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It's A New Era Of Protecting Your F*cking Sparkle




When I willingly walked away from my gorgeous marriage and fabulous New York City life of glittery lesbian parties and coveted West Village apartments and glamorous downtown brunches and lunches and dinners—and decided instead to move in with my parents in Florida—I was certain it’d finally happened. I’d lost my marbles.


Why would you sabotage your amazing life? I’d sneer into my mirror, which non-ironically, had the words I DESERVE TO LIVE IN PEACE in all caps, scrawled across its center in blue-red lipstick. What is wrong with you, you self-destructive piece of shit? Once I felt as loserly as a male internet troll I’d pad into my teenage bedroom and trauma nap for a few hours. (Wedged between trauma napping and nighttime wine time was numbing-out-on-work time). 



The moment the sun dimmed I’d skitter downstairs into the kitchen with the nervous excitement of a teenager on her first date, and giddily pour myself a glass of Sauv Blanc. The initial sip would feel like a first kiss after a long and loveless dry spell: hopeful. The second sip would feel like realizing the person you’d just kissed had “LIVE LAUGH LOVE” plaques plastered across their walls: hopeless. 


Nevertheless, I’d continue to chase the dragon, gulping back the dull yellow liquid ‘till I’d drained my glass because, you see, I’m the byproduct of Ellis Island entrepreneurs. It’s not in my blood to give up. 


But no amount of wine could turn the dial down on the question that taunted me like a schoolyard bully: how the hell did I go from being a happily married, critically acclaimed author, writing weekly articles to an engaged audience of 100,000—to writing depressing affirmations on my bathroom mirror, to an audience of none?


But I didn’t know then what I know now. I hadn’t lost my marbles. I was shedding skin. I was becoming something new. 

Shedding skin looks different for everyone—but it’s never graceful. After all, before a new structure can be built, the old one must be demolished. 


Falling apart looks different for everyone, but between you, me, and the family, here are a few of my go-to falling apart antics: crying so much I looked like a mixed martial arts fighter who’s been socked in the face one too many times, sad lipstick affirmations slathered across my mirror, the inability to orgasm even with the vibrator cranked up to electrocution status, and of course the Zara Barrie classic: showing up early to parties chattering on and on about how great I’m doing! with a too-big smile in a too-bright outfit that screams: I destroyed my life in a manic upswing and all I got was this lousy tee-shirt! 


Protect Your F*cking Sparkle is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.


The burn of embarrassment used to set my cheeks ablaze when I’d reflect on the things (and people) I’d done during this graceless season of life. But shame and regret, like skinny jeans and toxic relationships, are a thing of my past, my darling. Because if I hadn’t fallen from grace I would've done something far worse. I would’ve settled. And walking away meant coming head to head with grief.


And to really grieve you have to scream and bitch and thrash around about how unfair life is and weep as many cold, wet mascara tears over all that you’ve lost.


Because grief—like any woman worth her salt—she doesn’t take ~kindly~ to being ignored. If you want to get on the other side of grief you must not avoid her; you must go through her—and it’s not easy. Grief is loud, grief is layered, grief is hard. Somedays it’s going to feel like a fight. And it won’t be pretty. Fighting never is. Fighting is gritty. If I could bestow one precious gem of big sister advice unto all of you right now it’s this: stop trying to be pretty. Pretty won’t get you anywhere. Show up gritty and the world is yours. 


I used to avoid Grief because I was attached to the idea of prettiness back in my 20s and let me tell you: it felt like I was living with shards of glass beneath my skin. This time around I extracted the shard of glass all in one go. I exhausted the grief. I felt all her haphazard feelings, even the ones so excruciating I thought they might kill me (they didn’t). And rainy one morning I woke up and felt notably different. The darkness of losing my old life was still there—yes—but now there was this little beam of brightness glowing from within. It was as if the curtains had been drawn over the windows of my mind for a very long time—and now they’d been cracked open just enough for this stunning sliver of light to pour through me.


The light shined on a fork in the proverbial road.


I realized I was standing at the fork.

I realized I had a choice to make. 

I could go down the path of living in the past. Become one of those sad old eccentrics who slurps back the champagne and slurs to my friends' polite children about how I’d once had it alll honey, for the millionth time. 

Or—

I could rethink

everything. 


Rather than obsess about the demise of my kingdom I could be the chic lesbian architect I’ve always secretly longed to be—and build myself a brand new one. Come to think of it—were kingdoms ever really my thing, to begin with? They’re old and I’m so not the vintage type. I’m a modern bitch. I don’t belong in something as antique as a castle. I belong in a high rise in the motherfucking sky.


So I dreamed and schemed a new life in the humbling confines of my high school bedroom. I feverishly read books, consumed podcasts, and researched on my laptop ‘til my eyes were as dry as the Mojave desert. I ran, I sweat, I fantasized about the future in the shower. Like a true hopeless romantic I had inherent faith that at some point I’d find what I was looking for. And in true love style, what I fell head over heels for looked nothing like I’d expected. 


On a lazy Sunday afternoon, I was listening to a podcast with a witty, intelligent guest, Martha Beck. She was waxing poetic about all the topics that have captured my interest for as long as I can remember: nervous breakdowns, feelings, numbing said feelings, change. 


Turns out this Martha character was not only an NYT best-selling author but a life coach. And she was nothing like the life coaches I’d encountered on Instagram. She wasn’t a yoga bitch in white leggings selling happiness in the form of a fifteen thousand-dollar ten-day manifestation workshop. 


Martha was real and human and pro-breakdown and didn’t believe in shortcuts and her mission wasn’t to change anyone—but to help people shed skin. Peel off the layers of bullshit that block us from listening to our real, essential selves. 


The hairs stood tall on my arms. It’s true what they say. When you know—you know. 


Really? I chuckled. You want to try this life-coach shit? JUST wait ‘till your friends in New York hear about this. 

But here’s the thing—I’d already embarrassed myself. I was living at my parent’s house at 36. I’d burned bridges and acted a fool and wept at every single West Village bar. And guess what? I’d survived. 


Screw it.


 I enrolled in Martha Beck’s life coach training program and by going after this thing—this strange new thing that felt so right to me and only me—I realized I’d shed a crucial layer of my own skin. The layer that gives a shit about what others think. Which meant I was finally free to build a life that lit me up for real.


I’ve since graduated and have a private practice that makes me feel as glimmery as the neon exterior of a nail salon in a Long Island strip mall. Contrary to what cynics (like the old me) might think—getting certified as a life coach is a tough and detailed process. For the first time in ten years—I went months without having time to write new articles. It was excruciating at first because unbeknownst to me I’d developed a nasty little addiction. I wish I could say I was addicted to the craft of writing but that would be a big fat lie. I’d become a junkie for the dopamine high I’d procure after my article had gone live on the internet. But like all drugs, I always felt twice as hollow once the buzz wore off. Once I’d detoxed my brain from the rollercoaster of digital media, it dawned on me: wasn’t my life supposed to be more than chasing the soulless rush of the internet? Wasn’t my writing worth more than chasing the soulless rush of the internet? 

As I stepped into a new version of myself, I knew I’d still write. But I was going to step into a new iteration of writing. No more writing for shock’s sake. No more writing because I don’t want to be alone with my thoughts. No more writing because I need the life raft of validation to survive. 


So all of this has led me to where I am right now: launching a substack. And let me tell you “Protect Your F*cking Sparkle” is going to be on a whole other level than anything I’ve ever done in my three-thousand articles and one-book deep writing career.


Why?


Because while I haven’t lost my desire to share everything with my readership in the most raw, real fashion possible—I’ve gained a thing or two. Things that will only further benefit you. I’m divorced and single in my thirties living in Los Angeles. It’s safe to say: shit didn’t go according to plan. I went through hell. And nothing makes you funnier, wiser, and more creative than going through hell. Everyone knows that. 


Twice a week I’ll be sharing fresh articles with you via substack. My body of work will be all over the map—you’ll get confessionals where I tell you things funny, weird stories about myself, like the time I went off ADHD meds cold-turkey and lost my menstrual cup inside of my own vagina—service-oriented pieces where I’ll be sharing sex and love and style tips—and of course, my signature big-sister advice articles where I’ll introduce you to concepts and tools to help get you through the darkest hours of life. 


So—what is with the ~subscriber~ thing? Well. For now, you can subscribe for free—but if you do have the means—I wholly encourage you to be a paid subscriber.


Protect Your F*cking Sparkle is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.


As most of you know—I pour my entire being into my work and have done so for ten years (mostly) for free.  However, the media landscape has dramatically changed over the years and few writers are making livable wages, even at the most esteemed publications. If we want to continue to consume the kind of art that is original, that has voice and meaning and impact—it’s imperative we support the people creating the art. I know you get it. Be the change you want to see in the world and whatnot. 


That being said; all are welcome here (at least for the next few weeks). 


And together we’re going to not only protect our collective sparkles—but add fuel to the glittery flames! Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned from this journey of walking through the fire it’s this: nothing is more powerful and more beautiful than bad bitches of all ages releasing themselves from the shame game and inviting in the truth.


And there’s only one rule in this coven: we tell the damn truth. 


Please consider becoming a paid subscriber to my Substack!


Book a free consultation with yours truly, here.





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