The End of Judgment


For most of my adult life, I’ve felt like a marionette, sort of helpless at the hands of my mind.  It’s not easy to write that.  It’s like handing over a page of my diary. But it’s the truth.  I wake up at 3 a.m. from worry more often than I’d care to admit.

I share this because it’s like when your friend is going through something horrible.  You don’t know what to say, but you’re searching for any sort of common experience to share with them.  You do it so they can see the thread from you to them.  So they can say, “I am not alone.  I am not abnormal.  There’s nothing wrong with me.”  And maybe most importantly, “I am not the only person who has felt the way I do.”

A lot has happened this year.  I have more editors, with increasingly intimidating signature blocks, and sometimes I stop and think “Editors.  Plural.  Editors.”  That was a little girl dream.  To have editors.  Just to have a connection to that word.  Another one was “deadlines.”  To meet my “deadlines.”  I saw my name in the pages of a magazine I bought from a grocery store. I made the grocery store leap.

Also, when you don’t make a ton of money, you learn about money.  I’m more conscious about my spending.  More appreciative of the little things.  Like, “F*&% yeah, Wax Wednesdays!!  You’ll wax my eyebrows for $10?!?!?  I actually love you.”

An eleven dollar bottle of wine might as well be a 1984 vintage.  If my Dad fills up my car when I’m at my parents’ house, it’s like I won the lottery.

But sometimes – okay all the time – the uncertainty gets to me.  I think about projects I want to start, and think, “Can I really do this?  Will it work?”  And it torments me because I don’t make a decision.

I juggle these balls of personal creative projects, editorial assignments, and “Should I’s?” re: professional forks in the road.  Meanwhile, I’m trying to not wish certain body parts were smaller or bigger, and I’m thinking I should focus more on dating, and meeting new people, because if you opened the door to my social life, there’d be cobwebs and crickets, and what about a goddamn summer reading list, I haven’t read a full book in four months, and so on.

I read other people’s blogs every day, and even though it makes me feel vulnerable to reveal too much, I am most moved by the people who write honestly.  Their writing is the best because they’re telling the nitty gritty truth – cellulite, cigarette ash and all.

Like here, where Susannah Conway talks about her struggle with depression.  Or here, where Cheryl Strayed answers “Dear Abby” type letters (god, I love these letters).

I haven’t written on here for awhile, and I miss it.  I feel like I’ve been cheating on my blog.  So I’m going to try to post a lot more often, mostly because it’s good soul food for me.  The best soul food.

We tend to judge other people.  Someone else takes happy pills, and we don’t, so we’re better right?  You have a diploma on your wall, and they don’t, and that puts pep in your step.  “What a workaholic.”  “I’m worried about so-and-so.”  “She takes so many selfies.”

I do this.  I gossip.  I tear down.  But I think we’re essentially all the same.  And it’s a shame not to know that.  To not know we all feel the same way sometimes.  Okay, a lot of the time.

3 thoughts on “The End of Judgment

  1. Part of being human is accepting that we are just that, human. We are imperfect and fallible, both in our choices and our perceptions of others. We see the world not as it is, but as we are. And when we can swallow this sometimes bitter pill, we are able to summon the courage to be brave enough and take the next step in our adventurous life. We are all different, yet all exactly the same. It’s a difficult paradox to accept, but one that will bring out the authentic human in all of us. Thanks for sharing Natalie 😉

  2. Thanks for sharing this part of yourself. I come from a place that doesn’t value vulnerability and weakness. At 39, I’m so full of doubts, what-ifs, and should-have-beens. I’m paralyzed by the consequences of taking this left or the next right.
    You said you feel like a marionette, helpless at the hands of your mind.


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