Just A Day

I know, I know, it’s been a while. You may have clicked on this new post to hear all about what I’ve been up to for the last four months or to read about how sobriety: round two is going or to delve into all my deep, dark personal secrets that are usually for my diary’s pages only. If you said yes to any of the above, you’re about to be severely disappointed. I’ve just popped by to say a quick farewell, at least for now.

That’s right folks, I’ve logged on momentarily only to log off indefinitely. I know, total tease.

Why, you ask? Okay, fine, I’ll explain… a little.

What I thought would be a year full of sober discovery and well-written overshares, has actually turned into quite the opposite. I’ve found myself in a really happy place, craving as much privacy as possible. Maybe it’s old age, I don’t know, but I just haven’t felt a need to put much of my life on social media as of late. Sure, the occasional career-related post on Instagram, or a short political rant on Facebook, but even those things don’t sound very appealing to me as of late.

And I think it’s because I’m just plain happy.

For the first time in my life, I have a sense of stability and confidence. And for the first time, I feel like a woman. So much so, I don’t even get mad when I get “ma’am”-ed at Target anymore.

I didn’t do it on purpose. I didn’t wake up one morning and swear off this blog or social media in general. I’ve actually tried doing that before, and it didn’t work. I just got bored with it all and started focusing on my normal day-to-day. I stopped seeking validation in likes and comments and stopped comparing my life to the general public’s highlight reels, and I did it without even realizing it. In fact, when I did realize it, which was about five weeks ago, I thought “You should really blog, it’s been a while”, but then life kept giving me better things to do and I did those things instead and I have no regrets about any of it.

So, there you have it. That’s why you haven’t heard from me in a while. It just kinda happened that way, and the way that it happened, I kinda like, so I’m going to keep it this way for a while.

Before I say adieu, maybe there are a few things you guys should know…

1) I’m not sober. This year’s sobriety lasted about four months. It was a really, really hard four months. I didn’t start drinking again because it got too hard. I started drinking again because I made it through those awful four months without alcohol, and when I came out on the other end, I felt safe and secure enough to introduce healthy drinking and social behaviors back into my life. I also started to realize that going in and out of sobriety at my leisure made me a little bit of an a-hole. Sobriety is a serious topic. Alcoholism is a serious disease. I am not an alcoholic, but I know people who struggle with the disease and have seen that struggle up close, and it’s not something a person suffering from can easily go in and out of depending on their mood. I think everyone should try a dry month or even a dry year, but that’s very different from sobriety.

2) I’m not smoking! That’s the best thing to come out of the new-failed attempt at a dry 2018. Yes, I have started drinking again, but I’m still not smoking! I’m not going to lie, I still have cravings, especially when I drink, but I’ve been surrounding myself with some solid, non-smokers lately, so it’s not even an option when I do decide to have a glass of wine (or two).

3) I’m still “enough”, and so are you. My OG readers may recall the moral of my 2015 story was that I finally felt like I was enough. That was a huge revelation and I carry that lesson with me every day, in everything I do. Of course, I still have an occasional bad day, we all do. But, in those moments when I feel like I’m too much or too little, I remember what my twenty-eight year old self whispered on top of Runyon Canyon while ugly-crying to an Adele song…. “you are enough”. And in case you’ve lost sight of that, I want you to know that you’re enough too. You’re the perfect amount of perfection. Please remember that.

That’s all for now. If you’re reading this for the first time or if you’ve read every post since Day 1, I am grateful for you. Thank you for listening to my rants and raves for three years. Thank you for caring. You’re awesome.

Presently: Signing Off.

 

 

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Day Seventy-Eight

I discovered a new place in LA this weekend. It’s a place I heard about back in December, and a place I’ve put off going to ever since.

Initially I put it off because I was really happy. It was January 1st, I was on my second adventure into sobriety, I had a solid living situation, a new, promising guy in my life, a hopeful pilot season on the horizon, things were good.

When things got less good, I still didn’t go. I mean, things weren’t that bad. The guy left, pilot season wasn’t happening, my thoughts were a little darker, I was a little less hopeful, but I could handle it.

And then I couldn’t.

Slowly, but surely, what seemed not-so-good only got worse. I was spending more time alone in my apartment, not always by choice. I was feeling left out, depressed, anxious, abandoned. Those feelings, on top of sobriety, started to become more and more challenging to manage.

The thing I forgot about sobriety (probably as a way of protecting myself subconsciously), is that, in the first couple of months, a lot of stuff comes up.

Think about a time you’ve had a rough day or an exciting day or an overwhelming day. Think about what you did when you got home after that day full of all that stuff. I bet a lot of people reading this had a drink, right? It’s okay. It’s etched into our society. Happy hour is a thing and it’s called “happy hour” for a reason. It’s normal to want to unwind after one of those days and the way a lot of us do that is with alcohol. That’s what I’ve been doing, especially post-2015 year of sobriety. So, when I went sober again this year, not only was I relearning how to handle “those” days, but I was also facing all the stuff I drowned in bottles of wine over the last two years and probably even before that.

Cut to: Oscar Sunday 2018. My OG readers know that Oscar Sunday is my Super Bowl. Hollywood’s prom night is my favorite night of the year. Normally, I’m watching the show with a small group of friends and copious amounts of baked goods. That’s what I had planned to do this year. But, all my friends cancelled and I didn’t feel like leaving my house to grocery shop for baking supplies and I barely felt like lifting a finger to turn on the TV. Before Kimmel could start his monologue, I was on the phone with a close friend expressing thoughts and feelings I didn’t even know I had, and none of them were good. I unleashed years of things I had buried, and though my friend was an incredible and supportive sounding board that night, we both knew I needed someone else.

So, Saturday morning I drove to the Southern California Counseling Center for a new patient intake. (Yes, even after all of that, it still took me another two weeks to make the move). This was the place I had been avoiding for the past three months, and  once I got there, I realized I hadn’t been avoiding it because things were going right or because I didn’t have the time or because I thought I could handle everything on my own.

I was avoiding it because it was, by far, the scariest thing I have ever done in my adult life.

I saw therapists regularily from the time I was about six until I graduated high school, and even since being in LA, I’ve looked into therapy and tried a few things, but to sit across from a complete stranger and list all the reasons why I was reaching out for help, was something I’ve never done. I mean, I’ve never done that with my closest friends and family. Sure, the people who know me, know a lot of my story, but when you lump everything together in a 50-minute session, when thirty years of ups and downs come flooding out of your mouth at a rate of utterance so quick, my brain could barely keep up. I wasn’t ready for that. I was so nervous, I pinched the skin on the inside of my right arm the entire time, trying to self soothe, and didn’t even realize I had done that until I saw a tiny bruise a few hours later.

While I’m giving this very kind and loving stranger the rundown of my life, I just kept looking at her and wondering, “Do you even believe me?”

When you lump together everything that’s happened to you in your life, and then you start listing it off, it becomes kind of hard to believe. I even stopped halfway through to check in with myself. “Wait. You sure that really happened? You already talked about that other bad thing. How much more is there?”

There’s a lot. That’s what this session showed me. I have a lot of stuff.

Talking about this stuff doesn’t scare me. I’ve been pretty open on this blog about the cards I’ve been dealt; abuse, suicide, family tragedy, depression, anxiety. I can call my pain out and I can discuss it openly, it’s realizing how much of it there is…. that’s where I start to buckle.

It’s like I’ve packed this giant suitcase full of ugly clothes, worn out shoes, and socks with holes in them, and I put the suitcase in storage a really long time ago, but I always held onto the key, just in case. On Saturday, I made a copy of the key and I gave that to someone I don’t know, but she promises to take really good care of it, and pretty soon, she’s going to help me lift that suitcase out of storage and set it down someplace safe, and then we’ll start to unpack it. It sounds like a daunting task, I know, no one likes unpacking, but I’m looking forward to it.

It’s true what they say, reaching out is hard. It’s really, really hard, but if you’re reading this and if anything I wrote resonated with you, please do it.

Your suitcase may seem really heavy, but I promise it’ll be easier to lift with a little help.

Day Seventy

It’s been a weird couple of weeks, guys. A lot of highs and a ton of lows that have left me longing for some mundane middle ground, where nothing is necessarily going right or wrong, it’s just… going.

When I was a kid, I used to imagine that God had a giant TV and every channel on the TV was a different person’s life. If a lot of stuff seemed to be happening to me all at once, I said it was because God was watching my channel. Now, as an adult, I realize this probably isn’t the case and I am hopefully serving a bigger purpose than just being mere entertainment for an all-powerful entity. I also realize this is basically the plot to the Truman Show and there’s a slight chance Hollywood stole my idea.

There’s a lot of unknown mixed in with these extreme cards I’m being dealt. It makes it difficult to figure out what my next move is because if I’m being honest, I’m terrified.

I think it goes back to wanting to control things that are completely out of my control. I blogged about that recently, and I guess the Universe, or God, or what-who-whomever is in charge around here is making me practice what I preach.

I know I’m being vague. I’m sure you’d like to know the specifics of these highs and lows I’m referring too, but those are F.D.O., For Diary Only, at least for now.

It’s also not the point of this blog post. Because it’s never about what happens to us guys, it’s about how we handle it, right?

A year ago, I would be halfway through a bottle of Petit Syrah and probably on my fourth cigarette by now. I’d be sitting outside, in the rain, scrolling through my ex-boyfriend’s Instragram, and completely ignoring my own life. I wouldn’t be thinking about everything that’s happened this week, I would be actively numbing all of it because that’s the easiest thing to do.

Unhealthy distractions only provide temporary relief. They are just another way we try to control the uncontrollable. If I pretend it’s not there, it will eventually go away. Nope. Wrong. If you throw an invisibility cloak over anything that doesn’t appeal to you, the unappealing will eventually maneuver it’s way out from under the wine stains and cloud of smoke and will pop up somewhere else. There aren’t enough invisibility cloaks in the universe for everything we face on a daily basis. There are actually no invisibility cloaks in the universe, soooo….

It’s time to face it. It’s time to be afraid and keep moving anyways. It’s time to reach out for help when I need it and love as much as possible. It’s time to welcome the uncontrollable, the good and the bad, and take heart knowing that I got this. So do you. We got this.

Maybe God is sitting in front of His TV, tuned into my channel, or your channel. Maybe it does feel like it’s all just too much right now. But, I’m pretty sure everything is going to be okay because I’m pretty sure we all get happily-ever-afters.

 

 

Day Sixty-One

I’m in a real funk today.

I feel like I have a bunch of stuff I want to say and write about. But, I can’t really find the words, and for a writer, that’s really frustrating.

It’s not writer’s block though. It’s more like writer’s overwhelming thoughts, is that a thing? Mixed with a little writer’s hesitation.

I want to tell you guys about a terrible audition experience I had, but I’m still afraid to talk about. I want to write about the dates I went on, but I’m nervous about getting that personal. I want to talk about what’s next for my career, but it all seems so uncertain.

This is new territory for me. I’m usually pretty good at finding the words I want and need.

I think… I just can’t find the words to do this funk justice.

So, instead of searching for words or trying to organize the overwhelming amount of thoughts I have right now, I’m going to rest. I’m learning to rest my heart, so I might as well learn to rest my brain too, right?

It’s Friday, and it’s raining, so I think resting is a good place to start.

See you guys, next week.

-A

 

 

Day Forty-Five

Bah humbug. It’s Valentine’s Day.

I got up this morning and went to yoga. I’ve been doing that more and more lately because it just feels good to start my day doing something healthy and positive. I knew it’d feel especially good to have some healthy/positive me time on this particular morning. So, while most of you were in bed, rolling over to a significant other, kissing good morning; I was in a hot, dark room unrolling my yoga mat and bracing myself for the inevitable “love yourself” speech that I was certain my instructor would give before class started.

Instructor: Good morning, yogis. Since it’s Valentine’s Day, I’m sure you guys were expecting some kind of “love yourself” talk before class…
My Inner Monologue: Yup. Called it.
Instructor: …But I’m not going to do that, because I think it’s bullshit.
My Inner Monologue: Hold up. What now?
Instructor: Because sometimes, loving yourself is hard.
My Inner Monologue: Yup.
Instructor: Especially on days like today.
My Inner Monologue: Preach.
Instructor: So, let your heart rest today if you need it to.
My Inner Monologue: *sobbing*

Why are we so quick to jump to “love yourself” or “I don’t need a man” and “all the single ladies” on days like today and other days when we’re feeling lonely or left out or just a little shitty?

Can it be okay to feel those not-so-positive things and maybe even sit with those feelings for a little bit?

I say yes.

If you’re feeling lonely or sad or excluded today, feel it. It may be a little uncomfortable, but get to know yourself in that discomfort.

Give your heart a rest.

Because life is super weird. One minute you’re walking around with a lovestruck smile on your face, and the next you’re crying into a jar of store bought frosting.

And both ends of that spectrum are okay.

That’s my two cents today, take it or leave it, but I gotta go buy more frosting.

Day Twenty-Nine

If you’re one of my OG readers, you may recall that the first few months of my 2015 sobriety were, well, nothing short of a shitshow. By mid-April of that year, I had lost my job, I lost my apartment, and I had my heart broken. One of the reasons I wanted to do a year of sobriety all over again was because I felt like this time around, I was in a much more stable place. It was almost like I was challenging the universe by going sober again. “Whatchoo got for me this time around?”, I’ve thought a few times in the last month, as I skipped merrily along, rubbing my stable, happy life in the universe’s face, until finally, I had the wind knocked out of me last week… a few times.

You ever have one of those days, when you throw your hands up in the air, as you ugly-cry, while blasting Miranda Lambert in your Prius on the 101 south, and you can’t help but wonder what you did to piss off the universe, or God, or whoever is in charge around here, because what’s coming at you feels like it’s too much and you have no idea how your supposed to get through all of it? Asking for a friend.

On a more serious, and honest, and vulnerable note, the last couple of days were really, really hard. And, I couldn’t help but wonder… why is this happening to me again? The details of what transpired this past week will remain in my diary, for my eyes only, but I will say, those details are eerily similar to what happened three years ago. Of course, there were differences, it wouldn’t be fair to the people involved to say it was exactly the same. I think what I’m trying to say is the way it felt, feeling like you’ve been knocked on your ass and you never saw it coming. The last time I felt that was three years ago.

I’ve always looked for patterns and repetition in my life. I’m one of those people who gets déjà vu and considers the possibility that I might actually be clairvoyant. Comparing past events with my present and drawing conclusions is a way I feel some control over what happens. That’s always been a big thing for me. This need to control things that most people easily realize are uncontrollable. My mom always tells me that I can’t control what happens, I can only control how I react to it. Instead of absorbing that wisdom, I see it as a challenge. “Oh, I can control what happens. I got this”.

Even at thirty years old, I give into the residue of my rebellious teenage years and set out to prove any authority, especially my mother, wrong.

Well, last night, I decided to get out of my sweatpants, slap on some makeup, and go out. My roommate was part of a storytelling series being held at a theatre in our neck of the woods, and though the task of washing four days worth of dry shampoo, grease, and tears out of my hair sounded daunting, I knew it would be good for me. The theme of the evening was “Groundhog’s Day”. My brilliant roommate took the theme literally and gave a well-written, eight minute eulogy to Punxsutawney Phil that had me belly laughing the whole time.

Then, another woman got up. She took the theme of the evening less literally. She latched on to the movie “Groundhog’s Day”, specifically, the repetition that takes place throughout the film. She was about to read a poem, but prefaced it by talking about repetition in life, she called it an “echo”. I have no idea what she said after that because that word was ringing in my brain so loudly. I loved it and loathed it at the same time. It was the perfect word to sum up, not only these last few days, but that need to control that I’ve spent most of my adult life giving into.

Then, an epiphany: I’ve been so focused on listening for the echo, I’ve hushed all the other noises around me.

My best friend, Chris noticed this about me and stated it in a different way the other night. He came to my rescue with Chipotle and boy advice. I tried to tell him that it was happening again, I tried to explain the patterns I was seeing and the echos I was hearing, and he shut me down real quick, as he does when I’m being ridiculous.

“Quit trying to paint the picture, Amelia, just be in it”.

That’s a scary thought for me. Giving up the control or the façade that I have it in the first place. I wonder what would happen if I did though? What would happen if I wasn’t waiting for an echo, if I just lived in the moment, in the picture, if I listened to my mother….

I guess we’ll find out.

 

 

Day Eleven

We interrupt this regularly scheduled sobriety post to talk about current events in the media.

(But, for those of you wondering, yes I’m still sober, and it’s going quite well this time around).

I, like most film and tv hopefuls in LA, watched the Golden Globes last Sunday. Award season is my favorite time of year. I am always inspired by the glitz and glamour and (mostly) brilliant films being honored and the excitement in this city is palpable. Every time I sit down to watch a red carpet, I think, “this time next year…” Of course, that hasn’t happened yet, but I still hold out hope that on one of these award show Sundays, I’ll get to trade in my yoga pants for a sparkly ballgown.

Last Sunday, I was particularly excited about the red carpet after hearing that the unofficial dress code for the evening was black, to show support for the “Me Too” movement. I personally loved seeing all of my favorite actors dressed in solidarity and speaking out about sexual abuse, not just in the entertainment industry, but talking about the issue as a whole.

With that being said, I spit out my sparkling cider when I saw James Franco on the red carpet sporting a “Times Up” pin on his lapel. And here’s why, James Franco doesn’t have the best reputation ‘round these parts. We all remember the seventeen year old who released screen shots of her text conversations with Franco a few years ago. Texts that were, well, explicit in nature. On top of that, it’s kind of a known fact that he’s a womanizer. I’ve heard plenty of stories about him sleeping with his acting students and creating side projects, which normally feature at least one nude female. From what I know, I would steer clear of him if ever that situation presented itself, which is why his choice of accessory on the red carpet last week seemed laughably ironic to me. Would I classify him as a Harvey Weinstein-esque sexual predator? No. Based on what I know, I don’t think Franco’s treatment of women is criminal. I think he falls more into the Al Franken and Garrison Keillor category, both of whom, I think were unfairly persecuted by the allegations brought against them.

This is just my two cents based on all of the articles I’ve read and newscasts I’ve tuned into. I don’t know any of the women coming forward in these particular cases. I could be sorely mistaken and jamming my metaphorical foot into my proverbial mouth by cementing these thoughts in writing on this blog. But, I don’t think that’s the case.

I think we are all starting to realize that there is a “sliding scale” when it comes to sexuality and harassment and I think it’s something that this country as a whole, is trying to grasp. So, I’m going to do my part tonight and try to help everyone out a little bit. Below is a list of rules I’ve complied for both men and women to avoid situations that may get either side in trouble or cause someone to feel attacked, harassed, or assaulted. This probably goes without saying, but I’m not an expert on any of this, so whatever is said here, please feel free to take it or leave it.

MEN:

Rule #1: Keep it in your pants.

I apologize for the blanket statement I’m about to make, but here it goes… No one wants to see your dick. Dicks look weird and they really aren’t the most attractive part of your physique. Personally, I’m an arms girl. Flex me a bicep, and I’ll swoon… whip out your glow worm and I will either laugh-cry or punch it, depending on the situation. This of course does not apply when you are in a consensual situation and both party’s clothes are coming off.

Rule #2: Know your audience.

If I have to listen to one more guy tell me that they continuously and relentlessly hit on a girl because he thought she liked it even though she never agreed to go out with him, I’m going to find an all women’s gladiator island, Wonder Woman style, and move there. You know when you’re making someone uncomfortable. We all know when we’re making someone uncomfortable. But, if you’re feeling real stubborn about this one, then please see below for the rules about this particular rule.

a.Body Language: Is the person you’re speaking to crossing their arms? Are they avoiding eye contact? Are they slowly moving towards an exit? Is their breathing labored? Does their face seem pale or oddly sweaty? Have they vomited or cried in the time that you’ve been speaking to them? If the answer is “yes”, you are making them uncomfortable and you need to apologize and show yourself the door.

b. Word Language: Has the person you’re speaking to said “Stop”, “Please Stop”, or “Shut up”? What about “No” or “Leave me alone”? Maybe not those exact words, but something close to it? Maybe a synonym like, “Fuck off”? If you hear anything even close to these examples, do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars, but do apologize for being a creep.

c. More Words: Has the person you are hitting on ever accepted your advances and agreed to spend more time with you? If you’ve been trying to chip away at that hot, but “playing hard to get” co-worker, please stop. You won’t chip away at her disgust for you, but you’ll probably chip away at her self-worth if you keep that shit up.

Rule #3: Keep your hands, your hollers, and your whistles to yourself.

Women don’t want their pussies grabbed, and I mean that both literally and metaphorically. About eight years ago, I was at a concert. My boyfriend and I were trying to make our way out of the stadium to the parking lot and it was really crowded, I could barely move. I held his hand as he pushed through the people ahead of us. I was wearing a skirt and some predatory douchecanoe (I refuse to call him a man), literally grabbed my vagina, full palm. I jumped back and let go of my boyfriend’s hand, in shock at what had just been done to my body. By the time my brain caught up with the experience, the pervert was gone, probably shuffling through the crowd, scooping up more fistfuls of lady parts. I remember my boyfriend looking at me and asking me what was wrong. I was probably wearing the assault all over my face, but I couldn’t bring myself to put it into words. I still have never told this story out loud. In fact, this is the first time I’ve ever told that story. And guess what!? When you whistle as I walk by, or beep your horn, or yell, what you think is a compliment, out of your car window, I feel that same fear I felt when I was physically grabbed. I think a lot of women do. It’s aggressive and unwelcome and yes, it is verbal assault. I don’t need you, a complete stranger, to validate my appearance. I promise you, I looked in a mirror before I left the house this morning, I know I look good.

Rule #4: It’s better to ask for permission than forgiveness.

I’ve heard the opposite said a lot when it comes to other things in life, but when it comes to relationships, especially sexual ones, ask! I was with a guy once, we were getting into bed; I had my pajamas on and he was standing, somewhat awkwardly, in the corner of my room. As I flipped back the covers, he asked if it was okay if he got undressed. As far as I could remember, no guy had ever asked me that before, and I thought, “Why don’t more guys do that?” He checked in with me. He didn’t want to do anything that might make me uncomfortable and he didn’t want to overstep, especially since we were just getting to know each other. By asking that simple, straight forward question, he made me feel safe and respected, and I obviously said “yes”. Asking for permission won’t kill the mood or harsh your vibe or whatever other bro term is passing through your anxiety right now. We appreciate it. We like it. It turns us on.

WOMEN:

Rule #1: The difference between sexual harassment and I’m-just-not-that-into-you.

While watching James Franco parade around the Golden Globes with his “Times Up” button, I coined a term, “The Franco Effect”. The Franco Effect is when a man, whom society has deemed “attractive”, does something questionable and gets away with it, while a man considered “unattractive” does the same exact thing and is persecuted for it. For example, Garrison Keillor, now again, all I know is what I’ve read and heard from multiple news outlets, but it sounds like Garrison touched a woman’s back in an attempt to console her, as a friend. That woman was wearing a shirt that exposed her back, so his hand didn’t meet cloth, it met skin, and that warranted a sexual misconduct accusation, and caused Keillor to lose his job. I’m sorry if this makes me sound like an asshole, but I really want to know what that woman would have done if it were Brad Pitt who had touched her back. No, I am not victim shaming or blaming. If this woman genuinely felt assaulted by Keillor’s actions, that is heartbreaking. I just want to ask these questions because I know I’m not the only one wondering. I also want to be sure we’re all on the same page when it comes to the definition of sexual harassment and sexual assault. The only way we end up taking a step back from this movement is if we start crying wolf. We can’t afford to cry wolf.

Rule #2: The difference between sexual assault and regret.

If you know me, you know that for the better part of 2011, I was messing around with a famous actor. At the time, I felt pretty cool. I was sleeping at his giant house in the hills, and going to dinner with his famous friends, and picking out his ties for press junkets. When it abruptly ended, not only was I heartbroken, but I felt like an idiot. I let this dude walk all over me. I made my life so much about him and his schedule, that I completely lost sight of myself, and I regret that time in my life. There was definitely a part of me that wanted to spray paint “[Insert Famous Name Here] is an ASSHOLE” all over this town. But, I didn’t. Instead, I picked myself up by the bootstraps and tried not to Google him so I could move on with my life. I’ve recently heard a lot of stories about girls who have dated famous men and are now trying to call them out for “using their power to take advantage of them”. One of the women coming forward against James Franco admitted to being in a consensual relationship with him and says that one time he asked her to perform oral sex in his car, and she really didn’t want to, but she did it anyways, and that’s assault. Another girl says she was his student, and he asked her to be in a short film, which he paid her $100 a day to do, and she had to do a nude scene, and she did it, but she didn’t want to, and that’s harassment. I’M SORRY…. WHAT?! Ladies, if you don’t want to do something, don’t do it! You can’t do it, and then try to claim assault because you regret what you did or because the guy you did it with turned out to be an asshat. That’s not how this works, and once again, you’re taking away from the movement and the victims coming forward. I can’t say it enough, if I’m missing the facts someone please tell me. In this instance, I sincerely hope that I am missing the facts. Also, I realize that these allegations ruin my “Franco Effect” term. Not the point, but it does further my frustration.

Rule #3: Speak up.

Men and women have very different ways of communicating. Iliza Shlesinger said it best when she stated, “Men and women communicate so differently I’m surprised we can be in the same room without ripping each other’s genitals off, quite frankly.” It’s on both sexes to do better when it comes to speaking and listening. Yes, women’s voices have been suppressed, historically speaking, and yes, a lot of us have been scarred and silenced by past experiences, but you know what’s even more true than all of that shitty shit? Our voices are strong and they matter and it is not only important, but necessary for us to speak up if we are ever in a situation that is uncomfortable or unwanted. I don’t know about you, but I feel pretty lucky to be living in a time where I can speak what’s on my heart and on my mind, and I know that I will be heard and I know that I have an army of women standing behind me, ready to speak up too.

Rule #4: With great power, comes great responsibility.

This pretty much sums up all the rules. We are finally living in a world that is listening when we talk, so let’s not fuck it up.

MEN AND WOMEN:

The only rule: Keep the conversation going.

Ask each other questions. Call each other out. Speak up if they aren’t listening, and listen when they speak. The only way we are all going to get through this together and better, is if we keep talking.