Vacation Wrap Up: Back to Reality

Of course by “back to reality” I mean that I am a rampant bitch again. Like I said in my blogged vacation reports, I felt super nice again when I went to my sweet, home Chicago for a close-to-three-week vacation. It was wonderful. I saw friends. I visited with family. I ate and ate and ate some more (although I lost three pounds on the trip…). And more than anything, I felt good and happy – two things I do not often feel in my daily, misanthropic California life.

I realize now that I attach a lot of my unhappiness to my physical location, and this is mainly because my unhappiness in California stems from things about the area that I just don’t jive with. I’m not fake, high strung, and narcissistic – qualities that I find to be more than I can take at times in my southwestern coastal community. This isn’t to say there are no nice people here (because there are), it’s just a little overwhelming for this tried and true Midwest Girl to be confronted with such a different life perspective that can seem (at times) to be a little shallow and short-sighted.

It also has to do with a lot of other factors. Like the fact that I am a philosopher and there is little intellectualism going on in our community. Leaving graduate school was in that sense probably the worst thing I could have done, for I lost the only community of thinkers in the program that I left behind. And the fact that I am allergic to a lot of California pollens, so am miserable at least three days a week with a stuffy nose and sinus migraines. Lastly, there is that simple fact that my family is so far away from the west coast. I miss them every day and no matter how many things we try to fill my life with to replace them, it just doesn’t change a thing.

So my vacation home was really a vacation to my roots – my own roots, that is. It has been years since I have been able to look at my life and say what I really feel; years since I have been able to acknowledge what is really going on, rather than distracting myself to make peace with an unhealthy situation. Now that I have a little more clarity, I can move to make some positive changes in my own life. Don’t you worry, though, faithful blog followers – I will still be just as misanthropic and bitchy as always. I just won’t have high blood pressure, anxiety, and insomnia to go along with it.

So here are a few of my changes that I am immediately implementing as I get back to reality:

I will no longer be Internet buddies with dysfunctional fuckfaces

That’s right – I dropped the f-faces word. What I’m saying is that I will no longer be Facebook friends, Twitter followers, or LinkedIN connections with people that are assholes. To begin, I’ve deleted all of the people that are in my husband’s circle that have been outright dicks to me. That doesn’t mean that if he wants to go to a family reunion (please, God … NO!) I won’t go – it just means I won’t be letting them into my own personal life when all they do is use that to hurt me. Too many of his friends and/or family have told me I’m “ugly” (yes, one of his friends told me that) or that there was an entire cadre of other things about me they did not like for me to feel OK with having extended relationships with them.

Sadly, this means that Facebook fights with Hello Kitty Toaster will be coming to an end. There is still the possibility I will be running into her and my prick of a brother-in-law in public, but I just cannot allow her to impact me in my personal life anymore. On the day we were leaving Chicago to embark on our cross-country return, she sent me a bitchy Facebook comment and then posted some bullshit on her own Facebook a minute later about how much people like me piss her off. Well good, Hello Kitty Toaster – you piss me off too, so how’s about we stop being Friends?

I will be doing things I enjoy from now on…

…rather than doing things that others tell me I should be enjoying. I am who I am. I like to talk. I like to watch movies. I like to go to museums. I enjoy shopping. I feel empty when not in the city. I like going for drives for no reason other than to look around. And like most Chicagoans, I like to bitch about everything under the sun. This is who I am and anyone that doesn’t like it can go jump.

While I was on vacation, I was so happy to have the opportunity to do some of the things I really enjoy. On one of the last nights in the city in particular, we took a drive into the heart of Chicago to flash some photographs and soak in the place that is so important to who I am. The following day, I visited the Hemingway Museum and the home in which he was born (something that would bore most people I know, but fascinated me beyond belief). In these two things – my nighttime drive through the city and my visit to the museum of my favorite writer – I felt more happy and alive than in as long as I could remember.

I will no longer let others put me down when it comes to my personal character.

Obviously this California versus Chicago issue is a bone of major contention between my husband and myself. Without getting into all the uglier details of our marital discord, I can say without regret that my husband is adamantly opposed to living anywhere other than California, and doing anything other than cultivating his own career in film. Oftentimes, it feels as though I am demonized for wanting something other than the unhappiness we both have for the sake of some vague hope that one day his career will take off. Beyond that, and as is the case with most women, usually I am gaslighted for having feelings.

Because I am the way I am, I regularly feel subjected to a rejection of who I am simply because I am not like most people around me (at my home in California, that is). As an example, today I was driving home from the grocery store and there was a momma duck walking across the street with eight little baby ducks. The street was right outside of our apartment complex, and we live nowhere near any lakes so I have no idea where they came from. Sadly, California is so covered in concrete and developments, finding random wildlife struggling to find a home is common. There were three cars in front of me when I noticed the ducks crossing. The first driver honked, the second driver swerved, and the third driver started screaming at the ducks to get out of the road. This is typical behavior for the area.

Although I didn’t do any of those things. I pulled over when I saw that the baby ducks were having a problem getting onto the sidewalk. I got out of my car and I walked over to help lead them up the ramp portion of the sidewalk. Right as I got back in my car – which was legally parked, I might mention – a fourth car pulled up behind me and screamed out the window “you fucking asshole, you should have let those ducks get creamed.” Really, California? Yes, really.

I know that helping those ducks was the right thing to do. I know that a lot of things I do are the right things to do. I’m not trying to say I’m some moral standard by which others should judge their behavior, I’m just saying that I try to be a good person and I know that when I make choices in that vein I am doing the right thing.

Upon my return from vacation, though, it seems as though a concerted effort has been made by others to make me feel like I am bad or wrong for wanting to be who I am and live life in accordance with what I know is right. I’m not going to tolerate this anymore, though. I will no longer let others put me down when it comes to my personal character.

So I feel like something of an hypocrite. Around New Years I talked shit up and down people’s New Years Resolutions, and these three things feel like resolutions to me. Really they are changes, though – changes that I intend to keep that are matters of personal growth (rather than things I should have been doing all along anyway) and there will be more to come. I’m back to reality, and while that does mean that I am back to being a rampant bitch, it also means I am back to the reality of who I am.


  1. Reasons I Have No Dignity | Heather Christena Schmidt

    […] the intention and last reason is probably depressing. Who cares, I am who I am and remember my post-vacation commitment to myself: I’m not going to let others shame me for being me. One of those things is […]

  2. haileyjw

    That’s right! You show that crazy toaster lady!! Hooray for freedom of personal expression!! xx

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      Hahah!! Thanks so much – I WILL show crazy toaster lady!!

  3. Things About Me That Annoy Even Me | Heather Christena Schmidt

    […] ← Vacation Wrap Up: Back to Reality April 12, 2012 · 12:55 pm ↓ Jump to […]

  4. christenjackson

    It’s great to have you back. I must have missed this post in my feed.
    The only thing I miss about SoCal is the weather and the few friends I had made while there. I agree that the people out there can be a bit bitter and that is hard to deal with on a daily basis. Good for you, cleaning out the negatives nellies! Life is too short to spend on people who don’t love you.

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      I said the other day to my daughter that “life is too short to deal with drama” and despite being eight, she even agreed haha. You are right, getting rid of the negative nellies is a positive thing, something we all need more of. Thanks for reading 🙂

  5. Lorraine Gouland

    On behalf of all ducks and all duck-huggers, I congratulate you on ignoring the tossers and getting on with being a decent human being.
    I’ve watched a few episodes of Desperate Orange Housewives and I have to say I wouldn’t want to visit Orange County without a license to kill – on sight.
    Keep bitching!

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      I WILL keep bitching and those Orange Housewives are ABSURD! Thanks for reading!

  6. Chris Sheridan

    Sounds like you’ve got some very good ideas about making positive changes in your life, and your own perception of you are, your self worth, and your right to be who you really are, without concern for the opinions of those who have no right to judge you. I’m wishing for you the very best of success in your efforts.

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      Thanks so much Chris!!

  7. ghfool

    I love your blog and am respectful of your person…but I’m hoping that being a “rampant bitch” is either a character you are portraying or is a guise for your disdain for L.A. Because it doesn’t seem like you are inherently a “rampant bitch” but that instead it’s your situation that makes you act like one.

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      That’s very sweet of you to say. I believe that the rampant bitch is a situational thing. I’m also very nice to the people around me (letting my bitchiness out on my blog) but am always called a bitch anyway, so who knows…

  8. elroyjones

    I haven’t lived in southern California for 25 years so I can’t really speak on today’s culture. I was unhappy there 25 years ago for some of the same reasons you are unhappy there now. It seems to attract people who are superficial.
    I did meet some really cool people, who shared my opinions, and some unforgettable people, who taught me some things I might not have learned otherwise.

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      I think that living in California has and will continue to be a learning experience that I never would have gotten anywhere but here. And I have met some pretty awesome people as well. While they are few and far between, I fortunately have some really great friends out here. That said, I still hate it and am totally jealous of you because you got out hahah!!

  9. gkorula

    Oh dear, I do feel for you. But pick yourself off, dust yourself down, bash on regardless I say. And get back to doing some sort of course/school. It’s really great to do something for YOU.

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      You are right – it IS really great to do something for YOU!! I will bash on actually 🙂

  10. Frugalistablog

    1) You are super cute
    2) Is that your daughter? She’s just like YOU!
    3) Save the ducks! Good for you!
    4) 3 pounds?? How frick did you do that?
    5) Good job on ditching the fuck faces. I’m jealous, I wish I had the balls to do that.
    Welcome back!

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      HAH!! 🙂
      1) Thanks!! ahahah
      2) Yeppers – like a Mini Me, I know.
      3) Save the ducks is right! I woke up this morning worried about them!!
      4) 3 pounds is easy when you aren’t emotionally eating AND you don’t eat desserts. I am not really a fan of the desserts in the Midwest and even if I were I’m usually too full from the regular food. Less sugar = less poundage!
      5) You should try it. It felt super-liberating… seriously!!

  11. lauriejlong

    Good for you, Heather! I unfriended my entire family because they were assholes who took potshots on FB. I mean, honestly! Right? Glad that you are back, bloggingly, physically, and characteristically. I am going to go find out about Hello Kitty Toaster now. 🙂 XOXO

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      Thanks!! Sometimes I think that Facebook just made it easier for people to bully each other, and for family to spy on each other and create more family drama. Good for you too for taking a stand!!

  12. rich

    soooo – theeeeennnn – why do you live in california?

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      Well sadly, my husband has stated clearly that he will not ever be leaving California and that (despite the fact that he has never tried anything other than here) he will never be happy anywhere but LA. :\ Hahah, such is life.

      1. rich

        aww. it’s sad that he would dismiss it so easily.

      2. Heather Christena Schmidt

        I agree, it is sad but if there is one thing I’ve learned about people is you just can’t change the way they are/think. Thanks so much for your nice and thoughtful comments!!

  13. Finally… Wendy Wanders

    Good for you! Life is too short to be trying to fit into molds of what others think we should be. There’s an old saying that goes something like “F*@k them all but six”… meaning you’ll need them to carry your casket. At this rate I’d probably be hard pressed to find six true friends. You know the kind of friends I mean. The ones that always have your back and yet aren’t afraid to tell you when you’re being an asshole. But you know what? I’ve never been happier!

    I’m glad you had a great vacation and happy that you’ll still be bitching away about the insanity. 🙂

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      I just read a quote recently (and I cannot remember who it was from) that went something like ‘it is better to have a few true friends than many people that barely know your name’ … something like that. I totally agreed with it, though. You are right – life is way too short to spend all your time fitting into the molds of others!

  14. paralaxvu

    Good for you…I’m rooting. One thing, though, you make me feel bad for California, which is where I am now (born in Ohio many many years ago). I moved from Orange County, the #1 place for California arrogance and uppityness as far as I’m concerned, and to San Diego County. The folks here are much more laid back and willing to smile and say hello even to strangers. So all CA isn’t bad. Ya just gotta keep on being who you are. I think it’s terrific!

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      I really like San Diego and if given the choice would probably try it there. I think it is much different than the LA/Orange County-areas. And you are right: you just have to keep being who you are!!

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