The year is 2006. We could go back even further, but we will start here. A very distraught Leslie is in Kokomo Indiana. This is where people go to get pregnant and die. That is all they do there (and meth). But I am there. After living it up In Lafayette for a time, running out of money and with no healthcare, I have tucked tail and returned home. I have two shitty jobs and an even shittier outlook on life, thanks to living back at home with someone I do not mesh with at all.
I am working on myself. Truly. I have re-enrolled in school and am going to get my associates in computer information technology. I am working with a therapist and was surprisingly diagnosed with something that has plagued me my whole life. I got medication for it and it made it easier to return to school.
Life is still hard though. I am in a town I do not want to be in. Small town, small mentality. It sucked the soul out of me. All of my friends wanted to party and drink and I was slowly growing out of that phase in my life. I wanted more. I wanted stores that don’t close early on Sunday evening. I wanted a nightlife that included culture and local music. I wanted the demands to attend church to stop. I. WANTED. MORE.
I ended up spending more and more time by myself. Friday’s were for Chinese takeout and a rental from blockbuster. I’d also get popcorn and a candy if I was feeling extra. I’d work on homework and look for a better job. I’d also play The Sims.
My mother didn’t understand my fascination with The Sims. “Go outside!” she would say. “You can do all of the things you are doing on this game in the real world!” Could I though? Could I really? Is there a way to Ctrl+Alt+C in my life and type in MOTHERLODE and be the recipient of $50,000? If that is the case could someone give me this secret, because mama still got student loans to pay.
Could I then use that cheat code multiple times in order to get the house I want, work whatever career I find interesting, because it doesn’t matter how much I make, I have plenty of money? Could I randomly find a man, eat a bunch of fruit and give birth to twin girls like I wanted?
The Sims was my escape. An escape I so desperately needed in such a trying emotional stage in my life. I would build generations of families and pass down the wealth. Create elaborate houses for them to live in with every whim cared for.
Meanwhile, I was floundering emotionally. For the first time in my life school was going great, I’d found a job that while the pay was still horrible, the pay was better than anything I’d earned. My personal life was in shambles. But two years was all I needed.
I played The Sims. Constantly. I didn’t have much else to do, so this is what I did. I retreated into this world. It may have been a little unhealthy, but it kept me sane. For every verbally abusive instance I endured, The Sims was there. I invented lives, better lives than I ever thought I would get to live. I was happy. My characters were happier than I ever thought I would be.
Two years came and went. I met someone. I graduated, I left a shitty life and even shittier job behind. I moved on to more schooling and a bigger city. Life was great. My Sims playing slacked off a bit. I still grabbed the other itineration of The Sims, because I love the game. It’s no longer an escape for me however. It is just a pure joyous pleasure to play.
It’s 2019. I am in a wonderful job. I have a house of my own. A family that I care very deeply about, and I still play The Sims. This time, I let a Geeky Baby join me on the designing. She is fascinated by the babies. “The baby is crying! Help it!” I don’t really use cheats anymore. I like them to work their way up. The latest family started in a house half built I got on the exchange. She kept doing freelance work until she could afford things for it. She met a guy, got married, had a baby, had twins, and is living her best life with them. They have money, they have things, everyone is pretty much happy.
This is my Sims Story.
EA is not at E3 this year. They had their own thing called EA Play. It was here where they announced a new expansion of The Sims 4, it is called Island Living. It looks like fun. There are mermaids and dolphins involved which is always a plus for me. The island (Sulani) changes based on how you care for it. Knowing me it will be a desolate island with one beautiful but foreboding house in the background. They also teased a magic expansion pack this fall as well as some goodies for Pride, starting June 18th. I can’t wait.
I will probably pick it up and play the expansions with Geeky Baby where she demands I paint everything black. We will fuss back and forth about it, but I will eventually create a house that she can make all of her own. EA, thank you so much for creating a game that provides so much merriment to me. It also provided a light through the darkness of my life at a certain time.
I have a confession, I may be stuck in 2005. Yes back when iPods were a lot bigger, Rhapsody was still a thing, and I spent hours on end listening to a song I didn't know by a band I didn't know on repeat.
That band was Fall Out Boy.
Fast forward to the present and that obsession only grew over time. What still keeps me a Fall Out Boy stan in 2K18?
That's right, ladies and gentleman, the lyrics.
I'm a word nerd, which you probably know by now, since I do the writing thing. But something about someone who can just...word *heart eyes*
Some lyrics just stick with you forever. Let's look at some of the Fall Out Boy lyrics that actually helped me get through some rough times.
"You are what you love, not who loves you"
This lyric was majorly important in a time where I made a decision to distance myself from toxic people for my own mental health. However, toxic people rarely see it this way and use many manipulation tactics to make you feel unlovable. This lyric was my mantra for a good year.
"Put on Your War Paint"
Another long used mantra of mine. When I was nervous or about to walk into a stressful situation, I could just say, "Quinzel, it's time to put on your war paint" and I was ready to go.
"I Don't Just Want To Be A Footnote in Someone Else's Happiness"
While the song is mainly about an extramarital affair, being a footnote in someone else's happiness can apply to many different situations. This lyric was a wake-up call for me and helped me nope out of a lot of one-sided relationships.
"Before It Gets Better The Darkness Gets Bigger The Person That You'd Take A Bullet For Is Behind The Trigger"
As painful as this lyric is, there's something refreshing when your feelings are put into words. When dealing with betrayal of any kind, it can be hard to access your feelings besides hurt and anger. This lyric made me feel less alone.
"May The Bridges That I Burn Light The Way Back Home"
Mmm, yes. Toxic people I have walked away from took it as my Walk of Shame. Quinzel will be back. Quinzel can't survive on her own. She doesn't wanna burn her bridges with us.
Well, guess what, bitches? I got matches.
"I'm A Stitch Away From Making It And And A Scar Away From Falling Apart"
At times I feel simultaneously ok and not ok. I feel like I'm so close to the finish line but I cannot take on another boss fight I'm tired and determined. I'm discouraged but riding on faith all at the same time.
And I can feel not ok and everything still feel ok. Ya know?
So there you have it. Been loving Fall Out Boy for over a decade and quite loving the heck out of the lyrics. Are there any Fall Out Boy lyrics that I didn't list here that healed you? What other lyrics from other bands have healed you? Sound off and leave us a comment
Yeah girl, it was that bad.
In December I had my first very own geeky baby. I wasn’t due until the end of January, but as it were Geeky Baby was ready to enter.
I won't go into the details of the birth, just imagine I was a first-time mom saying "what?" and "holy fuck" a lot.
But I had some bottles purchased, had some onesies and sleepers laid out and a good stock of diapers. I was prepared.
What I was not prepared for was Postpartum Depression.
On the cusp of the Black Panther premiere, I went from enthusiastically talking about this movie for months to feeling like nothing, not even Black Panther, could give me joy.
When most people think of postpartum depression, they recall some pretty awful news stories that I can't bear to repeat. Even the doctor asks you in a dry tone, "have you had thoughts of harming your child?"
Oh? No. I like GB. It was me I didn't like. Since what I had only known about postpartum was from the media, I didn't think I had it because my feelings weren't toward GB, they were toward me.
I felt hopeless. I felt inadequate. I cried for 4 hours a day. I felt like I was the most awful person and couldn't tell you why I thought that but the feeling was strong. I couldn't eat but I just chalked it up to the nausea.
It wasn't until my husband took notice that I was able to get what I needed.
He kinda got a head start. GB was a preemie and spent a few weeks in the NICU, so the nurses pulled him aside and gave him some signs to watch out for. He comforted me and he took the time to make sure I ate. But when he asked me about buying tickets to Black Panther and I just shrugged, he knew something was really wrong.
So why am I telling you this story? Because as Geeky Girls, we know the things we love and give us joy. Mental illness tries to take that away from us. But if we can stay ahead and know when it’s coming, we can win this fight.
Still, I wasn't enthused about leaving the house. I really did not want to go.
So, I'm gonna offer a bit of advice for anyone struggling with any type of depression: Go Anyway.
After leaving the movie theater, I not only had to thank my husband for pushing me to go, but my best friend who paid for my movie tickets and babysat just so I could go. And she isn't even a big comic fan, she just knew it was important to me.
I walked out refreshed and ready to face the day. It would still take time to see a large improvement in my PPD (I'm doing much better now) but that small thing really made a huge leap in my recovery.
So again. Leave your house. Do it. Don't abandon the things you love. It doesn't resolve it completely, but damn it helps.
So, I'd like to know if any of you have dealt with depression, postpartum or otherwise. Leave a comment and tell me about your coping mechanisms, your support people, and your "aha" moments
If you know someone having issues with postpartum depression, here are some helpful links:
I wasn’t going to write about this. But after watching countless videos on Youtube today, and that hard sad ache I felt when I watched her mother be carried down the isle after her funeral, I feel like I must.
I was 10 years old when The Bodyguard came out. I had listened to Whitney Houston’s music before this. I have a memory of being twirled by my mother to ‘I wanna dance with somebody’. I remember trying so hard to belt out the notes just like her. The Bodyguard however, was one of the first tapes I owned that I listened to and enjoyed every single song. I had all the songs memorized, and made my own dance steps up to the songs (in the privacy of my room of course!).
Listening to her music and singing the songs, I believed one day that I could be just like Whitney. Growing up in a small town, and living on the side of town that was predominately white, she gave me an ideal to want to be. She was as dark as I was, with many of my features. You didn’t see that very often.
I missed watching the funeral today. I did see parts in recaps however. I smiled at the memories shared by Kevin Costner and tears ran unbidden down my cheeks for her mother and her family. I winced at Alicia Keys screaming at me.
Whitney Houston gave a fat awkward black girl hope. She showed me you didn’t have to be high yellow or have Caucasian features to make it in this world. You have your talent and your heart. That is all you really need. Some people will argue with me that it didn’t hurt the powerful family and friends she had behind her. No, it didn’t hurt. But you can’t tell me that she was carried by them. She let her voice do the talking.
Now, I don’t sing. Not in public anyway. I have a crippling anxiety when even thinking about singing in public. But thinking of Whitney in high school led me to try out for the choir. And I made it. She is one of many people who showed me a way to be the best person I could be. For that I will be forever grateful.
Good bye Whitney Houston. I hope you found the peace you never seemed to find here on this mortal coil. I hope you look down on this earth and know how much you were loved and treasured.