A little brutal honesty. It’s ugly. If you don’t like ugly, look away.


No, life isn’t just hard. It’s fucking hard. Can we all please just stop and acknowledge that without getting our panties in a twist over the f-bomb? Because if there was ever a time that little gem is appropriate, it’s in this context.

I’m a pretty positive person. I don’t whine a lot, I’m kind to other people, I work hard, I love hard. Just like most of you reading this. None of us are even close to perfect, but we strive, and we strive, and we strive to…

…create a happy environment around us.

…plant the seeds of our dreams – those tiny, delicate seeds – in a field that we then tend without ceasing in hopes of seeing fruit one day.

…help others who need helping.

…cheer for those who are experiencing blessing.

…smile when we feel like scowling.

…pick ourselves up when things don’t go well, ignore our scraped knees and hands, and continue on.

…make lifeΒ better.

But life is fucking hard. It’s an uphill battle that includes setbacks and avalanches with smallish victories tossed in there, you know, just enough to keep a person willing to continue the climb. The mountaintops are few and far between, and I don’t know about you, but it’s been a long time since I’ve seen one.

I don’t often post about my struggles here. I’m not comfortable with that. But right now I’m feeling terribly uncomfortable with the whole paint-on-a-smile-and-pretend-like-you’re-not-exhausted-worn-out-emotionally-drained-financially-strained-desperately-fighting-the-monster-of-vocational-obscurity-and-feelings-of-inadequacy-as-a-parent-and-spouse-and-human-beingΒ thing.

Nothing has really gone wrong in my ordinary, extraordinary life – other than the continual struggle to just be has caughtΒ up with me. I’m tired. My creative well is dry. My capacity to be patient is shrinking. My ability to hope is growing dim.

I know that life is an ebb and flow. I know that on this journey there are beautiful spreading vistas, and dark, deep valleys. I know there are deserts and wilderness, and times when the sun shines and it seems like all the world is right. And I know that whatever cloud is currently overhead will pass, and maybe then I won’t feel so much like curling into the fetal position and sucking my thumb like a frigging infant until kingdom come. And because of the faith that is the bedrock to my life, I know that I am Loved in a way that would drown me in its goodness if I would let it.

My head knows all this stuff. My heart is bruised and wants a break.





50 thoughts on “A little brutal honesty. It’s ugly. If you don’t like ugly, look away.

  1. Kecia Adams says:

    I feel ya, girl. I have an interview today for a “real” job because trying to earn money, real money, bill paying money with my writing has crushed my creativity and damaged my confidence. I know I will get it back but I join you on the bed in that fetal position. Remember it’s ok to be good enough sometimes. Meanwhile we keep on keepin on…

    • Fantasy For the Rest of Us. says:

      “…trying to earn money, real money, bill paying money with my writing has crushed my creativity and damaged my confidence…” << I feel your pain on this, vividly. It's like trying to claw your way up a sheet of ice with nothing but your hands. It's brutal.

      Good luck with your interview, though – I hope it goes well, and that this job is one you can truly enjoy. *hugs*

    • Karen Catalan says:

      …love your brutal honesty…it may be ugly but for an ex-New Yorker, it’s the only way. If they can’t handle it, fuck’em! lol
      Your words moved me for obvious reasons…the creative are always the most passionate, the most emotional, and the most tormented…not always a bad thing, cuz with that comes genius…..and the occasional regression into Sybil…c’est la vie…….

      Yes…I do feel ya….and ditto to you Kecia, minus the interview, but working on it.

  2. Anne says:

    AMEN! A-freakin’-MEN! I am there with you stubbornly climbing what, some days, feel like the same stretch of mountain. 5 year olds. Bless em’!! My life is a mix of bliss and a shortage of patience. Mostly bliss though πŸ™‚
    I blame almost all of this on this eternal winter. Oh and my lack of cupcakes πŸ˜‰

    • Fantasy For the Rest of Us. says:

      I have plenty of bliss in my life, too – just hard to recognize sometimes. And yes – this winter has been BRUTAL. We’re finally beginning to turn green here, and it’s so refreshing.

      Please do something about your lack of cupcakes soon. Cupcakes are like vitamin D for the soul. πŸ™‚

  3. Larissa says:

    Abso-fuckin-lutely! Life can certainly throw its curve balls, and hard! No matter what some may say, we have all been there at some point even if only for a little while! Love you girlie, keep looking up and smiling that beautiful smile! You are loved by more than you even know. You are a fantastic mother, (one I do my best to emulate!), wonderful writer and I see a very pleased and happy hubby! Keep on rockin girl you got this!!!

  4. Amber West says:

    I super feel ya. I also tend to keep it positive and keep personal drama/struggles to myself. But yeah…some days it gets a bit overwhelming.

    Sending you big hugs and happy thoughts.

    • Fantasy For the Rest of Us. says:

      I think the thing about trying to keep everything squeaky clean and positive online and on the facade people in my life see is that I feel so damn FAKE. I have no intention of wallowing like a piggy in mud, but I’m getting to a point in my life where I’m okay with acknowledging that life sometimes bites the big one, and sometimes it means I’m not going to be able to force a smile.

  5. Ginger Calem says:

    Oh (((Honey)))! I do totally get you. Really I do. And it’s so damn hard, when we’re active on social media, to always be happy, helpful, upbeat, positive, content, blissful … when inside, you sometimes feel there is an out-of-control vortex to ‘all things that suck’.

    Love ya … hang in there!

    • Fantasy For the Rest of Us. says:

      EXACTLY, Ginger. Couldn’t have said it better. I think sometimes we put too much pressure on ourselves to portray what we think is the ‘perfect’ life online, for different reasons. We might not want to be ‘that person’ who always gripes. We don’t want to feel embarrassed about not having it all together. There are tons of reasons for doing it.

      Here’s the thing, though. I think we all feel a little bit of relief when we see someone we know and love get real about life, esp. online. I know I’ve had a WAY bigger response here in my comments section than I have in a long time, and that tells me that some are hungry to see their friends/acquaintances throw up their hands and say “LIFE IS MESSY. I’M GOING THROUGH CRAP AND IT’S NOT FUN. MY LIFE ISN’T PERFECT.”

  6. Rhonda Hopkins says:

    Definitely feel ya. I’ve been there. Life is such a struggle and sometimes it just sucks. But then when you reach one of those elusive peaks – it’s so worth it. You’re a beautiful, talented, and kind person. And you deserve more of those peaks. In the meantime, you and all my struggling friends are in my prayers. Hugs and love!

  7. K.B. Owen says:

    Aww, Myndi, I feel ya, hunny. We writer types tend to carry more of this emotional freight to begin with, but it’s so hard for each of us, writer or not.

    As a mom, I thought that things would be better when the toddler days were over, but then there are all the other phases that bring their own set of worries (and I’m a big-time worrier): the school days, the adolescent days, the sulky rebel teenager days, and the legal-adult-but-still-doesn’t-know-shit days. Sigh. And don’t even get me started on my “career” as a writer. With my writing pace, maybe I can keep up with the glaciers melting. Maybe. πŸ˜‰

    Hang in there! Hugs. xo

  8. Jennifer says:

    I feel for you, Myndi. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt, and I still go back more times than I like. Sometimes it’s just hanging on until things ease, sometimes it’s pulling in and focusing on the things of eternal import – family and your sanity, which may not include blogging or meeting deadlines or getting the dishes washed. Sometimes it means putting the toddler in her crib and letting her cry while you put headphones on and hug yourself for a few minutes. πŸ™‚

    You’re strong and amazing and a great mom, and the sun will come out again. We’re with you all the way, with warm thoughts and more hugs, Jen

  9. Pebbles Jacobo says:

    Absolutely. Many times when it seems like things are going well and I start to feeling normal, all hell breaks loose and, well, ruins my feelings of normalcy. Many times the ebb and flow seems to ebb too much and flow not enough.
    I want to raise my fist and cry, ‘Seriously, Lord?!! Now?!’
    Yes, I feel ya, Myn. I feel ya.

  10. Jennifer L. Oliver says:

    I feel ya, Myndi. I TOTALLY feel ya.
    That bleakness you described, that weariness of the same landscape with no gas station in sight – yeah, that’s been my life for longer than I care to admit. Part of it is a constant battle with depression, and part of it is just what you said – life is fucking hard. I get overwhelmed and stressed out really easy. I didn’t used to but things changed. So now I look for anything that will make me smile, laugh and/or give me the warm fuzzies. Sometimes, you just have to look at things and say “Okay, fine. This is how it is right now. I’m gonna take a step back, roll around in all the goodness and positives in my life, and come back when I’m juiced up and ready to kick this crap in the…” You get my point.
    Life is fucking hard, but you aren’t alone, my friend. We can all get through this together. πŸ™‚
    Big Hugs!!

      • Jennifer L. Oliver says:

        That’s so very true. One thing though, you said you sometimes feel fake by always putting out the smiles and upbeat messages. I don’t see you in that light at all. But I do understand where you are coming from, however, I have to add that you never know when those smiles and upbeat messages may touch someone else, right when they need it. Because like you said, it is a universal struggle and every one is facing something. So maybe instead of looking at it like you are “pretending” all is well when it isn’t, see it as a rock you toss in a pond to spread positive ripples across the waters of life. You never know, someone maybe on a boat that just ran out of gas and that little wave can carry them to shore. πŸ™‚

  11. jansenschmidt says:

    Well, I could add to that that life is fucking hard and then you fucking die, but I’m not going to. We’ve all been there, we’ll probably all be there again. We all know what’s coming.

    All I can say is count your blessings for they are many and think of all the bad things you don’t have – like cancer, a dying parent, a severely injured dog, rattlesnakes in your house (that last one was a stretch) and if you do have any of those things, then I’m very, very sorry. You deserve this moment.

    Here’s a cyber hug and a tissue. Now go make some cupcakes and enjoy a glass of wine. Tomorrow is another day.

    Hang in there my friend. And don’t be afraid to ask for help. We’re here for you.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    • Fantasy For the Rest of Us. says:

      “…life is fucking hard and then you fucking die…” <<< ROFL. It's funny, 'cause it's true.

      And this post wasn't at all a pity party about the lack of blessings in my life. I'm so grateful that my family is healthy, that my remaining parent and in-laws are doing well, and that we are, for the time being, rattlesnake free. But even with those blessings, life is hard. The behind-the-scenes life that no one sees except for those closest to me (basically, the Hubster)…they're taxing. None of us are free from trials, but we plug on anyway.

      I so appreciate your kind words, and sage cupcake-laden advice. πŸ™‚

  12. Jess Witkins says:

    It’s kinda like you read my mind. Life IS hard. I’ve been feeling so frustrated and helpless lately with everything going on. Some of the biggest transitions a person can go through are learning a new job, planning a wedding, dealing with a sick family member…and I’m going through them all. My heart doesn’t know what to feel. I’m worried about one thing, so can’t feel joy in another, I feel guilt. Or if you could just have a reason (i.e. person to blame), things might make sense, but they don’t! Both the system and the person are letting you down.

    That probably doesn’t make any sense, but my point is, I’m sooo with you. My blog is named the happiness project?! But it’s a continuous struggle to achieve a kind of balance that allows one to FEEL happiness. I know it’ll all get better eventually, but in the time, it’s tough holding it all in.

    • Fantasy For the Rest of Us. says:

      I’m so, so sorry you’re going through a tough stretch of life, Jess. Sounds like much of your life is oil and water right now – circumstances and situations that weren’t really meant to mix. If we lived closer I’d come over with yummies and an open ear.

      I think the beautiful thing about the Happiness Project is that you’re not demanding Happiness be a 24/7 requirement. Nobody can feel any one way all of the time; and feelings are fickle, anyway. But each of us has Undeniable Truths in our life that can bring us a sort of joy/happiness in our lives, even in the valleys. For me, it’s that I Am Loved. It’s a bedrock truth that, no matter how low I’m feeling, always guides me back toward the sunrise.

      Sending up loads of prayers for you, sweet girl.

  13. alicamckennajohnson says:

    *hugs* been there bought the tee shirt. Yes we all have these moments, and yes we get through them, and yes the suck ass while we’re there. Make sure to take care of yourself, sleep, good food, relaxation time, and know we’re all here for you πŸ™‚

  14. EllieAnn says:

    Life is so FUCKING hard and I don’t understand it all. I don’t understand why, in perfectly amazing happy moments I can still feel depressed. I don’t understand why on sunny days I feel like tacklign the world in a bear hug and on rainy days I can hardly get out of bed. I don’t understand how I can love my kids with my whole being and still yell at them for spilling their drink. I don’ understand how Michael can be my favorite person in the world yet still annoy the crap out of me. Sigh. Love is weird and life is hard. I hear you.

  15. Elen Grey | Deep in B-ville Writing Over the Garage says:

    Shout it, honey! We’ve all been through those times at least once. And/or we’re going to go through those times. Embrace those lovely kids. There is nothing better than their hugs… and the love of a good man. Willie Nelson and his entourage, too. Hang in there. Sending good thoughts and a sprinkle of fairy dust winging your way. You might want to warm that fairy dust up a little bit when it gets there. πŸ˜‰

  16. patriciasands says:

    Sometimes you just have to vent … and that’s a good thing! Life is full of peaks and valleys and it’s hard to stay positive 24/7. As others have said in the comments above, take time to count your blessings … which I know you do … and focus on those. You are blessed. I see it in your smile, hear it in your words, and feel it in the wonderful photos you post on Instagram. Focus on those and keep baking cupcakes. (If you need more encouragement, pause for a moment to consider our relatives living in Syria … that always does it for me.)

  17. TeacherWriter says:

    Hey, you. I’m sorry to hear you’re in a dark valley right now. Here’s my hand, grab it and I’ll help pull you up. I’ve been there so many times, and when I need to cheer up, I hustle on over to this blog and read your posts. They always make me smile. So have a cupcake, have a pity party, and know you’re not alone, friend.

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