Foster Kittens

I legitimately think I’ve cried more tears in the last few days than I have in the past six months combined. Nothing is wrong, I just had to say goodbye to my first litter of foster kittens.

I made the decision to foster knowing that saying goodbye is the end goal and with an awareness that it would be hard, but the whole experience has been so much more intense than I was prepared for. This morning I feel hungover despite not drinking last night, and I think it’s just extreme dehydration from sobbing when it was time to send one of the kittens I’d developed a bit of a favoritism for away to his new home yesterday evening. I was a fucking MESS.

Even though they were only with me for three weeks, I got so attached to them. I think when you spend time syringe feeding these tiny little babies and have alarms set every three hours in the night to check on them when they got violently ill with a stomach parasite and you barely sleep anyway because you’re so worried about them, you really develop some kind of deep emotional bond. Having them all get so sick was fucking awful, on my third vet visit with them I broke down in tears at the clinic out of sheer exhaustion and stress and feeling like I was doing everything I could and still failing them.

But ultimately, what I am constantly reminding myself, is that even though it’s so hard for me to say goodbye knowing I’m not going to see them again, they’re going off to an excited new family who are going to love them and give them good lives. All the people who have taken my boys have been so nice and I am confident they’re going to be very well taken care of. The goal is getting them strong and healthy and adopted into good homes and I have achieved that, and despite the emotional rollercoaster leading up to this point I feel happy and proud. It really is one of the most bittersweet things I have ever experienced.

A lot of people have been asking if I’ll do it again. I definitely will. I’ve even put my name down for the emergency foster list, meaning if a litter comes in that immediately needs a home for a few days to save them from euthanasia while looking for a full time foster, I’ve said I will possibly be available to come pick them up at short notice. In hindsight I think perhaps taking on four at once for my first time was a little ambitious and having six cats in my apartment was chaotic, so next time I may just take in two.

I’ve still got one of the kittens with me, he’s found his new home but his adopter is out of town for Christmas so he’ll be staying with me a little longer. Once he’s gone I’ll be getting the maids in to deep clean the living fuck out of my apartment, taking a break for a week, and then I’ll be ready to start chapter two.

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The One That Got Away

While scrolling through my Instagram DMs today I saw a message from a guy that simply said, “Remember me?” And yeah, I did remember him. I remembered in late 2013 when we were hooking up for a while and I really liked him and when I told him that he said “I’m sorry but I’m just not into you like that” and he started dating someone else maybe a week later. I was pretty devastated but I accepted it and moved on. I also remembered when I ran into him at an event I was hosting in early 2015. We were both drunk as hell, he told me he was single again and we wound up back at my apartment. I remember him suddenly bursting into tears while I was in the middle of giving him a blowjob, then sobbing on my couch for a minute about how his ex was a controlling bitch and he made a mistake and should’ve picked me, then getting up and running out the door while I sat there naked and wondering what the fuck just happened. Today, more than three years later, is the first time I’ve heard a word from him since.

Flashback to late 2011. I’d seeing a guy for three or four months, it wasn’t official but we were spending at least a few nights a week together and I had developed very deep feelings for him. One night while out drinking together, he told me several times that he was in love with me, a sentiment he repeated the next morning. Maybe a day later I finally worked up the courage to ask him if we were actually a couple and he told me, “I’m still waiting to find out if my ex wants to get back together, but if she says no then we can give it a shot.” That one GUTTED me, but I refused to be someone’s backup plan so I cut ties with him and he wound up back with the ex anyway. About a year later on a rare Saturday night that I wasn’t working at the strip club for a reason I don’t remember, a work friend text me around 11pm and said, “Guess who’s here.” This guy had shown up alone and asking for me, saying he needed to talk to me. My friend went over to tell him he should leave, and he immediately burst into tears and told her that he fucked up, he made a mistake, he should’ve picked me, and even went as far to ask her if I had left a sweater or something in my locker because “he missed the way I smell”. Despite being repeatedly told I was taking the night off, he apparently sat in the corner of the Crazy Horse alone and miserable until the 5am closing time “just in case Laura comes in late.”

I could keep going with these stories, in my past eight years spent navigating the dating scene as a single woman there’s been so many of them. Today’s message had me wondering, what is it about me that makes so many men incapable of seeing my value until it’s far too late? Why do I feel destined to always be the one that got away but never the one that just got chosen from the start? I’m trapped in a cycle of rejection followed by emotional displays of regret, swimming my way through a seemingly endless stream of men who can’t appreciate me until they’ve lost me.

But then I realised I’m not alone in this and it’s something so many of my girlfriends have experienced, so much so that “They ALWAYS come back” is a common saying among women. I wonder if it stems from the fact that a lot of men never learn to process emotions properly, yet another harmful byproduct of a society that regularly tells men it’s shameful or unmanly to talk about their feelings, or if it’s something else. I truly don’t know.

What I do know is that I’m not someone you get a second chance with once I’ve closed the door and moved on, and most of these guys ended up being something I look at as a bullet dodged anyway. I want to be with someone who wants me from the beginning, someone who looks at me and sees my worth and says “Yes, you’re awesome and I pick you” without having to hurt me first. I think I deserve that. We all do.

Nice Guys Finish Last?

Before this comment section has a chance to turn into angry dudes accusing me of being an angry man-hating feminazi bitch, I want to preface this by saying I do not hate men. In fact, I love men. I genuinely want to help you be better and feel happier and have healthier relationships. With that said…

Yesterday during an Instagram story Q&A I offered to give girl/dating advice to my male followers from my not technically qualified but very experienced view point (I am by no means claiming to be an expert so you can take my advice with a grain of salt, but I am someone who has had more than their fair share of life experience, has dated across multiple countries and has an extensive network of female friends with whom I’ve discussed this kind of thing at length). It’s become one of my highest viewed IG stories in months and generally the feedback I’ve received has been pretty good, but one particular response I gave has left quite a few butthurt guys angrily ranting in my DMs. One person asked me “Why do nice guys finish last?” and I told him that they don’t, and if you think that, chances are you’re not actually as nice as you think you are.

“Nice”. It’s a simple word that has become a complicated figure in modern dating. We are constantly exposed to this tired old narrative, “Nice guys finish last! Girls don’t want to date me because I’m TOO NICE! Why do girls only date assholes? I did EVERYTHING for her and that dumb fucking BITCH dated some good looking asshole instead!” If you’re a guy who subscribes to that school of thought you’re not going to like what I have to say, but let me break it down for you – it’s very, very unlikely that being nice, being actually, genuinely NICE, to a woman, has ever been the reason you got rejected.

Women LOVE men who are nice to them but human emotion and attachment is so deeply complex and varied from person to person that unfortunately “being nice” (which is really just a basic fucking level of respect that you should be giving to everyone) isn’t the only qualifier in sexual and/or romantic attraction. There is no amount of “being nice” that you can do to someone to make them fall in love with you if the feeling simply isn’t there. Are you interesting or funny? Do you have common interests? Are you passionate about the same things? Do you have similar long term goals? And sometimes, even if all that stuff is there, the thing that sparks romantic interest (whatever the hell it is) simply isn’t. I have so many wonderful, nice men in my life whose platonic friendships I cherish but who I have no interest in dating or fucking. That’s just how attraction works.

The thing is, being “nice” to someone does not entitle you to anything. If your only motivation for being nice to a woman is because you expect to be rewarded for it with sex or love, you’re actually not nice at all, you’re selfish and manipulative. If you call a woman a bitch or a slut for not giving you sex after you were “so nice” to her, you’re REALLY not nice, in fact you’re pretty awful. “She told me she wasn’t interested so I drove her to the airport through rush hour traffic like four times and picked up her dog from the vet and delivered her grocery shopping but that bitch still won’t date me!” Ok well stop fucking doing shit for people under false pretenses if you’re expecting to be given a cookie and a blow job in return. Will some women take advantage of “niceness” (aka you being a doormat in the hopes it’ll make them love you) and walk all over you? Sure, some women are shitty people. If that’s the case, don’t fucking let them. Niceness is not transactional – be nice to someone because you want to, not because you want to feel owed something.

In the past, many years ago, I’ll admit I’ve mistakenly applied the term “too nice” to a guy I wasn’t into because “too nice” has become an unfortunate and misleading blanket term used to sugarcoat a number of deeper problems. It’s a term I have made sure to never use again, because being nice is a good thing and this guy being nice wasn’t really what was turning me away; it was him being a total fucking doormat. He agreed with EVERYTHING I said, rarely stated any opinions on anything other than to tell me I was right all the time, never stood up for himself and constantly apologized despite having done nothing wrong, I felt like he had placed me up on some pedestal where I never asked or wanted to be. So sure, this guy was very “nice” to me, but nobody wants to date a weak, boring yes-man with no discernible personality of his own. It’s very likely the only women you will attract acting like that are the ones who will willingly take advantage of it.

When I say I want to date someone who is “nice”, that really just means being kind and respectful and treating me like an EQUAL. It does not mean being a doormat. It does not mean groveling at my feet and agreeing with everything I say and telling me I’m right when I’m wrong. It does not mean being meek or timid or boring or submissive. Conversely, being confident and outgoing doesn’t make someone an asshole. You can be nice AND confident. You can be nice AND strong. You can be nice AND stand up for yourself. You can be nice AND interesting, cool and fun. You can be nice AND good looking (can we please, for the love of god, quit perpetuating the stereotype that average looking people are inherently good and kind, while conventionally attractive people are inherently mean and shitty).

As for the “Girls only like assholes” trope, one of the biggest issues here is that it implies that “assholes” act like assholes from the very beginning which just isn’t the case. Nobody WANTS to be treated badly. The last asshole I dated seemed like a fucking fairytale dream come true in the beginning and it wasn’t until I was already deeply emotional invested that he dropped the “nice” act and started treating me like the asshole he really was. Against the advice of my very frustrated friends I stuck around months longer than I should have, partly because I was desperately clinging on to hope that the bad stuff was just a phase and he’d go back to being the nice, sweet, fun guy he presented himself as at the start (he never did), and partly because he was very good at convincing me that any time he said or did something hurtful it was actually my fault for being too ‘sensitive’ or ‘insecure’.

One of the most interesting things to come out of my Instagram Q&A yesterday was that I was fucking inundated with messages from men who felt stuck in situations with women who treat them like shit – My fiancé is jealous and controlling, my girlfriend won’t let me see my friends, I keep going back to my ex even though she constantly criticizes me, I’m seeing a girl who is cheating on her boyfriend with me but I love her, etc, and yet… we NEVER hear the narrative “Guys only like bitches! Nice girls finish last!!” Getting manipulated by someone you care about who doesn’t treat you well is by no means exclusive to women but for some reason we are the only ones getting routinely guilt-tripped and demonized for it.

If you truly believe “the asshole always gets the girl” then it’s likely a case of you seeing yourself as the hero of your own story; you did everything right, you were nice and polite and maybe picked her up from the club one night when she was drunk so of course it’s only fair that you get the girl, right? But suddenly, in sweeps some other guy and takes what you wanted, what you worked for and thought you deserved, so naturally you’re going to see him as the villain even if he’s just a nice normal dude who hasn’t really done anything wrong other than take something that was never actually yours to begin with. And if they end up fighting and breaking up because he turns out to be an asshole it doesn’t mean she prefers assholes to nice guys, it just means he probably seemed like a nice guy when they met!!!

Believe me when I say that I understand how much it fucking sucks when you really, really like someone, and you feel a connection and you think you two would be so perfect together… and they just don’t feel the same. In my eight years of being single I’ve experienced more romantic rejection than I care to recall, I’ve heard, “You’re so cool and fun but I just don’t like you like that” so many times it could be the title of my autobiography. I get it. It SUCKS. But that’s life, and it’s something you have to learn to handle like an adult. Throwing a pity party about how nice you are is not the move.

Moral of the story, you didn’t get rejected for being nice. Maybe you were boring, maybe you were a doormat, maybe she loves you as a friend but doesn’t feel a romantic connection, or maybe you’re just not her physical type. There are hundreds of possible reasons why someone you liked and were nice to didn’t want to date you but it all boils down to “She just wasn’t into you”. Keep being nice because it’s the right thing to do, but do it authentically and not because you want something in return. The sooner you drop the victim complex and can understand and accept that nobody owes you their emotions or body and you cannot “nice” someone into loving you, the sooner you can start having a better shot at forming genuine connections with women and hopefully find someone who likes you too.

Good luck out there.

Perception VS Reality

I had my first (inevitable) body dysmorphia episode since my surgery the other day. Mentally navigating your way through drastically altering your body as a self-aware BDD sufferer is complex because you really need to reinforce realistic expectations in your mind, while also knowing that nothing about your self perception will ever truly be based in rationality.

My body is weird at the moment, partly because my brain sucks and partly because of the foam pads I have to wear under my compression suit that can temporarily leave lopsided indentations in my sides if I don’t quite put them in the right spot, and I flip flop back and forth between “fuck yes” and “what the hell” like a perpetual game of ping pong. The other day while getting ready to shower, I looked in the mirror and that mean old voice in my head started shrieking, “You look exactly the same as before. Nothing has changed, you’re still huge,” and naturally, I started panicking. Of course, rationally, I KNOW that’s not possible, I KNOW my body looks different now, but in the dark depths of dysmorphic thoughts nothing you know really matters. That voice takes control and all you can do is step away from the mirror and try to distract yourself with something else until it passes. It comes on at will with no distinguishable trigger, hitting you suddenly like a car crash and consuming every part of your being, then as fast as it comes it can vanish just as quickly.

The thing you have to be really fucking conscious of when choosing to undergo a procedure like this is that no amount of cosmetic alteration on the outside is going to kill the demon on the inside. You have to know where the limit is. For me, boob jobs and butt lifts made sense despite the dysmorphia for a multitude of reasons (primarily because my naked body is my livelihood), but there’s been other, more unstable times when I’ve felt an urge to consult to have my jaw shaved down or my nose reconstructed and so far, I do genuinely believe I’ve been able to be in control enough to differentiate between “a thing that will make me feel good and benefit me from a work perspective” and “a thing that is a completely unnecessary modification that would just be bowing down to my mental illness.”

Sometimes I think about writing about my history with this shit, but it started when I was 12 or 13 and there’s just so much. Today, I am fine, so I’m able to write about it objectively and with a clear awareness that unless someone invents a surgery to literally transfer my consciousness into a body that is 5’3 and 105lbs I’m never going to achieve the “small enough” that my brain tells me I need to be. As a rational, intelligent, perceptive person I fucking KNOW damn well my “goal” is unattainable and unrealistic and that any cosmetic surgery I choose to do is a thing to make me feel better, but it will never be a permanent resolution to my lifelong battle against the mirror and my mind. No amount of nipping and tucking is going to free me from the nights where I make up an excuse to bail on a night out with friends because I just felt too fucking fat to wear any of my clothes. The best plastic surgeon on this planet can’t sculpt my body to a place where I won’t get rejected by a boy I like and immediately think, “This wouldn’t have happened if I was skinnier.”

I’m happy with my decision and I’m happy with my results thus far, I don’t want anyone reading this to think otherwise. Above all else, I’m happy that I possess enough self-awareness and clarity to be honest and open about it. I’m excited for my body to heal and feel better and to maybe, hopefully, feel good wearing a pair of jeans for the first time in my life.

Surgery Struggles

I’m starting to realise how much the last month or so has taken a toll on me, both physically and mentally. Early September had me feeling not quite right for a reason I couldn’t put my finger on but had mistakenly attributed to a possible combination of a sinus infection and a depressive episode. Then the extreme tooth pain hit me and I ran to the dentist to find out that my bottom right wisdom tooth was so fucking infected and impacted that it was almost certainly the reason I’d been feeling so shitty, which began a week of pain pills and antibiotics while I waited to get them extracted. Then it was a diet of pudding cups and protein shakes during that recovery period, and almost as soon as I was feeling back to normal it was time to get half my body chopped up and be stuck at home laying on my stomach for what feels like an eternity. All in all it’s been a lot of time spent cooped up in my apartment feeling bored and alone and frustrated and helpless, with the added punch of my income suffering while I’ve not really been in a place to feel sexy enough to shoot photos for weeks.

Last night a friend and I were discussing how surgery really makes it hit home just how fucking single you are. I had a boyfriend who I lived with when I went through my first boob job back in 2010 and god it was so much easier than my two more recent surgeries where I have, for the most part, had to fend for myself. I was left alone for the majority of the first 48 hours after my second boob job in a state where I wasn’t even physically capable of opening my prescription pill bottles and I don’t think I realised how traumatic this actually was til a few days before this recent surgery when I had a full on panic attack meltdown out of fear of the same thing happening again. If you’ve got a partner who is truly, always there for you, don’t take that shit for granted.

This time I’ve been feeling so trapped and isolated that I can actually feel my mental health plummeting. I’ve spent way too much money on lymphatic massage sessions just to have some form of human interaction that isn’t through Twitter. My lower back is so sore from being on my stomach all day and all night that I’m struggling to sleep and my skin is so itchy and irritated from wearing a tight compression suit 23 hours a day that I want to rip it off my body. I haven’t been taking my Vicodin prescription but yesterday at about 6am after spending two hours going back and forth between my bed and the guest bed and rotating between different pillows and blankets trying to find anything that made me comfortable enough to fall asleep I gave up and popped a pill just to knock out for a few hours before I had an actual breakdown. Yesterday afternoon I ended up walking to a local bar to meet up with some other Austin-based Aussies, and then a good friend let me lay across the back seat of her car and took me to one of my favourite country bars for a drink but after being out for an hour or two it felt like someone was stabbing a screwdriver into my stomach and I had to come home.

But the other day, the morning after waking up about five times during the night to pee out what felt like gallons of fluids that my body had been retaining post-surgery, I took off my compression suit to shower and almost burst into tears of happiness when I saw my waistline and new hourglass figure in the mirror. I’m still a long way off from seeing my final result but I cannot believe this is my body now. It’s incredible and overwhelming and makes all the bad shit I’ve been feeling so fucking worth it. Tuesday I’ll finally get my butt pillow and be able to sit in a chair/ride in a car properly so I will have a lot more freedom. On top of all that, my mouth feels brand new and it’s like I’ve had this great pressure released from my jaw that I didn’t even realise was there, I guess it’d just been there for so long.

Back to back surgery has been brutal and I still have a long, annoying road of recovery ahead, but I know I am going to come out of this feeling better than ever before.

Beauty is Pain

(Note: I wasn’t planning on writing this until I was fully healed but I’m five days post op and legitimately feel like I’m going crazy from boredom so here goes)

Cosmetic surgery is a very strange experience. You spend your whole adult life hating a part of your body, poking and pulling and analysing it from different angles every time you step out of the shower and then you decide to change it and suddenly you’re standing naked in the mirror the night before your surgery thinking “This is the last time I’m going to look like this” and you almost feel a sense of loss because wishing it was different has become such a deeply ingrained part of your routine.

This blog is taking me longer than normal to write because I have to keep standing up to take breaks. I’m currently kneeling on a fluffy cushioned ottoman, resting my elbows on a pillow on my kitchen bench while trying to type this out on my Macbook because for the next few weeks, I am unable to sit down in a chair, confined to only kneeling, standing, and laying flat on my stomach. Last Thursday, I went through a procedure known as a Brazilian Butt Lift.

I’m sure a majority of you reading this have no idea what that means, and are picturing something far more dramatic than the reality – in my experience, a lot of men tend to always assume the most extreme cases when hearing about cosmetic procedures. I can’t even keep track of how many times I’ve mentioned lip injections and had a barrage of guys yell “No! Don’t do that! I hate lip injections, they always make you look like a duck!”, not realising that they’ve literally never seen me without lip fillers and the way I have them placed keeps my pout looking full but natural. With that in mind, I feel like many of you have seen the words “butt lift” and are imagining me with some kind of giant Nicki Minaj Kim Kardashain ass.

The BBL is a fat grafting treatment, it doesn’t use implants or any foreign material, it just uses your own body fat. I had my entire torso (stomach, back & sides) plus my inner thighs and flanks liposuctioned and had that fat grafted back on to my hips and ass. To be completely honest, in the beginning I mostly just wanted the fat on my lower stomach removed. Even at my thinnest and fittest, I carried a pouch of fat on my abdomen and around my belly button that just wouldn’t budge, and believe me when I say that I’ve tried everything. That pouch of fat has fucking plagued me for my entire life. But only getting lipo on one small area ran the risk of making my body look uneven, so it made sense to do my whole torso and get the small, snatched waistline I dreamed of. And at that point, like my surgeon said, if you’re gonna take fat out you might as well use it so I decided to fill in the hip dips I’d always been so self-conscious of that I edited them out of every photo, and use the rest to get a little more fullness in my ass.

So here I am, five days post op, feeling relatively miserable but happy that I finally did it. I’m wrapped in an compression garment that I have to wear 23 hours a day, it’s uncomfortable as fuck but the hour a day I take it off to shower and massage my stomach is so much worse. Half of my body is so bruised that it looks like I got trampled by the wildebeest herd that killed Mufasa, and my cats are pissed at me because I can’t risk having them step on the freshly grafted fat so I have to shut them out of the bedroom at night. I’m on two different kinds of nerve pain pills but am avoiding the temptation of the bottle of Vicodin they gave me because that shit makes me feel TOO good and opiate addiction is really not a path I’m trying to go down. And worst of all, I haven’t been able to play Black Ops 4 yet because I can’t sit in my gaming chair.

If you’ve made it this far I just wanna be clear, I do not want you to tell me “You don’t need plastic surgery” because I truly don’t give a fuck what anyone else thinks I do or do not need. I did it because I wanted to. I made the decision many years ago when I got my first boob job to always be open and honest about any cosmetic treatments and procedures I got, big or small, because a) I firmly believe in removing the taboo surrounding it and think if you have the means to change something and feel better about yourself in this meaningless speck of time you have existing on this earth, you should do it, and b) I don’t want other women to look at my body with unrealistic expectations and think that it was anything other than tens of thousands of dollars worth of needles and scalpels and anesthesia and pain that got me here.

At this stage I’m too bruised and swollen to gauge the final result but from what I can see it looks great. I don’t think I’ll fully process the change I’ve made til later, it’ll probably really hit me when I go clothes shopping for the first time or when I do a photo shoot or something. I’d honestly kill someone to be able to just sit in a chair and chill right now but I can’t, so on that note I’m gonna go back to laying flat on the couch with my neck at an awkward angle and continue binge watching That 70s Show for the hundredth time.

Toothaches & Tailgates

I’ve spent the better half of this week moping around my apartment in fucking agony thanks to a suddenly active wisdom tooth. Generally by my age they would have finished with this kind of bullshit but apparently mine are having some kind of late-onset tantrum so I’ve scheduled an appointment to get all four of them pulled out of my head next Thursday, along with taking care of some other dental work that I’ve been putting off thanks to my hypochondriac tendencies. Four of my back teeth are pretty bad from having braces for so long (towards the end of high school we moved for dad’s job and then I went away to college so I changed orthodontists several times and it fucked the whole process up) so for the longest time I’ve been assuming they’re completely ruined and I will need to get all of my teeth pulled out, and thus avoiding actually getting them looked at. Turns out they’re mostly fine, I just need a couple of fillings in them, so I’m doing all that plus a major deep clean in one hit while I’m already knocked the fuck out. It’s horribly expensive, but saves me from having to make multiple visits and I’m looking forward to my mouth feeling nice.

I was attempting to do ‘Sober September’, a thing I did last year and felt somewhat obligated to do again because I truly believe my stubborn commitment to a month of no alcohol was the only reason I didn’t attend the Route 91 festival where the Vegas shooting happened. Any time I do a sober month I’ll try to tell myself it’s for health but really I’m just trying to drop a few pounds. Right now that’s actually not something on my agenda so my motivation kind of slipped and once I was presented with the opportunity to attend my first ever college football tailgate, sobriety went out the window and I was pounding beers in a sea of orange at a UT frat house pondering how much of a massive hoe I would have been had I got to experience American college life as a 21 year old.

Tailgates have many things I enjoy rolled into one – day drinking, sports, the potential to meet cute boys who like day drinking and sports. I think tailgating at UT home games might be my new favourite activity for the next few months. Speaking of boys, I am finding it inexplicably difficult to meet guys in Austin. Everyone bitches about how hard dating is in LA and I moved to Texas with high hopes of things being “different” but lemme tell you, I’ve lived in multiple cities in two different countries and dating fucking sucks EVERYWHERE. Maybe I’m the common denominator and I’m doing something terribly wrong and just don’t know it, but I feel like a lot of people feel the same way as me. Who knows. I’m currently in the pessimistic phase of my emotional cycle: “I’ve given up on the hope of ever finding love so I might as well just find someone hot to have casual sex with” and that’s going poorly. My bar is honestly SO LOW right now (even my therapist said so) and somehow, guys are still managing to fuck it up. It is truly baffling.