I’m Not That Good At Breathing In

Randy makes me listen to new music all the time.

All. The. Time.

I always drag my feet. I want to listen to my usual music. He knows what I like. He either takes the bold approach and makes a play list of all new stuff and risks listening to me bitch about him never picking music I like or he sneaks some new tracks in between songs I like (or songs he thinks I like…he’s not always right).

As much as I bitch about listening to new music, it’s the reason why I love The Handsome Family and Ray Wylie Hubbard and The Jet Blackberries. These acts have long since gone from new music to music he knows I love and should just be on the play list to begin with.

Please note: The music doesn’t have to be new music to be new to me music. 

Randy recently turned me on to Courtney Barnett and I am currently in love with her song Avant Gardener.

I was completely fascinated with the line ‘I’m not that good at breathing in’.

Perfect. I suck at breathing in.

I’m great at holding my breath and scrunching my shoulders up around my ears and keeping my elbows pressed into my rib cage. I am the queen of never taking a deep breath.

When I think about the bills I have to pay.

When I think about being one major car away from not being to pay those bills.

Let’s not even think about what we he have planned for retirement. Our current plan is to worry about it later. 

When I think about still having years and years and years in a cubicle ahead of me.

Those are the times when I’m not that good at breathing in.

I had one of those moments this morning when Randy and I were on our way to the grocery. It occurred to me how very horrifying it would be if the contents of the photo gallery on my phone were made public.

It’s not dick pics. I have never photographed a penis before and if I did, it was on polaroids and no way anyone could ever prove that anyway.

It’s not filled with photographs of top secret documents that prove I am not really a computer programmer, but an international spy.

It’s filled with something so much worse. I don’t even want to say.

It’s selfies.

I have a few series of selfies on my phone…where I tried over and over to get an image that didn’t make me cringe so my phone is filled with pictures of me that do make me cringe.

I swear I only did it twice.

Maybe 3 times.

The fact that I’m not that good at breathing in when I think of the pictures on my phone means that I’m still in the infancy of accepting myself. I’m working so hard on this. I’m catching that negative self talk all the time. I even put myself in a situation recently where I might have to deal with rejection.

This is how I tried responding to myself:

It’s my goddamn phone. I can take as many pictures of myself and store them on my phone if I want to. Who gives a fuck if anyone sees them. They already know what I look like.

On the other hand, some of those pictures are fucking horrible, y’all.

Oh, and for those of you who asked about the link to the blog where I have a guest post, here it is. Thanks so much to Carla Birnberg for featuring me on her blog.


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  • same boat as you, hard to take a deep breath because your shoulders are at your ears and your mind is never quiet.
    retirement, ha never.
    late in life children, yep.
    but wouldn’t trade it for the world even when the tweens are on their evil, nogood, selfish rants.
    so take a deep breath, and listen to some new music.

    • Deeeep breath..

      That’s what I’m doing today…staying in my pajamas and hanging out with my big man. Trying to take a few breaths.

  • I have been trying to catch the negative self-talk as well, and sometimes I am REALLY GOOD at it and manage not to believe all the bad stuff, and sometimes I am convinced that all the bad stuff is truth. I had a week of AMAZING mindfulness, and then I had a slip up, and then I figured that all the bad stuff I believe about myself is true, and now I have to hoist myself back out of the hole. We are works in progress. But at least we keep showing up!

  • I’m sorry this has nothing to do with the main theme of your post…but I find it awesome that you and I have in common that we have Polaroid penis pics in our past (that’s alliteration, yo). Goddamn, I miss Polaroids.

  • Deeper breathing is actually a New Year’s resolution for me. The hunched shoulders, the shallow breathing make it harder to keep my migraines under control.

    It’s a work in progress.

  • It’s a good thing to have someone to keep exposing you to new music, because after a while you can lose the susceptibility to being taken in by it on your own… and sharing it seems to help.
    I know it’s much different for women, but we used to tease my father by calling him “cue ball” because he was shiny-headed bald by the time he was 40, so I sort of told myself that I’ll just have as much hair as I can, for as long as it lasts, and now I’m 53 and still have my ponytail. ???
    I read your guest-post, and just going by what I’ve read on your blog, I’ll go out on a limb and venture that you are, in fact, awesome.

    • Thank you, Doug. You and Randy are the same age..he doesn’t have a ponytail..just Rosanne Rosanna Danna hair.

      Music has always been a big part of our relationship..it’s part of the glue.

  • Your cellular device, whether it be a stupid plain-jane celphone or a tablet or some such device with bells and whistles, is run by a battery and miniature computer.

    The cellular network is just the same as having a telephone wire plugged in to your computer, even when it’s powered down.

    The cellular network uses Internet Protocol packets of data going to and from your device, all the time, so the network knows exactly where you are so it can ring the device if there’s a call for you.

    With the proper instrumentation a person or organization could find out where your telephone is, within a three foot sphere, night and day.

    With the proper instrumentation this same person or organization could download every single bit of data in your device including videos, text messages, telephone numbers called and calling, stored images, used minutes, etc. I mean every bit of data.

    So feel paranoid. Go right ahead. There’s no protection for your secrets in your ‘phones.

    “” We have them all, whenever we want them. “”

    The best prevention is copying the stuff to a private archive then deleting from the ‘phone, but your call directories are still very much available to the network.

  • I also hold my breath at least a few times a day and have to remember to breath at times
    I’m pretty sure our brains are supposed to do this automatically for us, mine is obviously broken!

  • My phone is filled with photos of nonsense. Little piece of nothing that say absolutely nothing about me while simultaneously speaking volumes. It is quite easy to introduce me to new music since I tend to like a lot of different things and am always looking for new stuff.

  • I suffer from the same disease. When I go to take a pic of myself, no I won’t use that awful term for such pictures, I end up taking 7,8,9,15 shots to find one that’s not horrendously disgusting to me. I believe there are more of us out there that just won’t admit it. More power to you Michelle!

  • I love that song. I hadn’t heard it until another blogger posted it in my comments… it seemed so appropriate, ha.

    And… we all have selfies in our phones. I try to go back and delete my numerous fails but I am sure that I have plenty to be mortified over if someone were to get my phone. Actually, I think I’d be more afraid of what they might find in my “notes.” That’s where the real horror lies.

    • I’m just glad I don’t have the patience to type shit on my phone if I don’t have to. My eyes are too old for that.

  • It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d definitely donate to this
    fantastic blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and
    adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
    I look forward to fresh updates and will share this site
    with my Facebook group. Talk soon!

  • I love Courtney Barnett and that Avante Gardener song. It’s ok. I’m not that good at breathing in either 🙂 I’m just waiting for the day she comes back to Melbourne so I can see her in her home town!

By Michelle


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