everything I wrote. Maybe it’s something deeper. Maybe I’m mad and I just won’t let myself go there.

But at least in the meantime I have Beaujolais & Hugh Grant to cheer me up; and Andrew Lincoln to help me feel brave and to tell the story; and Jamie and Daniel and Joanna and Aurelia and Natalie to remind me that Love Actually is all around me, even if I have a hard time letting myself feel it, and can’t afford my Uber ride home.

“Somethings in life cannot be fixed, they can only be carried.”

-Megan Devine


4 thoughts on “Healing for Dummies and Stubborn Millennials

  1. Wow. Ailsa. You are a beautiful (inside and out), complex, brilliant human being. And we are all so lucky to be able to read you (and bits of your mom) here. You are witty and funny and have the guts to be it, without the tempering factor of emoticons peppered through (unlike me ;)). Just true emotions (real), thought, and the Love to Actually share. You bring light to dark places while being there. Thank you ❤️✨🙏 Oh, and hi Mr. Dad :), I love your response. I also love emoticons. Sincere words, from a walking “Gene” [Emoji movie].


  2. By the way Ailsa did you make that lost draft in WordPress? If so do you know about the saved older versions in WordPress? xo


  3. 1. I would 100% read your book or watch your show if it was narrated by you!
    2. “that once my mom told me they made me look like a Chinese Grandmother” & “she told me not to bother getting on the plane if I wasn’t bringing Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys home with me” really had my laughing because those are such Laura things to say. I miss her brutal, yet hilarious honesty!
    3. My roommie needs to read your blog
    4. Please know you can call/text me any time about anything. I’m always here to listen and talk about Laura memories!


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