we are all frazzled and unruly, you and me. we are desperate and wistful and restless and funny and frayed at the edges. we can worry that we’re doing it all wrong, we can long for central air or true love or a view of the ocean, and that’s just part of the fucking clown show. we can be ingrates and role models, we can be flinchy and heroic, we can be courageous and also melancholy. there is nothing wrong with feeling unsafe and uncertain. there is nothing wrong with addled, misguided parenting, or self-involved rambling. i give you permission, my friend, to continue on this twisted, sweet path of suffering and satisfaction and distraction. i give you my blessing, my partner in failing at everything. i am witness to your grace and your faltering. i give you my undying love, as you struggle and stutter and the sun falls from the sky.
when the earth stops spinning, we will panic. there is no avoiding it. we’ll be crying and shaking, just like that woman at the side of the road, wondering if we did it the right way. we’ll wonder if we failed ourselves, or failed each other, if we were a big disappointment, in the end.
please remember, we were not a disappointment. not at all, not even close. we were gorgeous and strong, you and me. we were terrible and troubled and utterly divine.
– disaster preparedness: a memoir
“ … get up, walk to a plant store, and pick out a plant you really like. take it home and set it by the window, and water it every single morning while you’re waiting for your coffee to be done. you are a regular pretty lady living a regular life, and this is the very beginning of your story. stay open to the world around you. pay attention to people who aren’t bullet-proof brands. give some time to those who make you work a little harder to see them clearly, to let them in. you are raw potential, but you’ll only stay golden if you give up on glory and show the world your true goofy, unwashed, brutal, brilliant, opinionated, vulnerable self. make them work harder for it. and if they’re not offering you the deal you want, be prepared to walk.”
– ask polly 10/30/13
“decide what you want, and then own it without shame. knowing what you want, even if you might never get it, doesn’t make you a loser. owning what you want, and sticking your neck out for it: that’s what separates happy people from unhappy people. standing up for your dreams and politely declining to ‘be cool’ and ‘hang’ and play along with the status quo? these actions are crucial. they shape your whole life.
without them, you are merely a spectator.
as a woman, you will be denigrated for saying what you want. because you have made your desires known, and because those desires might be inconvenient to others, you are a problem. people are very good at shaming desire out of women. this is not a conspiracy. this is social reproduction. these are the natural forces that uphold the status quo …
fuck that noise.
do not let the world shame you out of your true desires. dig deep and decide what you want. then own it. if you can’t do that, then you should expect to be disappointed.”
– ask polly, should i give my commitment-phobic boyfriend an ultimatum?