2012.04.09 blog

on recording, marriage, and the problem with first world problems

i’m in dallas, mixing the record at john’s. (i may NINJA somewhere outside next week. follow the twitter.)

my head is still spinning from five weeks straight of rehearsing-and-recording all day every day….then shooting a video (more on that soon). 
then flying here.

i owe melbourne a big, long blog. i miss you.

at any rate:

the record is a masterpiece. 

the band and all the guest musicians KILLED IT….the grand theft orchestra lived up to its majestic name.
michael, chad, and jherek were the most incredible, patient, intuitive musicians to work with, and john congleton, producer extraordinaire, captained the ship with mind-blowing genius.

i think it’s the best thing i’ve ever done. 
and i’m starting to get sick of it already. like you do. too much listening, too much thinking.

i can’t wait to fucking put it out. 
the kickstarter to preorder the record will launch sometime within the month.
one thing i do regret: that i didn’t kickstarter the record before commencing recording.
but there was a really strategic reason, and unavoidable: people who supported the “evening with neil & amanda” kickstarter campaign still haven’t gotten their stuff – it’s en route pretty much as we speak (download codes are coming in the next 24 hours or so and the physical goods are being readied to ship now, too. updates to neilandamanda.com are on the way).
i thought it would be tasteless to ask for support for project #2 before delivering on project #1. and i didn’t want to step all over the dolls’ tour in australia – that would have been in really bad taste as well. so i let it be.

but i definitely felt lonelier in the studio. i stayed active on twitter, but other than that, the whole process was just a mysterious mystery to everybody. so be it. maybe it was better to work that way. old school. in isolation. the record certainly didn’t suffer any.

……………………………………………

a story.

…………………………………………….

when i was about 7 years old, i used to walk to one of next door neighbor’s houses to be babysat after school.

she (let’s call her mrs. marcy) would take care of me and her own two children, who were both younger than me, until my mother came home from her day job in the city and picked me up.
i have a lot of musty, plant-y vivid, memories of mrs. marcy’s household…she was more of a health nut than my mom, and she served us really strange snacks that involved carob and other foreign substances.

but one moment blares out of all of them. mister marcy was home, and the two parents were looking after us three kids. i burst into the bathroom on the first floor and mrs. marcy was sitting there, fully clothed, on the closed toilet seat. she looked at me with an expression that was a bizarre mixture of anger, terror, and just….utter exhaustion.

i was really confused about what was happening. she shooed me out of the room with two words that made ABSOLUTELY no sense to me at the time:

“I’M MEDITATING.” 

i did not know what mediating meant, and i did not understand why you did it sitting on the toilet in the bathroom, and i did not understand why i couldn’t be in there while she did it.

……………………………………………….

when i went in to record the album that i’m going to put out this fall, all i wanted was to have nothing else to do but Make the Record.

i meticulously planned my escape for MONTHS. 
i wanted to do as nothing as possible, to give up as many mundane responsibilities as i could.
that included being a boss, a friend, an emailer, a blogger…and a wife.

it wasn’t that i didn’t have the time to do it. 
i could have easily set aside 2 hours a day to do those things. easily.
but i didn’t want to. i wanted to go down the hole.

i told everyone i was going. and then i left.

my friendships, bless them, withstand a lot. 

my really good, strong deep ones have learned to exist like plants in drought climates.
they sometimes go weeks, months, years in some cases, with no rain. 
then, when it’s time, there’ll be a flood of love and attention. 
the friendships that can’t survive the pattern…those ones die, i guess, or turn into acquaintanceships. 

looking back on the last month i realize how important it was to me that i put up the long-distance wall.

amanda-in-person embraced life with a passion.
amanda-on-email-and-phone put up a Don’t Disturb sign.

the paradoxes.
i set up an autoreply, but i still checked my email. 
i didn’t want to feel responsible for answering any of it.
i would have marathon conversations on twitter, but not commit to having lunch with anyone. 
i wouldn’t email people i knew well, but i would stop and have coffee with a stranger in a cafe.

and neil?

it amazes me how much i’m able to love someone simply because they accept that i want to be alone to work.
that, in the true ironic twists and turns of love, is the ultimate turn-on for me. 
the ultimate turn-off? clinginess. neediness. damnation.

i’ve always been this way. 
pretty much every relationship i’ve ever been in has walked through this fire and mostly come out scorched and defeated.

i can’t believe sometimes that i found him, and that he found me.

two weird artists, flying in tandem, landing and fueling, flying again.

we barely stopped long enough to GET married. it’ll still take ages for us to move in together.
none of this seems strange to me, though.
it only seems strange in the company of other people who look at me with compassion and horror, as if i’ve had a limb amputated, when i say i haven’t seen my husband for three months.

but it works.

he wrote a book, i made my record, now we get to be together for a while and share what we’ve done.
and we’ll finally return to being in the same bed, where i’ll play him the day’s mixes and he’ll read me pages that he typed from his handwritten drafts.
and this, to me, this is paradise. this is the dream of a relationship i always had in my mind…and thought i may never find. 

and there’s a kind of compromise in every chafing moment, and we’re both learning, bit by uncomfortable bit.

but i’m enjoying the work of love.

i think he is, too.

……………………………………………..

i never really wanted to be a wife. 
it wasn’t on the list.
i never even really wanted to be an adult. 

i just desperately wanted to get to the part where people stopped telling me what to do.

i never really wanted anything but to be as much in love as possible at any given moment.

love defined by the moment, not the movies.

…………………………………………………………

when i think back on mrs. marcy, and her teeny household teeming with children, and her desperate search to grab 10 minutes of silence to herself in the bathroom (and failing…let’s not forget that bit), i look at my life and i just have to fucking laugh. i don’t have children, don’t have a household to run…i’ve deliberately built my life to be free of those sorts of responsibilities. 
my idea of freedom is RIDICULOUS, right? i live about the most independent life i could have possibly constructed, given the art i wanted to make, and still…..AGGGHHGHGHGH I FEEL STRANGLED.

and mrs. marcy, in her suburban home with healthy children and plenty to eat, would probably stack up pretty lucky next to a mother and her kids living close to starvation in the sudan. but we don’t work that way, as humans. we compare ourselves to those around us, we compare ourselves to the selves we thought we wanted to be, to the selves we thought we didn’t want to be. 

………………………………..

i think it’s funny that people are constantly saying “first world problems”…bashfully excusing themselves, as if to dismiss their own emotions as invalid compared to the next person. because of course these problems, the problems stemming from our privileged lives pale in comparison to the problems of real-ass starvation, war, extreme physical suffering. 

well, of course. of course. things could always be harder – everything’s relative. and it’s never good to lose perspective. it helps. it does.

and OF COURSE the problems of those in the first world are first world problems. if you’re HAVING them, chances are….that’s where you are.

starving people have starving people problems, dying people have dying people problems, overweight people have overweight people problems, white people have white people problems, black people have black people problems, rich people have rich people problems, gay people have gay people problems, straight people have straight people problems….are we detecting a pattern?

everybody’s got them, period.

you can’t measure human suffering with a yardstick. those who try to do it end up vindictive, even when they’re trying to be helpful.

because the minute you start measuring suffering, you invalidate somebody’s suffering…and that just never works. that’s where the whole shit starts getting ugly.

anyone who says “my pain is bigger than your pain” is speaking from fear. 
anyone who says “my feelings are more valid than your feelings” isn’t speaking from empathy.

the song don’t lie: everybody hurts. everybody suffers, everybody feels pain. and everybody feels it for a different reason on a different day in a different way. and it’s all real….there’s no pain that isn’t valid, there’s no pain that isn’t “real” because somebody has it worse off. pain is pain. all you can do is feel it, accept it, move on and know that everybody else on this spinning ball of dirt is in the same boat, and we all need to acknowledge each other’s pain, no matter what the package, and no matter how big or small that package appears.

when we do this, that’s what keeps us compassionate brothers and sisters on earth. 

will i occasionally still use the “first world problems” joke the next time i find myself complaining that the coffee in this bistro is over-roasted?

eh, probably. 

why?

because it’s a funny fucking joke. 

……………………………………………….

fuck the critics.

……………………………………………….

here’s me the day after we finished tracking the record.

looking at the sky above fitzroy gardens and thinking

FUUUUCCCCCKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! in a good way.

everything lately is just pointing me towards a more simple gratitude. 

sometimes i can’t contain the amount of luckiness around me, regardless whether i’ve built the net to catch it or not….i have it.
i have it, and i think the only thing to do when you have it is stand in awe of it…make yourself a study in stupefied wonder.

see above

LOVE,
afp

p.s. speaking of fucking the critics….i made a comment on twitter a little while ago (“haters exit stage right, pursued by a bear”) that lots of people liked. so i asked the twitterverse if someone wanted to design it into a shirt. and someone on twitter, namely Félix Marqués (@felixmarques), mocked something up at that very moment, and lo and behold, we ACTUALLY made the shirt. limited edition. exclusively at post-war trade. PLUS there’s a special right now where you can get $20 off ANY/ALL orders of $75 or above with the coupon code “tomato”. go buy a shirt before they’re gone, the design is hilarious.

there are so many incredibly artistic people on twitter that i’m thinking of making this idea an ongoing thing and having someone random once a month design a limited edition shirt…..why not?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Josiah-Spenner/100000175380758 Josiah Spenner

    It’s so nice to read a blog after the big lull while you were recording. Nice to hear you’re feeling awesome.  I can’t wait for the the new record. So excited I’m grinning like an idiot. :D

  • http://twitter.com/Losile Amy Contreras

    Maaaaasterful.

    I’ve felt the same way, often. Married for four and a half years now, to a gloriously nerdy boy in the Navy, we’ve spent a lot of time apart. Collectively? More than half of our marriage. And yes you miss him, you miss having those arms, that face, that person to share the day with at the end of it (though we did have ((unreliable)) email). But, and I always got weird looks for this in highschool, I never wanted someone hovering over me. I wanted someone who Got Me, Wanted Me, and Was Pretty Neat Too. That’s all. Creative and nutty and weird and wildly interested in what I was doing, making, creating, writing. I wanted my space, my place, my selfishly empty room to roll around in. And, like you, it made a lot of relationships…not work.
      Granted, my husband IS a bit clingier (comparatively!) than I am, but hey, after months on end in a metal box wearing the same outfit every day? You’d be too!  But it works. After a little adjusting to sharing a bed, sharing a creative space, more human physical contact than I’d had in months, it was easy. It’s wonderful to know us nutty weirdo artsyfaces can find That Mate :D

     ….Readjusting to man-socks everywhere, though. Well.

  • Victoria Eden

    Your excitement over this record is infectious. I understand the reasoning behind holding off on the Kickstarter, but I don’t even care. I’m ready to plunk down however much you ask of me.

    And! I remember that conversation and subsequent sketches of that t-shirt design. So excited to see it come to life! (I’ve already ordered mine.)

  • Sarah

     You are just incredible, and I am very thankful that your music fell into my life as unexpectedly as it did. Your fans have full faith in you and this album – as do I. I’ve never backed anything on kickstarter before, but I will put as much money as I can possibly afford +1 into it, since I feel that this album will be beyond priceless.

  • Geekinacardigan

    I never thought I’d be a wife, either. I figured by now I’d have written the great American novel and be barhopping with interesting literati. But instead I live in California and grow vegetables because it makes my husband a happy monkey, which makes me a happy monkey. Totally worth it, even if I occasionally have to tell him to leave me the fuck alone so I can try to write the great American novel. 

  • snicketmom

    I enjoyed reading this. I’m a very new fan. (I started following you on Twitter because I have a crush on Tim Minchin, and thought maybe you did too, or he on you, or both probably, and was hoping to catch sexy TwitPics of the two of you.) I’ve really enjoyed reading your Tweets while you were in Australia.  I’ve been married since 18 (I’m now 40) and have fierce moments of craving independence and autonomy. On the other hand sometimes I’m way more dependent than I’d like to admit.  Anyway, I really look forward to getting to know your work more.

  • Heather

    I feel the same way with my marriage. He is an interstate truck driver and I work a 9-5 job and also travel a bit (more so recently) so whenever he is home it is likely that I am at work, and that works for me. People don’t understand how we can cope being apart so much but, it just works. We have been together for over 10 years now and it took us 8 before we found ourselves enough time in the same place to get married.

    Massively looking forward to hearing the record! :D

  • Lanternorchard

    I know you sometimes feel strange and like you don’t have a handle on your life, but you need to know how much you and your insight means to us. Sometimes I just wish I could subscribe to the Amanda Palmer School of Zen, where your lessons come in bi-monthly pamphlets and the occasional fortune cookie. I look forwards to these blogs, how they relate to me, and my life, and how I feel. Thank you thank you thank you thank you.

    P.S. Also, I can’t wait for the new album.
    P.P.S. Please please come play in the northern Midwest in the next three years so I can see you. Minneapolis, maybe? 

    • Emily

      I conquer. 

      And YES to MN!

      • Tarena

        and another yes to mn. :)

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1763607065 Tarena Simon

          dont know why i didnt post as myself there, odd.

  • http://twitter.com/KaH_was_taken Karina

    thank you for this. this whole first world problem thing… i am sneakily reading this at work and holding back tears!

    LOVE x

  • billms

    You made me think of Lucinda Williams – which is almost always a good thing.  Thanks.  Waiting for the new album with anticipation.

    You wait in the carOn the side of the roadLet me go and stand a whileI wanna know you’re thereBut I wanna be aloneIf only for a minute or twoI want to see what it feels likeTo be without youI want to know the touchOf my own skinAgainst the sun against the wind

  • Noble Monkey

    Such a great read. I really liked the “first worl problems” section. It’s slightly relevant to my all consuming self imposed “first world guilt” situation.

    I always find myself over thinking things like “I spent so much on DVDs this year I could probably have fed a villiage overseas”, even though I already dontate to a number of things and have a sponsor child.

    I just don’t know where to draw the line, how much do I give away to help others in a situation less than mine. Anyway that’s my problem to work out.

    Thanks again for the great read!

  • http://twitter.com/Kambrieldesign Kambriel

    amanda-in-person embraced life with a passion.
    amanda-on-email-and-phone put up a Don’t Disturb sign.

    I do this too, especially when I travel.  I think it’s something about how relating-via-technology, there’s this sea of information coming at you from all angles, new and shiny things vying for your attention in every new browser window, each new email, but when you’re there in person with someone (either a newfound stranger you’re able to instantly connect with or a treasured friend you don’t see nearly enough of), you can focus with that tunnel vision that comes from hearing and seeing them laugh, the glint in their eyes, the excitable interruptions in eachother’s sentences that create a conversation that can twist and turn for hours and hours, the physical contact of being able to hold them the second you feel they need it, the ability to just stop talking, look eachother in the eye for a moment and either cry or smile.  The rest of it all? Can wait just a little bit longer.

    I hope you can get some rest, build up your reserves, distance yourself enough from the concentration of efforts long enough to be able to look back and see what you did, how semi-hermitting away now and then can be exactly what’s needed to create something grand, something that requires time, focus, fullness, and sometimes a kind of heart-rending love.

    There’s a reason why in our human lives, there is a cycle of wakefulness and sleeping.  
    It’s a balance ~ a time for taking in, and a time for letting go.

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      this whole thing, i wonder about. how connected can we actually be through the screen, and where’s the balance? it’s the dilemma of our generation, for sure. i wonder whats going to happen. i worry that we’ll become more and more inept in the flesh. god i hope not. 

      • Melissa St. Hilaire

        I wonder this all the time. I am a writer and graphic designer so I spend countless hours in front of a screen and often procrastinate or take breaks or fill my social needs all via that same fool screen. Sometimes it makes me want to scream and tear out my hair and I have to go outside and get lost in a forest or dive in an ocean. But I grew up without a cellphone or the internet. What if I always had those things? Would I ever feel the need to step outside in the bright sunlight or star kissed night? Also, how will these current and future generations deal with all this public exposure when they’re older? I can bury my past permed hair photos in the bottom of a box but Facebook photos are forever (or so it seems). And relationships… I used to see my friends in the flesh so much more prior to Facebook, et al. But on the flip side, while I’m hermitting on a project, it’s a great way to stay in touch. *shrug* 

      • nina

        walk through a food court, or even just past a cafe and see all the people sitting in front of one another and still on the mac books or phones “connecting” with people who aren’t there.

        i’ve fucked someone and had them literally turn over post fucking, pick up their phone, get on twitter and start tweeting you.

        that is some fucked up shit. i no longer fuck that person.

        not that all the blame is on them, i am finding it more and more difficult to connect with people in front of me when i know there is a fuck tonne of other, sometimes more exciting, people to connect with at my finger tips, but i wouldn’t really call it connecting.

      • http://www.facebook.com/emceeFigment Figment The’emcee

        connectedness is always there, in one perspective or another. I feel as though a person would be prone to being far more honest through a screen, because the “consequences” are far less threatening. In short, You have the ability to be as honest as you want to be, and the fear of judgement is just a ‘block’ button away.  though sometimes people do use the screen as a shield- but there are multitudes of uses for any one thing in life. multitudes of perceptions. For someone who becomes so severely public, hermititude is a natural in your cycle. With technology and power, there comes responsibility. Sometimes, you just have to turn the damn thing Off.

  • Amysue

    I will have been married 17 years in a couple of week. We didn’t live together while darting or even in the same state. We didn’t for a long while after getting married and even after adopting our first child. Neither of us needed to make the other change their work/goals/ etc in order to fit into whatever society thought a ” real” marriage should look like. I’m so happy to see people with some influence I. The world model healthy relationships that don’t rely on tired clichés and expectations.

    Can’t wait to hear the new stuff.

  • http://twitter.com/ktothewill Kevin Williams

    Can’t wait to hear what you’ve been up to in the studio!

    As for love, wish I knew anything about it.

  • http://twitter.com/ctrymaus CountryMouse

    I love your blog entries–they make us all think more. I never wanted to grow up. In many ways, I haven’t. I’m still digesting what I just read, so that’s all I can say for now. Thank you for writing, singing, being. 

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      you’re welcome. i loved your ukulele cover so much! thank you for sharing it….

      • http://twitter.com/ctrymaus CountryMouse

         Thank you again! I know my cover is not the best out there, but the lyrics are so wonderful! I wish I had the voice to put the ooomph in the song that you do. :-)

  • Bob W.

    I will buy that new album of yours.  Yes.

    Also, if yours and others’ bands were ever to offer shirts in Tall sizes, like XLT, I would buy those sometimes as well.  It saddens me to think of all those sawbucks burning a hole in my pocket instead of being used to pay back your respective moms for all those loans they gave you from their “other other” bank account (the one they didn’t tell anyone else about) when you all were starting out and still working at Orange Julius in the mall (or the equivalent) and told them you needed it for college textbooks.

     

  • http://hippybeads.etsy.com/ Hillarybewilson

    love you dear. you’re amazing

  • http://amybethinverness.com/ AmyBeth Inverness

    I wish that I could actually step into someone else’s mind, just once, just briefly, just long enough to actually experience their pain. I do wonder if what I’m feeling really does measure up… if it really does matter… in the Big Picture.

  • SarahRenee

    ohhh john congleton produced?! now i REALLY can’t wait to hear it!  
    ~(amanda palmer and paper chase fan here)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003180116435 Jeffrey Kelly

    I disagree on only one point Ms Amanda ‘dying people have dying people problems’ ~ I am dying and I don’t have any problem[s] 

  • Facebook User

    I’ve lived semi-apart from my husband for the last 5 years (7 years, if you include deployments). I’ve been working on my education, he’s been doing stuff in the Navy. We see each other twice a year, and you know what? It works. We do our own thing, and we get the best of each other when we do see each other. Most people don’t seem to know how I do it, but I tell you – it works wonders for our marriage. 9 years this year, by the way. ;) 

    • Anmorata

      Hrm. Perhaps I should’ve logged in with a different service, other than Facebook. I have a name! :)

  • shannonRP

    Your words about first world problems resonate with me so much right now.  Good timing AFP. Very much needed this. I’m seriously considering replacing “haters gonna hate” with “haters gonna get mauled by bears” in my daily conversation.

    • Lenore999

      Reading her blog always remind me of Itchy and Scratchy from the Simpsons. It always relate way to much to what I’m actually living.

  • Jacyrush

    Going through some rough stuff and here you come unintentionally guiding poor souls through their own muddled thoughts.
    “i never really wanted anything but to be as much in love as possible at any given moment.”
    And then I remember, that’s all that matters.

  • Circus

    This part:
    there’s no pain that isn’t valid, there’s no pain that isn’t “real” because somebody has it worse off. This kills me. It kills me because I have spent the last 30 years of my life trying to come to terms with something that happened to me — that others say is terrible, but that I say is meaningless because somewhere, someone else had it worse. I can’t tell you how many days I wind up in a tailspin because no matter how hard I try, I am convinced that my pain isn’t worthy of being thought of as pain — because it really could have been worse.

    How fucked up is that?

    Anyway, thanks for the blog. Keep making art. Someone has to. (Funny: Plan A for me was always Write Things, and Plan B was Become University Professor. What am I doing? Living Plan B because it’s the safer route, but dreaming every day of Plan A. Someday, another life.)

  • Tp_coyne

    Having just finished a record, I get the ‘end of tracking euphoria’. Hope it last through mixing!

    I had to laugh at your comment on Bob Lefsetz blog. Two sentences in I was thinking “This sounds like something AFP would write”!

    So, you know, send him a link to your bandcamp page when the new stuff is up, but NO MP3’s!

  • http://twitter.com/kerwynschroeder Kerwyn Schroeder

    I “miss” you, even though I don’t “know” you. I can’t wait till the new album is out (and can’t wait for Zoe’s either!). I know when your on tour you do come to FL (and I will be back from AFG by then) so I can’t wait to “see” you. Tell Neil “Hi” for me please. LOL

  • http://twitter.com/maunderings Erin

    Hey Amanda- A great thoughtful article. I like the part about ‘problems’ in relation to others, the greater world etc. Best to you. 

  • Victoria

    The novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower had a similar message about pain and relativity. I thought the book was fantastic. Somewhere, someone always has it worst than you, but if you’re in pain, what does any of that matter?  Pain is pain. Ignoring it or invalidating it does not make it subside.

    I also wonder how it would be if the internet was not as available as it is now. Instead of feeling guilty for not keeping in touch with people online, it would be nice to be present in the moment with the people who surround you in each place you travel.

    I’m glad your new record is complete and I look forward to listening to it! Your life sounds like a masterpiece in and of itself. Keep enjoying it~

  • Brody

    My husband and I don’t live together, and it’s wonderful. Someone told me once that most relationship/marriage problems are actually roommate problems, and from what I can see with the people around me, it seems true.

    I am a firm believer in the philosophy of “how can I miss you if you never go away?”

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      SO TRUE. relationships suffer from a variety of issues – but roommate issues do seem to be high on the fucking list. 

      • http://twitter.com/the_leaky_pen Puck Malamud

        Very very true. I don’t think I ever want to live with someone I’m in a relationship with… or not too close. Definitely separate rooms at the very least.

  • Matt

    I hear you on the relationship front.  Sadly, I just lost a (fledgling) relationship with a rather wonderful girl, partly because I was too needy, and partly because of her own issues.  Essentially, we weren’t ready to love each other as we were.  I’m now hoping that we can return to being friends and love each other as much as we can, without demands.

    On the ‘first world problems’ front: I think it all depends how you look at it, and I think you hit the nail on the head with your final comments.  Of course you’re right that everybody suffers, and suffering is all relative.  But when I think to myself “first world problems” … well, that’s not actually what I think.  What I think is, “I’m thinking about what I don’t have.  Instead, let’s think about what I DO have.”  And it quickly becomes clear to me how damn lucky I am, and how much I have to be grateful for and to be happy about.  And hey presto: no more pain!

    Like with the above.  I don’t have a girlfriend anymore.  But that’s a rubbish way to look at it.  Instead: I have dozens of family and friends who all love me.  I have a wonderful flat to live in and a job I enjoy to support myself.  I have a gift for songwriting and about eighteen songs to write between now and July and MAN that’s exciting, because it means people are going to produce my work and I get to do the thing I love above all other things: make musical theatre.  And, maybe, I still have a friend in this girl – but I’ll find that out in due course.

    Hm.  It occurs to me that I needed to write the above more than you needed to read it.  So, thank you.

    And have fun mixing the album – I’m looking forward to it!

    M x

  • http://twitter.com/KindOfMinty Danni C

    I try really hard to make sure that I don’t allow people to tell me I don’t suffer enough, but also not to tell others they don’t suffer enough. It can be hard to remember that everyone has their own bag of shit they have to deal with. Your bag seems bigger and harder because it is yours. No one should ever  try to make people feel like they don’t have the right to feel the way they do. Love the post and the shirt. Buying the shirt now! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carrie-Beattie/706648060 Carrie Beattie

    Amazing! You have made me think (and laugh, and cry) this morning in the most positive of ways. A beautiful blog from a beautiful soul – thank you x 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Clara-Underwood/136700512 Clara Underwood

    Thanks AFP.  I really needed to read that tonight.

  • cateflamingo

    lately i’ve been thinking a lot about . . . kindness. and this blog fits with that.  the kindness of not minimizing other people’s suffering or ranking and grading it. the kindness of two people who so respect one another in their lives  and their work that they give each other elbow room, when they want it.  

    it’s nicer to move among people who treat one another with kindness than people who are cool and jaded.

    so, thanks for being . . . a leader, an exemplar . . . in this respect

  • Abagailgrayce

    I was with my high school boyfriend for nearly 4 years and, collectively, we probably spent less than 4 months actually together…Winter break and summer break. A week here, a week in 6 months. My friends never got it because we were teenagers and, at the age, physical contact feels so vital. But the thing is that, with anyone else I’d been with, I hadn’t known them very well because our hormones were crazy and we were just trying to feel each other up all the time. But, with this guy, we TALKED. There was nothing else we could do. We knew each other inside and out. And then, for that week we were together, our hormones could do whatever. And it was okay because we knew our love was validated by actual connection. And I got to live my life and not have the drama and the teen anguish of boys and all of that shit. Because I had one, 3000 miles away, letting me do my shit until we could afford to meet again. And it sucked at times, but in general it was really nice. For me, at least. He was really clingy so it was a little unbalanced. But anyway. I am a believer in long-distance. It can be really good if it involves the right people.

  • ShannHarm

    I have had one of the shitiest weekends in my life. I hurt someone I care for and I thought I could never survive and move on, but this post has brought me some sort of hope for the future. Move on and learn, move on and learn. Thank you, Amanda.

  • http://twitter.com/raliel robin stevenson

    the thing is….. we only really can ever truly experience the world via the incredibly limited filter of oneself….. all are problems are completely personal and uniques no matter where and what we may be….the gift is to be able to see a spark of unity with another person and at least briefly share our universes….. Empathy is our one real tool for dealing with life….

    love as always

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      Empathy is our one real tool for dealing with life <- this

  • http://nla.gov.au/nla.arc-123161 Darkmatterfanzine

    I love what you say about balance and acceptance.

    :)  ‘Get thee to a nunnery’ is the equivalent of saying ‘fuck off’ – or so I was told.  A nunnery was kinda a brothel.  Correct me if I’m wrong.

  • http://twitter.com/rhiarti Rhiarti

    “i never even really wanted to be an adult. i just desperately wanted to get to the part where people stopped telling me what to do.” That. Whole worlds of that!

    Beautiful post, and so resonant on so many levels. Thank you! (Can’t wait for the new album!)

  • Rebecca

    I think it is even admirable and it makes you special that you don’t need your husbands closeness all the time. I’m afraid I’m a little clingy. My boyfriend lives quite far away and not seeing him three months makes me nearly go insane. I wish I was more independend. Life would be much easier for me… 

    so, reading your blog reminded me that being apart doesn’t mean love just stops. Thank you for that. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matthew-Johnson/1500379497 Matthew Johnson

    *Applauds* Ah an AFP blog entry to start my day, maybe it really is spring….

  • Veronica Grace

    What a wonderful post, and so much of what has been on my own mind lately. Relationships that are fluid are the ones that sustain the need for space and individuality. There’s an ebb and flow to it that allows the time and space that is needed for evolution and healing.
    It is so hard to accept this in society. There’s so much personal strength involved from both individuals and I think very few people can attain it. You and Neil are so wonderful and lucky. Enjoy.

  • http://www.aafkeromeijn.nl/ AR

    Thanks, Amanda. Sometimes I feel judged by people around me saying: how can you be in a relationship like yours? Reading your blogs reassures me: it’s totally ok being in a relationship with another (20 years older) nutty artist, both living in our own houses, both loving our work more than anything in the world, being able to say: sorry, this week I can’t see you, I have to finish this song/novel/opera. It’s the best thing there is. I sometimes can’t believe I found my fellow nutty artist, and I’m so happy for you you found yours.

  • AS

    amanda-in-person embraced life with a passion.
    amanda-on-email-and-phone put up a Don’t Disturb sign.I do that all the time. Real life gets too real for me, I think. Too complicated, too many responsibilities, to much of everything. And I don´t like to be too visible. I don´t want people around me to know me too well. This is why the internet works for me =) One of my best friends exists for me online, I´ve never met her but I get her! And she gets me! In some ways. And that´s enough =)I love how you express yourself. I hope you continue to share =)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=802839635 Nicholas Dalton

    I am really looking forward to the new album and all but I have something unrelated to say.

    Ever since post war trade started to be handled by JSR Direct postage prices have been fucking insane (to australia at least). I often jump on and place an order for four or so items but end up cancelling it when JSR lump on so much postage that the price of my order quite literally doubles.can’t you use someone like Merchnow because I simply can’t afford to be raped by shipping charges like this :(

    • Lisa Moon

      Hear, hear!!
      I’m in Canada so the shipping isn’t too bad… Well it WILL cost 1/2 of one t-shirt to get it here… But I can only really afford to buy one shirt because otherwise I’ll also likely get hit with duty and taxes, doubling the cost of just one shirt.
      Canada isn’t even across an ocean! :/
      Otherwise I have 5 shirts to order for myself and as gifts…
      But when $20 becomes $30… You do the math!

  • http://twitter.com/KaH_was_taken Karina

    i am home from work now and wanted to comment properly

    i’ve been thinking about this blog all day and i am just so thankful you wrote it.  it’s hard enough to go through life’s struggles without people telling you you’re wrong for feeling that way, on top of the guilt you already feel knowing there are people out there who are worse off than you, in different ways.

    no one knows how another person feels, or how deeply they feel it, so telling someone not to feel doesn’t make sense…

    i think i might print this out and stick it up next to my bed. 

    THANK YOU!

  • Karyn Lechowski

    Thank you, thank you, thank you Amander Palmer….. We all have our problems and there are lots of problems, issues and injustices out there in our world… But in saying that you bring a massive spark of light to us. Your posts & especially your latest blog inspires us ( well I can only write for me ) to love ourselves and be a better person. Wishing lots of love to you! Plus can not wait for your new album :)

  • echobird

    I’m trying to relearn how to think of myself, without constantly defining who I am by the ways I’ve failed to meet peoples’ expectations. I’m recovering from serious mental illness that caused me to be hospitalized and then in an in-patient facility. Your words both with the dresden dolls and in your solo work have always touched me greatly, the the phrase about only wanting to be as much in love as possible at any given moment will be a touchstone of my recovery. I want to be in love, with myself, with the world, and with the people in my life. I want that love to fuel my ability to embrace every moment with a passion. Thank you for sharing your personal life in the way you do. Reading this, at this moment, when things are so uncertain and I’m trying to rebuild my life around compassion for myself and others has been more important than I can adequately express. Thank you.
    BTW, I bought the shirt as a statement to anyone in my life who doesn’t like what my living in happiness means.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002357821213 Velo Shitstorm
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=634849623 Kelsey Thomson

    I never want to be an adult, but it has been a month since I ‘officially’ became one.
    All I have realized is that adults don’t have the answers either.
    And the child inside me faded a little.

    • Bart Enkelaar

      Why? Isn’t that amazing? Answers are freaking boring! My inner child flares up in excitement with the thought of all that wonderful unknownedness in the world! Never stop exploring, never stop searching, never stop learning, hurrah!

  • Jeddentad

    if only I could forward part of this to my boss and reference the day he told me, in response to me being upset about not getting paid, i should be grateful I didn’t live in the third world

  • http://twitter.com/hcgray Hannah

    Melbourne already misses your fucking amazing presence. There’s a certain vibe missing from the air; maybe it’s in this blog post. Or something. Either way, whenever you decide to come back to our great city (once you have satisfied the requests of everybody else on the planet), we will welcome y0u back with open arms. And properly roasted coffee. 

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      the coffee in dallas blows compared to melbourne. it really does. sorry, dallas. #firstworldpro….oh wait

  • J Alexis Adam

    I love you Amanda. So happy for you and Neil! Best of luck to you; I cannot WAIT to hear your new album!

  • flipinacoin

    In Dallas!!! I’m in Fort Worth and want to catch a glimpse of AFP even if I dont get to say hi and tell you how effing amazing you are in person! You affect me in ways you cant even know. Someone help, how can I make this happen?

  • http://alwayscoffee.wordpress.com Ali Trotta

    I don’t know where to start, except to say: yes. It’s a beautiful thing that you found that person who gets you — and allows you to be you, without trying to fiddle with you are. That person who not only appreciates you for you, but who encourages you to be exactly who you are, without any hesitation. You both understand each other, and there’s no…constriction, no restrictions, no demanding. You can just be each other, and it’s pretty fucking awesome.

    I like how you carved out your creative space, set things up so you could immerse yourself in recording. That is a cleansing thing; it’s an excellent way to focus. And sometimes, you just need to be apart from things, to do justice to whatever art you’re making. Society, so much of the time, tells us that it’s selfish — but it’s not. It’s staying true to ourselves. Demands can be wearing. Extract, recharge, and return. Perfection.

    And yes — when we start judging other people’s pain? It undercuts the person, the emotions. You can’t weigh pain on a scale. You can’t tally it. Because it’s relative and unique to the individual. I remember, once, bursting into hysterics while carrying in groceries. It wasn’t because the groceries made me sad — or anything like that. But I’d just suffered a huge heartbreak, and I didn’t talk to anyone about it. It snuck up on me, because I was too young to realize that bottling things up like that isn’t wise. Because then you end up sobbing on the floor, next to the milk you dropped. (Oh, the irony…) But the reason I mostly kept it to myself was because of people’s tendency to compare pain. “I got my heart broken.” “So, what? So and so just died.” And then you end up feeling stupid.

    I’m completely rambling, but this struck a chord with me. Thank you for that.

    P.S. I just ordered a “haters exit stage right, pursued by a bear” shirt. SO EXCITED.

  • Juliet DiCaprio

    I love your (?) drawing of Mrs Marcy

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      yes. it’s mine. i doodle.

  • Butt

    I really appreciate what you had to say about how everyone suffers, and how comparing and measuring pain invalidates what somebody’s going through.   It’s hard to find a good ear these days because everyone wants to get into the sport of competitive complaining.  That’s why it’s good to read about it–it reminds me not to do it, either.  Thanks, AFP.

  • Loriannstephens

    You are a fucking artist, Amanda.  And I never curse.  Thanks for this. Really. (And the tshirt rocks. Just bought one.)

  • http://twitter.com/RachaelRossman Rachael Rossman Art

    I hear this topic loud and clear.

    I have a great life: I make art for a living. I have two healthy, gorgeous, smart kids. I have hot, funny, non-clingy husband. But like Mrs. Marcy, sometimes I just want to be left the fuck alone, you know? I shouldn’t feel guilty about it, but I do. P.S. I’d still like to see  that “Neil and Amanda Day of the Dead” painting that I did as a t-shirt!

    • Lisa Moon

      Tshirt sounds awesome! Seconded.

  • http://twitter.com/iallikat alikat

    why not,  indeed ………

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000972907312 Kayla Jones

    that t-shirt is adorable :) can’t wait for the new album , i ll be waiting patiently

  • lucyleaf

    I love you, and I love your neck, Amanda. Kiss.

  • Praeterita1020

    As someone struggling with depression who always wants to invalidate those feelings because things aren’t as bad as they could be, this post spoke to me more than many of your blogs do.  I have an older friend—probably the same age as my mother—whose long-term partner died two years ago.  Before the death of her partner I always looked at this woman as a model of having-it-togetherness; she and her partner were not married and lived apart but had a routine of seeing one another from month to month.  I guess it made me see their relationship as one that validated her independence, because she did not have to be with him all of the time.  But when when he died, she acknowledged just how involved they were in each others’ lives, from planning trips to doing taxes.  This woman is also psychologist, which somehow made me think that surely she did not experience the problems that the people she works with do.  How silly of me to think this way.  It was right around after her partner died that I remember her telling me “Depression is real.”  She did not add much more to it than that, but it really resonated with me.  When someone who you think of as representing self-stability and independence can come out and tell you that sometimes you will get your ass kicked by thoughts and emotions that you did not ask for, but are common to everyone—there is something that makes you own those thoughts and emotions more as states just passing through.  I guess my point is that your mentioning your relationship with Neil and your ideas about suffering in the same post brought out the vulnerability behind the need for independence and distance in our lives.  It is helpful to know that sometimes the barriers we impose upon ourselves can make us more receptive to others.

  • http://twitter.com/tieressie Theresa

    We are all suffering in one way or another.  We all make sacrifices to either work within the structure of our society or to rebel against it.  Either way sacrifices are made and these bring some form of suffering.  This is true of relationships as well.  My husband and I cherish every moment we spend together because we are two extremely busy creative types (musician + artist) whose gigs split us apart more often.  We also have children and there is a little of the mrs. marcy  in both of us, just looking for moments of stillness in the buzz of our daily routines.  But we help each other and support each other and make sacrifices and bitch about them but at the end of the day we have perspective and we know that beneath the stresses and anxieties and suffering that we have done something good and we are grateful for the lives we have built.  (and yes, we built them.)  I guess all this rambling is to say that I relate to you.  I feel these words deeply. And we are not alone.

  • anneagnes

    Wifehood: making it up as we go along. 

    The husband and I are pretty certain all those perfect marriages we heard about back in the 50’s and see today in the suburbs were & are just as unusual on the inside as ours is, because we put up a damn good front to the world. Inside our little circle we’re as weird as we want to be and we love each other; outside we look normal. 

    relatively normal. 

    Ok, he looks normal. I like to pretend people think he’s a guy with a sense of adventure and envy him for marrying someone like me, instead of pitying him and thinking he got tricked when we were younger. 

    So the point is, you spend time appart? S’ cool as long as it’s cool between the two of you. Nobody else’s opinion matters. Military families spend time appart when someone gets deployed. Folks spend time appart for jobs all the time. If your job requires your brain be a certain way, and your brain needs solitude for that, then that’s what it needs.

  • Mary Lonergan

    love this, but would love it more if you had some in women’s Ts….tank top or something.  Cool design!  And…great blog, thank you.  Hard sometimes remember to stand in gratitude.

  • http://aaronjshay.net/ Aaron J Shay

    I’m glad your marriage is faring well. It is an inspiration to all of us artists who are afraid of never finding love that fits our life.

  • Erik J. Avalon

    Thank you for sharing, as they say. I love and hate you, Amanda Palmer. Your work screams to me. Your life makes me a little sad my own became so settled so completely. I do love my partner and our animals, but…its all too comfortable. It puts me to sleep, or rather, into creative-productive hibernation. You inspire me to want to change things again. Not my job or home; that’s my runaway response. No, it’s habits I must change. And I thank you for your ongoing story, which fuels me to rewrite the direction mine is going in.

  • http://twitter.com/ohnovikings ohnovikings

    “because the minute you start measuring suffering, you invalidate somebody’s suffering…and that just never works. that’s where the whole shit starts getting ugly.”  

    THIS. 

  • http://twitter.com/JoeZaynor Joe Zaynor

    Very Nice.  Good luck with the new album.

  • CeciTart

    I have had conversations before, with friends, about how much I appreciate the level at which you and Neil are open about your relationship.  I think part of the reason people find they don’t do well in relationships is because they are taught relationships are one thing.  Just like sexuality, relationships span an entire spectrum of grey, none of them are black and white, nor should they be.  I firmly believe the more people talk about and see for themselves functioning “alternative” relationships the less “one thing” they will become.

    I have a partially open marriage.  Some of my closest friends have completely open marriages/relationships.  And these are the healthiest ones I know, because they have to be built on a base of good honest communication and respect.  Once you have that, the shape your relationships take will be most satisfying for everyone involved.  Society in general though seems so set in the idea that a marriage/relationship is two people in one house everyday.  It just isn’t.  Yes that might work for some people, but that doesn’t mean it has to work for everyone.

    Thank you for saying these things for the world to hear, I think it’s so important that they are said.

  • Jane

    reading this made me realize that I leave places so that I can go back to them. because I love the separation, the distance. I’ve been trying to figure out how to actually say that for years. so thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/wolfkins wolfkins

    This is very refreshing to read, I love the idea of separation from one’s “normalcy” as a wellspring for artistic creation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/williamturvillesculptor William Turville

    Excellent, AFP, excellent.

  • Anthony Milas

    I had an idea occur to me when reading this – what about a law against pain discrimination?  I know its kind of ridiculous… but then, is it really?  We have laws covering every kind of discrimination, you can call someone fat and go to jail.  So why not have one governing the belittling or trivialising of anothers suffering?

  • http://twitter.com/RiotPoofFairy Melanie

    I cried and cried and cried while reading this. I am celebrating my 10th year with a man 16 yrs older than I, I never wanted to be a wife, I never wanted to have kids, and I am Mrs. Marcy in that bathroom….almost everyday! I gave up a lot for my life to be with the love of my life, and I admire your passion for making your artistic lives work. It is inspiring. ~Much Love (P.S. San Fran misses you)

  • Awesomesauce

     

    I enjoyed reading this because it
    reminded me of someone I met once while I was in Santa Cruz,
    California one lazy summer evening hanging out on Front Street. Did
    you ever have a conversation with someone and somewhere after twenty
    minutes of them blathering on about the “futility of futility”,
    or “the dichotomy of being in a dichotomy” almost their
    whole lives, you realize you are staring frighteningly too close into
    the overly-enthusiastically frantic eyes of someone who is,
    unfortunately for you, just another narcissistic
    individual who probably never uttered one real legitimate thought out
    of their mouth’s their entire lives to anybody. And instead of them
    straight-out asking for a dollar for the local bus fare (that they
    really needed so desperately from somebody), or maybe they were simply out of cigarettes, and that they honestly had no idea who they really were in this
    life, or whatever they imagine their life was really about, i.e.
    Where they were going; what the point was to that point they were so
    desperately trying to make. Sadly, they turn out
    be just a handy accumulation of bits and pieces of other people’s
    real conversations overheard at a late night party, rearranged and
    reordered in just the right way to give a momentary fleeting
    impression of thoughtfulness and unique intelligence while they
    linger on holding your hand for a few minutes more. And in the end,
    as it always turns out to be, they only wanted to make you like them
    as much as the last procession of willing audience members, bumped into at random to
    share that accumulation of pseudo-intellectual rehearsed soliloquies
    because they were too scared be their own person, an honest to
    goodness outward admission they are a real human being. Someone to truly find interesting and
    maybe even actually admire. Someone to really take seriously; inside
    and out. Not a peacock made of mostly gorgeous tail-feathers – like
    some scrawny perpetually lonesome flightless bird. And for what? I
    never stuck around long enough to figure that out.  Cheers!

  • Corrieancone

    looking forward to the album!!  & heres to you & your found love!!! all awesomeness..kisses

  • http://twitter.com/Xanthrax_ Xanthea O’Connor

    I will try to explain my feelings as best I can but I’ve just woken up. One of my ears is blocked and my right eye is gummy. I will battle on.

    This blog has made me feel validated…So many times in our lives we are told we are not worthy of our emotions. That we cannot express pain and loss in our lives as other people have lost more and felt more pain…More than that, we are encouraged to be the best at our endeavours an never take second place. If we went through life only expressing emotion when our feelings or our achievements were paramount over all others then we would live such joyless, unfulfilled lives. 

    Humanity is all shades of grey.
    Or something.

    Also, I want more than anything to leave my home town when I finish university but I was dead scared to. This blog is not the answer to my anxiety but has helped me remember that I will still be loved by those who love me the most…and let’s be honest, who gives a shit about the people who forget us? I am believing more and more each year that you only need a handful of true, loving friends. 

    Fuck the critics, I’ll do what makes me happy. 

    Thank you for your insights. Love.

  • Jessica

    When I was a teenager I saw a counsellor for awhile. When I was beating myself up for feeling like crap when there were people worse off than me, she told me that a rich girl whose horse dies will be in just as much pain as someone who  has lost yet another friend to gun violence. Pain is relative to what we know and no one’s pain is greater than another’s. It’s a great lesson to learn.

  • hasnohat

    This reminds me of something else people say about pain, particularly when it comes to teens. “It’s just a phase.” As if that makes the pain somehow less valid. Or when people say “they’ll get over it.” Really? They will? You mean to say that they won’t be unhappy forever? Wow, I never would have guessed! ¬_¬

    The monthly shirt idea sounds cool. Don’t know if you could keep up consumer demand, though.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/34123369@N05/ Celestiteblue

    Thank you so much (for everything), Amanda.  You have a knack for, effectively, writing reminders that I’m not crazy or alone for being the kind of person and artist that I am, inspirations for how I want to live, and revelations that perfectly match what I’ve been thinking lately (in this case, the “simple gratitude” and luckiness).  And the way you write it makes me grin like an idiot, or cry.  Or both.

    And then of course, thank you in advance for making the new music that I’m sure will rock my world like your previous albums have!Thank you ESPECIALLY for writing about that particular combination of needing to be alone to make something big and meaningful, and then being lonely in the studio; of disappearing from your long-distance friends’ lives periodically and of being a fiercely loving friend.  I have only recently admitted to myself that this is a fundamental part of who I am and how I can do what I (need and love to) do, and I still feel guilty or dysfunctional about it sometimes.  It helps to hear it from you.And it would be odd if I said thank you for this, but it still makes me so happy that you happened to marry my favorite writer and the two of you are busy making each other happy.  When I heard, it was like, WHAT?  Oh. Of course.  Hooray! :)  I believe I feel the same way about love that you do, as much as that’s ever possible.

  • bill

    Amanda, thank you. I am lovesick and it hurts like fucking hell. Somehow this helped. 

  • spikesgrl

    It never occurred to me that marriage/long term commitment didn’t necessitate cohabitation. I’m pretty delighted by the world of possibility that has just opened up for me.

  • http://twitter.com/blackadlerqueen champa

    I really loved this post on your blog because it’s makes me feel better about the thoughts we have sometimes and the guilt that always comes along with it.  No one should ever have to feel guilty about having feelings and pain, because we are afraid someone will yell at us to look at other people and their problems and then feel guilty about even considering such a thought as a problem in the first place.  How you feel is how you feel , after all. 

    I think the problem with people who feel guilty is because they want to seem perfect and all knowing in the eyes of the people they want to impress, so that they know that they’ll never have to worry about every single glance or stare they get when discussing their problems. But it’s ridiculous to judge people on how little their problem seems to be. In the end, no matter what we do, people will still scrutinize you with a little glint in the eye that seems like they have a monocle which makes them look smarmy and snooty, making you feel guilty about everything. 
    we should never feel guilty about the way we feel. we should embrace the fact that we can even feel at all.

  • Laura

    Reading what you write makes me happy to be alive. You are just the sort of person that makes me proud to be human on this big fucking ball of dirt!:)

  • charlie

    I understand and mostly agree with the sentiment about the validity of pain, but the fact remains that people who feel the need to express every problem they have just aren’t very pleasant to be around. so, yes, fellow first-worlders, your suffering is valid, but don’t interpret that as a license to “vent” excessively.

  • misfitheartlust

     Amanda, I love you for every inch of effort you put into being you. xoox

  • Simulation Of Mind

    This just meant so much to me right now, particularly the part about the way you operate within love and friendships. I have always been the same way and while I have some amazing friends who don’t mind the fluctuations in my attention, most friendships and all of my relationships have “mostly come out scorched and defeated.” I have been getting a lot of criticism recently for currently being in a drought phase (that somehow the way that I operate makes me a failure as a person), and this really helped to lift me up and remind me that I’m not a bad person for being me. 

  • alex15

    My boyfriend just asked me for some time on his own to deal with the mess of his life…at first it was hard to accept but hell…this helps a lot! thank you so much!

  • Lydia

    You managed to say exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you. x

  • Veronica Grace

    This post has had me thinking and analyzing my life for 24 hours now. So much of what you say is true. When I get into creative mode I tune everyone out except a very particular few- and they are the ones that feed the insane brain bursts that are taking place when I am there. Everyone else gets left by the wayside. I wish I would have realized this about myself at an earlier age as, for the most part, I am Ms Marcy. It’s hard to tune out or walk away from your kids and a husband that doesn’t understand or gets hurt by your need to close him out for a while. To most people it makes no sense at all. It’s painful to know what you need in order for your soul to survive is the exact thing that hurts the people closest to you.
    Thank you so much for writing this and for being you, Amanda. I gain strength from you almost daily.

  • Mòrag

    Thanks for this.  I mean a lot.  My situation is closer to Mrs Macy’s.  You gave me the perspective to step off the insomnia train (that stops off at anxiety on it’s way to depression), accept without judgement, and get back to enjoying the good bits. 

  • Holly Adams

    Just wanted to tell you, my digital download arrived on my birthday and it was the best present ever.

    It’s been one of those weeks where I want to meditate in the bathroom, but I haven’t had a chance. So I am doubly grateful. Thank you.

  • Jillybean

    Hi Amanda,

    Just getting to
    know your music – ‘In My Mind’ moved me to tears. (You can thank your hubby for
    that!)

    Totally agree
    with the freedom thing as well as the roommates thing, issues which have both
    crept up in this conversation.

    I’ve been
    married for 14 years and I am a committed Buddhist – sometimes away for six
    weeks (friends have done three months or longer) on silent retreat, whilst the
    hubby goes on long cycle tours (last year he cycled from Tibet to Kathmandu).
    We would never dream of saying ‘no’ to each other, as to us love really means
    cherishing each other person in a way that makes them happy. But we still
    confess that we miss each other!

    We are both
    busy with other pursuits in our daily lives – he works a day job and goes to
    evening photography meetings, and I am a part-time teacher, budding novelist,
    and attend Buddhist classes so what gets pushed out of the way, much to our
    great annoyance is the boring everyday stuff money stuff, house stuff, etc.
    stuff…and that is what we bicker about!

    We are
    experimenting with holding sometime meetings to discuss these things so they
    don’t get out of hand. We try to make them fun. At the last meeting the scribe
    was the Queen of Hearts. And we are trying to make them happen more regularly
    before they reach critical mass. But everything is an experiment, isn’t it?
    And, for me, it’s something to use to work my mind.

    Thank you for
    the thought provoking thoughts!

     

     

     

    • Lisa Moon

      In My Mind does the same to me. :)

      Instead of crying with a mixture of grief and relief when I hear it, I’m now learning to play it on my ukulele. Did it well the other day and cried *after* – with joy at releasing some of that through music, though not my own, but as something deeply touching.

      “Fuck, yes!” gets me every time: the wonder, joy, *sense of arrival* at one’s life!

      Fuck YES, indeed!

  • Tilley

    once again, Amanda, I feel like you’ve been reading my fucking heart.

    “i never really wanted anything but to be as much in love as possible at any given moment.”

    this is my highest and most sincere desire in life.  this is what I want from a relationship, this is what I am chasing when I perform, when I dance at others’ gigs, when I’m searching for beauty in the crevices of the world and the tired faces of people on a Melbourne train.

    love you.

    Tilley x

  • laineyd7

    I love everything about your observations here, but especially this line “two weird artists, flying in tandem, landing and fueling, flying again.” It’s beautiful. Thank you.

    And I ordered my T-shirt – cannot wait to wear it. Hilarious!

  • babyangel524

    My boyfriend and I have only been together for a little over a year and we have spent the majority of that time 5 and a half hours apart. It was really difficult at the beginning as we were both struggling with self-esteem issues and I at least had codependence issues. We ended up separating for a month, but in the end decided that we would rather have a relationship and miss each other than be completely without one another. We have both gotten much better about communicating and being ok when there isn’t much communication. It’s just a comfort knowing he is out there somewhere thinking of me every once in a while throughout his day. (His little reminders every once in a while help greatly as well.) It also makes us cherish the time we do get to spend with each other so much more.

    I love this blog. It vocalized many of my feelings in ways I couldn’t. Thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/jen_ava Jen Ava

    I have something between one and four months ahead during which my husband and I will be on opposite sides of the world (immigration admin is a bitch), and I’ve been dreading it. Every time we’re separated by yet another visa application I hate it. When I first read your post I had a sudden pang of guilt for being clingy; it’s odd how admiring someone’s music, and often admiring their ethics and stance on issues, means I felt like I should feel the same way. But I don’t; I want both of us home, together.

    We’re perfectly capable of being apart, or doing our own thing even when together, but the point is that when the opportunity is there for us to be together then that’s what we choose to do.

    I’d like to switch my brain over to your way of thinking for this upcoming stretch of time apart, though. Patience is a skill I have difficulty to applying to these tasks.

    When things fall apart badly, do you find yourself wishing Neil was nearby, or being grateful you’ve got your own space to explode/wallow/mope?

  • skeeba

    I’ve been with my partner for a little over three years. We met and lived in the same city, but have spent most of our relationship apart. He is an artist that retreats to The Netherlands to do his artist thing and I also run off to different parts of the world to do mine. We give each other room to grow and flourish and then eventually we meet up again to refuel before we’re jetting off again. I also never felt like a relationship could work for me, because I am someone who is very introverted and needs a lot of space and everyone I’ve known has been incredibly clingy and suffocating. Seeing all the relationships going on around me, I thought they just weren’t for me. The idea of surrendering my own individual identity to merge with someone else’s was terrifying and incredibly undesirable. 

    No one has ever told me that you can be madly in love with someone and want to spend the rest of your life with them, just in separate towns or separate houses. When I read that Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter were married but lived in different houses, my mind was blown. THERE ARE PEOPLE LIKE ME? NO WAY!And likewise, reading about your relationship with Neil has given comfort to my partner and I that we’re not freaks. Well, I take that back. We probably are. But we’ve found there’s nothing wrong with being freaky. ;)

  • mandyoliverio

    everyone hurts…ain’t that the truth!     Thank you so much for this blog. The line that says: ” anyone who says “my pain is bigger than your pain” is speaking from fear. 
    anyone who says “my feelings are more valid than your feelings” isn’t speaking from empathy.” has been incredibly helpful in validating my feelings and making me feel less alone. 
    I am having a school-related crisis on my hands, one that may seem trivial to some, but is devastating to me.  I am  failing classes and hoplessley behind, and  possibly losing financial aid (and without it, I would not be able to afford school). I have been bogged down, stressed out, and in college for close to six years (four of them wasted due to crappy advising) with no end in sight. I have doubts everyday about my future as a schoolteacher (if I can’t keep my own life under control, how am I supposed to deal with a classroom of kids). I am overworked, overstressed, frustrated, and falling apart at the seams. Everyone thinks they are number one priority, and everyone is pulling me in all different directions. I feel like I can’t voice this because I will be seen as lazy and/or crazy, and I’m afraid that it will confirm what I suspect people think about me anyway.  Your blog has helped me to put thing into perspective. It has reminded me that everyone has their own problems, and mine are no less valid. Just because I have problems though, doesn’t mean they won’t get better. Your blog has inspired  me to rethink everything about my job here on earth.   My goal  is to just try to put out as much empathy, compassion and love as I possibly can into the world. I think if everyone tried it, there would be a whole lot less pain in the world.  I think we should all do something nice for someone today, and see how the good feeling that results can help to ease our own pain. 

  • http://twitter.com/AndrewStoryTime Andrew

    Thank you very much for sharing.  It is very refreshing to see such honesty.  All too often people hide behind their words and only share the tiniest sliver of the real them.  In your case this post tells the world “Here I am” with no apologies and I appreciate that and respect the hell out of you for it.

    I’m very happy that you feel the record turned out well.  I’m sure it is going to be amazing.  I look forward to hearing about all the success and praise you will be getting for it.

    I just discovered you on twitter a while back (I’m slowly working on joining the modern age) and I think you are just delightful.  I’ve been a huge fan of your husband for years and seeing the two of you gush at each other over twitter is just lovely.  I’m so happy you guys found each other.  I am an absolute sucker for love and it makes my heart smile every time you interact with each other.

    I basically just wanted to thank you for being you.  I hope only the best for you and Neil and I look forward to interacting with you more in the future.

    May the music in your head always find the page.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Eli-Cordero/1723948778 Eli Cordero

    I hate to be the negative voice in the continuum (or maybe I
    relish it, I’ll decide later) but I really can’t with some of what I just read.
    “Starving people have starving people’s problems, gay people have gay
    people problems, black people have black people problems…” and this is
    totally equivalent to the conflicts privileged cis heterosexual white folks
    engage? Sigh. Yes, very empathetic, Amanda, completely remodeling the proverbial social
    playing field using overgeneralized hypotheticals and reducing everyone’s
    political beef with oppression to a ~personal fixation. I don’t really know how to communicate
    everything that’s wrong with that message (if I tried, I would surely come off
    as vindictive and would be invalidating Amanda’s feelings anyway) so, let me
    just put it this way.

    Anyone who can honestly believe that acknowledging the
    immediate needs of a community which is, for instance, struggling with centuries of
    colonization and (forced) assimilation/cultural negation as being
    greater than the immediate needs of someone who is struggling with feeling
    responsible for nothing apart from themselves and their art is coming from a
    place of fear, clearly has never had to live in fear themselves. (Yes, I found
    that difficult to make sense of, too.) The problem, Amanda, is that ~my pain as,
    let’s say, a queer indigenous youth is not MY pain; I didn’t cause it and I don’t
    own it; it’s a shared pain carried by generations of my people and my
    communities inflicted upon us by a concentrated hierarchical energy via systemic
    marginalization and erasure (not to mention a shitload of internalized hatred). Sorry if that’s not ~personal enough?

    (Also, I really don’t give a shit if you agree with me so I
    really don’t give a fuck if I sound vindictive. I’m certainly not trying to be
    helpful—whatever that means.)

    Good job with the record, though, hope it all goes well. I
    can’t wait to hear it.

    • Empire of the Fun

      Take that chip of your shoulder. It’s weighing you down. You are not your country or its history. Drop the jargon and grow a vagina (not balls): i.e. learn to nurture something other than snark, holier than thou, buzz-worded bullshit. Take a look in the mirror and cast off that dumb mask. Be better.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Eli-Cordero/1723948778 Eli Cordero

        Oh, wow, but like, fuck you.

        I’ll take the chip off my shoulder just as soon as America gets off my land.

        • Au

          Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s ever going to happen. Just like the British will never return the resources they mined from my parents’ country, or from India, or any of their other former colonies, and the ‘lost children’ of Australia will never, ever be truly fully remunerated. The likelihood for massive entities to openly retreat and return is already rare, and then when you add the passage of time…the odds get rather bleak.

          There are certain injustices that I don’t think will ever come right side out, as bitter and hopeless as that makes me feel. So, the question is what then? If not that, then what do you wait or fight for?I know I certainly consider Igbo problems to be *my* ethnic problems (example: Igbo killings and bombings late last year in Jos, Nigeria – a problem if you speak or give your name, and instantly get recognized as an Igbo instead of, say a Hausa/Yoruba/etc.)I’m the type of person who automatically thinks the milk being left out is “my problem” (weaker example, I know)…because it matters to me that money was spent to buy that milk, and that it can still be put to good use, regardless of whether I bought it or not. When something gets under my skin and I try to leave it alone, but it still stays – I guess it becomes ‘my problem.’ I don’t know anyone in their right mind who’d want to *claim* problems; but some of them stick in your craw like they want you to do something, or at least look at them well.

    • nina

      you completely missed the point in what she was saying, and then to top it off, proceeded to make it a competition comparing whose pain is the worst…

    • DuckPuddings

       They are just bullies.  John Trudell was correct.  Here: http://tiny.cc/k66ncw

    • http://twitter.com/FelixMarques Félix Marqués

      If you are going to argue that your suffering is that of generations, then perhaps you should realize that ALL suffering is like that. There is no “new” suffering under the sun, isolated from the web of consequences and reactions that is time. Our pain always comes from repression, from frustration, from violence, from fear, all of them intertwined in complex ways or hidden in disguise.
      Probably Amanda’s suffering (however small or big) is due to things like people’s views on sex and sexual repression, on art, on ego—on unfair opinions, rules and notions of how love/sex/art/one’s-relationship-with-oneself must work. Just like your suffering is due to external views with historical precedents and causes that do not depend on you.

      I am not comparing these types of suffering because that’s entirely beyond the point, which is what this blog points out.

      But your argument is inherently flawed, as you point out that problems like yours are more important because they are part of history, as if everyone else’s problems weren’t a part of how the general mindset has evolved historically. Without even getting on the argument of whether your suffering IS more important, I just want to point out that the one reasoning you offered makes no sense.

      In short: if, as apparently just happened to you, we decide to claim that our suffering is more “serious” and worthy of healing that others’ instead of developing empathy, being able to identify with eachothers’ problems and working towards a common goal (we all seek happiness and fulfillment), then we get nowhere. We act like angry children.

      I can only contribute to this topic with an intelligent statement by Alejandro Jodorowsky: “You are not me. How can you know how long this second of suffering has lasted for me?”

    • Counting_satellites

      THIS.

  • Mr. Magoo

    I am neither married, nor in a relationship, nor an artist. But I liked this lots.
    I am glad my friend told me about Amanda Palmer.

    PS: she (my friend lives far away, and I love her a lot. We can’t be together, so I can wish but her well.  I want the best for her. Truth.
    I see a lot of her in AFP. She is WISE! And AFP is wise, and loving and not afraid to be honest and straight up.  I am glad I read this blogpost today.

    PPS: the idea of cohabitation, of even sharing a bed with a partner/spouse etc, is very modern and abnormal. I read once that marriages where partners sleep in separate rooms last longer. Long distance relationships last longer. Where there is love, it binds a couple. Distance is just distance. The soul remains wedded to the kindred soul. I ancient English societies, marriages were made by “handfasting.” literally a tying of the knot, joining the hausband and wife by a thread. This thread, if it is spiritually spun, cannot be broken. Love remains. Love conquers. Love endures. Love is empathy, caring, and the acceptance that a wife might need a space alone, a husband may need to seek himself not in a martini after-party, but on some cliffside beach, for a long time.

    One of the oldest stories is the Odyssey. Husband, returns to wife.  Love sustained him. And we are all love, even if its flame is dim in us, and pain takes over. Love remains in our actions, gestures and words. Life is love. Let’s love well.

  • Jenn

    Apropo of nothing, I found this 

    http://cdn.theatlantic.com/static/infocus/nenet041112/s_n17_nets5548.jpg 

    and thought she looks like she might be a relative.  

    From this article:
    http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2012/04/the-nenets-of-siberia/100277/ 

  • http://twitter.com/ZoZoRenee VJ Hawk reporting in

    I seem to be on the opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to my relationship. My partner and I have been together for 5 and a half years and I think we’ve only spent a handful of nights away from each other. This isn’t due to any codependency issues but because he’s my best friend and I love spending time with him. I think our relationship works because we  started as friends and became quiet close. We then went to a music festival and I said “Look I like you as a friend and I think we should have sex” because it seemed like the next step in our friendship – casual sex, no strings apart from the friendship ones – and it worked brilliantly for a few months before we both realised that our love for each other as friends had grown into something so much more. Since December 2006 there has not been another man that I could picture loving me with the infinite patience that my Dave has and I don’t think I’ll ever love another human being as much as what I love him. 

    On another note your blog hit home on a lot of levels about having space and being comfortable and secure enough in your relationship to say “I just need some me time and then I’ll get back to we time”

    thankyou for being the amazing person that you are

  • http://twitter.com/dobblers Abbey

    “because the minute you start measuring suffering, you invalidate
    somebody’s suffering…and that just never works. that’s where the whole
    shit starts getting ugly.”

    You don’t know how much I appreciate you putting that into words and putting it out there in the world for me to see and read at a time like this.

    I’ve personally been incredibly depressed for the last 9 months or so and it basically spitballed off of me trying to tell my parents something that they didn’t like and wouldn’t listen to. But I’ve been dealing with depression on and off for about 8 or 9 years so whatever… I just pushed it down and hid it and didn’t deal with it. Finally I just couldn’t take it anymore and I tried to talk to my parents again about the root of my unhappiness – which is basically that I don’t like my life, I want to change it, I want some support in changing it, and part of changing it means not being in this part of the country anymore.

    My dad actually SCREAMED at me to shut up because how dare I say my life is crappy when there are starving kids living homeless on the street, etc, etc. I understand it was a moment when emotions were running high between us and that in some way I hurt his feelings or whatever, but he hurt mine worse by basically telling me that my life is “not that bad”, I “have nothing to be depressed about”, and I should just “get over it already” because hey, I’m so much luckier than most because I have a house to come home to and a job to go to to make money and all that great stuff. Oh I wish I could just get over it all and be happy being here and live vicarious adventures through books and other people on the internet and just smile and go to the shitty job I hate and just “get over it” all, because that would obviously be so much easier.

    I may or may not print out your blog and show it to him. I don’t know. I have no interest in dealing with him right now and rehashing that argument any time soon. But I appreciate that at least you understand that we all have our fucked up issues and problems and they aren’t completely invalid due to our circumstances.

  • http://twitter.com/RAH_HELL Rahel Kladderadatsch

    hi soulmate.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Flor-San-Roman/100000457660010 Flor San Roman

    Well… there’s balancing perspective and there’s living your life.  In living your life you live your trials and tribulations, whether it’s trying to get bars on your cell phone or trying to dodge the rape gangs that got the other women of your village.  In maintaining perspective, problems worse than yours keep your feet on the ground, keep you from being so overwhelmed by a totally solvable (or inconsequential) problem that said problem doesn’t become your whole life.  Yeah, crap coffee or being unable to make a phone call ARE actual problems sometimes, but each instance doesn’t have to follow you around day in and day out.  When they do, when the tetchy little antics of kids or spouses start to irritate, when tech failing us starts to incite tantrums, when rising prices on premium meat and exotic spices bite a bit deeper than before… they stop being first world matters and start being human adult-trying-to-fucking-cope matters.  And then it’s good to take a breather, gather your wits away from all the noise and bullshit, no matter where in the world you are or who ever the  fuck you might be.

    I regularly look at the issue from the perspective of someone who’s a hopeless treehugging hippy.  I can’t help but feel for people in far flung places with problems I will never personally get a feel for.  And it gets so deep in me I end up feeling terribly guilty about the pleasures and luxuries I get to have on a daily basis.  I have a wine fridge (a refrigerator! just for wine!) and when I bought it I went through some serious buyer’s remorse not because of how I should have spent the money on my bills or debt, but wondering if I should rather have given it to charity to feed the poor.  Part of me still thinks I should have.  When I hear about a tragedy on the news I give a sort of moment of silence to bid the fallen farewell and then I feel an emotional dissonance when the news anchors smile and go on to lighter news.  It feels like, in the wake of someone having died how dare anyone smile?  I really get worked up over the luxury of being happy…  I have to forcibly remind myself to live my life because that’s the other side of balancing perspective.  No matter how bad I want to go into war torn countries and just make them fucking STOP, I can’t.

    But I’m not convinced that it’s not a flaw that I can’t hold all of the problems in the world; I can’t reconcile the idea that I’m not a failure for not being able to solve the problems of the world.  If I learned to be content with these shortcomings I wouldn’t try to improve who I am.  It’s not a first world problem to be concerned to the point of distraction over the disasters and horrors of the rest of the world, for me it’s a Flor problem.  And the only thing for it is a Flor solution.

    It’s not a first world problem for you to seek the conditions you need to do your work.  And it’s not a first world problem that those conditions cut you off from the people you love.  Those are Amanda problems and the only thing for them are Amanda solutions.

  • Rachael Vilmar

    1. Reading about the way you and Neil fit together reassures me about my odd relationship dynamic (essentially, I see my boyfriend every other week, because the in-between weeks are devoted to my kindergartener daughter, for whom I share custody). This may be part of the reason things are still exciting between us after a year.

    2. I hesitate to be pedantic, but… aren’t the hater and the bear actually exiting stage left on that shirt?

  • Lauren

    This post is filled with a whole lot of truth.

    This brought up so many interwoven points about “problems” and relationships for me, I don’t even know where to begin.

    On the problems note, I read an op-ed bashing musicians who use kickstarter and crowdsourcing. It’s become pretty controversial in a few short days: http://www.straight.com/article-657206/vancouver/boo-hoo-broke-bands-quit-asking-charity

    Talk about calling out people for having “first world problems.” I have too many thoughts on this to really delve into, but I thought you might have some interest in it, so hopefully you’ll see this.

    On the problems/relationships note, I’ve always “suffered” from being an extremely independent person. Really, I wouldn’t have it any other way, but it’s something that a lot of other people seem to consider a flaw. The conversation goes something like: “Why don’t you NEED people?” “I do need people. I just don’t need them when and how you want or expect me to.” Or something like that. A lot of people seem to be put off by the “free spirit” thing. But the ones who are aren’t are truly rad. Those are the people I fall in love with, whether it be friend love, rock love, sex love, or true love.

    Your description of your relationships really struck a nerve with me. I am also one of those strange creatures who puts up the “do not disturb” sign on occasion. And my boyfriend and I are both touring musicians who often go months without seeing one another. Even when we’re not on the road, work/art time is work/art time and all of our energies are focused on that. Sometimes it really does astound me that we have this understanding, and that it’s so easy, even when it’s hard (if you know what I mean). When I try to maintain all of my relationships and there is work to be done, I get incredibly overwhelmed and distracted and begin to feel stagnant. I totally relate to the “love in the moment” concept. For me, it’s the only way I can function. I just wanted to elaborate on that and let you know that maybe this is more normal than you/I think. We’re both lucky to be surrounded by people who are cool with the ‘pause’ button-type friendship. I think they’re the kind of people who know they are loved even if we aren’t there to reinforce it over and over and make them feel special to us. They just know that they are special to us. And in general, they are probably special people. Because that takes a lot of strength and patience that I don’t think many folks have.

    Lastly, congratulations on the new record. You seem to be very proud of it and that’s such a priceless feeling. I’m very happy for you.

  • Meagan413

    I admit…I say…when I feel depressed and life defeated, “somone out there in this crazy world has it much worse off than I.” Thank you for the wisdom & I am so excited for your new album…In this wonderful world of…as trent may say, “shit”…

  • Kelly Lowe

    I’ve been lurking forever but today I just want to tell you I love you. You make the world brighter.

  • Caitlin Hansen

    I don’t know if you read all these comments or not, but I wanted to say I don’t know how you do it. I’m a big fan of yours, but I had to stop following you on twitter and I only read the blog once every few months and here’s the reason why: it’s exhausting to follow you. Just to read what your doing and keeping up with it all is exhausting. The fact that you do it day in and day out is amazing, and strengthens my love of you. 

    I am a big fan and always will be. Thank you for being such a manic musician and someone with whom we can be exhausted over. Really looking forward to the new album!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1705975289 Jesse D Riehl

    I totally agree. Anytime I tell someone how I feel, all I usually get is 
    “Some people are starving to death/being raped & beaten on a daily basis, you should be thankful you got it so easy”.  To me that’s like saying “Bill Gates has a shitload of money, you should be miserable because you dont.” 
    yeah, there’s alot of people out there that have it  worse, but that don’t mean we don’t have a right to feel pain. 

  • maiamadness

    I ordered that shirt for my boyfriend. :) You know, in a weird way I probably felt closest to him when I was off studying abroad and we only saw each other once a month or so, cause we talked all the time, on Skype and Facebook and e-mail, and now that I’m back home and we’re living together it’s like we never take the time to talk anymore… It’s weird how you can live with someone and sit in the same room and just not talk. I think TV-dinners are destroying our relationship.

    I’m so excited about your new album!! Can’t wait for the Kickstarter. Everything you’ve done so far has inspired me so much, I can’t wait to see what you’ve come up with that might inspire me further. Thank you for making such beautiful things!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1081557519 Adam Hill

    Here’s the thing about first world problems though: the third world has them too. Everyone could get annoyed that one pillow’s too low and two is too high, everyone can get annoyed that their bistro coffee’s over-roasted.
    Every time someone says “first world problems” it’s like a little bit of white saviour complex is peeping out of their mouth.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Janette-Rose-Rathbun/568362125 Janette Rose Rathbun

    anyone who says “my pain is bigger than your pain” is speaking from fear. 
    anyone who says “my feelings are more valid than your feelings” isn’t speaking from empathy.
    One of the greatest quotes ever, dear Amanda. 

  • Isaac

    I ordered a t-shirt on the third of April, and that thing is still “Processing”
    ._.
    Also, I’m really freaking late to comment and, to that end, I apologize.

  • Alexander

    One of my favorite quotes says,

    “If one sets aside time for a business engagement, a trip to the hairdresser, a social engagement, or a shopping expedition, that time is accepted as inviolable. But if one says: I cannot come because that is my hour to be alone, one is considered rude, egotistical or strange. What a commentary on our civilization, when being along is considered suspect; when one has to apologize for it, make excuses, hide the fact that one practices it – like a secret vice!” -Anne Morrow Lindbergh

    I value solitude more than friends, and since solitude won’t ever leave me, I can be rest assured that I’m not making a mistake. 

    As for the suffering bit:

    I COMPLETELY agree with you. You made me so happy to discuss this topic. Everyone is fighting a battle. I’ve always been so confused when people dismiss their problems – or worse, MY problems – because somewhere in Africa a child is starving. All bringing that up accomplishes is making me even MORE depressed than I already am.

    If I want to cry myself to sleep because I’m balding at 20, I’m going to fucking do it. I don’t care if it’s trivial or superficial – the fact of the matter is, I feel inadequate and unhappy, and thinking about AIDS and hunger isn’t going to magically make me feel better.  It’s silly to me that people on the internet automatically think if you’re in a third world country, you must be unhappy. Mexico is a third world country, and I have family down there. They’re poor as dirt, but you bet your sweet as that they’re happy as ever. Money and food don’t make you happy; I don’t know what does. But like you said, suffering is suffering.

  • Loco YaYa

    best description of friendship. ever.

    “my really good, strong deep ones have learned to exist like plants in drought climates. they sometimes go weeks, months, years in some cases, with no rain. then, when it’s time, there’ll be a flood of love and attention. the friendships that can’t survive the pattern…those ones die, i guess, or turn into acquaintanceships. “

  • bostonian

    I find it *extremely* offensive. And ignorant. These statements by one of the most privileged people in the world*** in one feel swoop completely invalidate the expressed angst and demands of the marginalized. Why should anyone listen to them? We all have our pain, right?

    Personally, I grew up starving. Now, I’m rich. Guess what? It’s a hell of a lot easier to be rich, whatever my “problems”. And I am grateful everyday for my new reality. And I label issues “first world problems” because they fucking (to use Amanda’s favorite word) are that.

    It’s not like Amanda is known for her sensitivity, but these comments are just really mouth dropping fucked-up.

    ***Growing up American, upper-middle class, and white to become college-educated and by virtue of her marriage rich puts Amanda in that category.