top of page

The Locked Diary #19: Everything I've Ever Wanted

The final chapter.


I don't know for *sure* if Sharon—my peacoat-wearing Virginia Slim-suckin’ guardian angel drenched in Clinique "Happy"—was right when she predicted I’d physically die if I stayed in New York.

And honestly? I’ll never know for *sure.* Because the morning after Sharon paid me a visit in my old apartment in Cobble Hill—(where the street rats are discreet and the moms have affairs with their lesbian personal trainers)—I skipped town, babe. I booked a one-way ticket to Florida and got the hell out of there.

But that’s not the entire story.

I don’t have time to get into the entire story—so here’s the ~gist~ of it: Remember how I told you, in the last chapter, that I was chock full of this unshakable feeling that something bad was about to happen? But I dismissed the bad feeling, as per usual. Gaslit myself with the same old narrative: you can’t trust your intuition, bitch. Not now. You’re high off heartbreak.

But something bad *did* happen.

A girl died.

A beautiful girl.

I asked her best friend what name to give her in this piece. He told me, just a few weeks ago, over bottles of orange wine and heaping plates of pasta at a divine little bistro in Echo Park, to refer to her as Diva.

“We called each other that,” he sighed into his spaghetti, baby blue eyes lighter and brighter from the wave of tears held hostage in the confines of each socket.

I twisted my fork into the hunk of burrata luxuriously splayed before me. “Diva, it is,” I lilted, my heart cracking open so wide it captured a sliver of the sun. (I’ve yet to release my stolen slice of sunshine—it just feels ~warmer~ in my heart now. And after a seemingly endless internal winter—the heat—it feels…fucking nice, you know?)

See what our beloved mutual friend didn't know—what Diva didn’t know—what *no one* really knows—is that Diva was one of my great muses. And what a ~muse~ she was: A hairstylist with honey-brown extensions as long as Beyonce's to-do list, sad hopeful eyes tender like a fawn, chunky gold hoop earrings hanging heavier than the hurt in her heart.

I saw myself in Diva too. Like me, she was a wild juxtaposition. She lived in the cross-sections of life. The shaky caution-taped territory where wild sensitivity collides with wild vanity. She was the heartbroken tears you'll never see fall down a cheek ‘cause they’re caught in the Venus Flytraps of eyelash extensions. She was a beautiful mess in the throes of a toxic love affair with unabashed generosity. She was sticky honey dripping into things undeserving of her authentic sweetness.

She was always over-extending herself, the kind of girl who takes in giant stray dogs found in dumpsters. Her small studio apartment packed with misunderstood mutts teeming with too much-unfiltered trauma for this filtered world. The kind of pets basic bitches fear because they can't identify the breed.

But dogs and beauty and messiness and false eyelashes and extra virgin hair extensions and over-the-top generosity and sensational empathy aside, what I appreciated the most about Diva was her glitter.

And if there’s anything I’ve learned here on planet Earth, it’s this: being a glittery girl is a crucial ingredient to a magical life. But it also can be the hotel room key that unlocks the iron door to a dangerous life, too. You’ve got to have self-love and radical self-acceptance in droves in order to function healthily as a glittery girl.

Because a lot of people are destabilized by the mere sight of glitter. “It’s so hard to clean” they’ll bitch and moan, pulling their dust-busters out of their pantries, sucking up the essence of what makes you, you. Especially when you're young. If you are sparkly and born into a sparkle-less family that tries to mattify your god-given glow—it's very easy to end up becoming very ashamed of who you are.

I understand. It happened to me and a lot of the women I've loved along the way. The school system tries to diagnose your imagination as some kind of deficit disorder, they attempt to medicate away your daydreams and you just end up thinking something is wrong with *you.* Your world is too small during those pivotal, shape-shifting years to know that one day when you're out in the real world you'll be celebrated for being shiny, that one day you'll find friends who help you understand that the effortless glimmer that shimmers from within is not a mental disorder—it's your superpower—that it's actually your dull-as-a-doorknob hometown that's missing the key.

But feeling like a misfit can follow you into adulthood if you don't have the tools to dismantle the damage of being a sparkly kid. And even if you do end up a grown-up regarded as pretty and talented and popular—you can still feel like a space alien most of the time.

Diva was as pretty as Brittany Spears in '03, was blessed with the talent of transforming dishwater blondes into vibrant bombshells, and was as beloved by the party boys as Edie Sedgwick during her stint as a Warhol superstar.

In fact, Diva reminded me of Edie, my original muse since sixteen.

Diva and Edie—they both had that unique, unaffected charisma rarely embodied by beautiful girls. Like she was the kind of beautiful girl whose smile lit up the room, but she didn’t know that about herself. Most beauties are hyper-aware of their grin’s ability to tamper with the temperature—which makes them so much less powerful than their less-aware cohorts, I think.

Diva was powerful. But she didn’t realize it.

Diva’s sparkle could’ve lit up all the Christmas trees in the world. But she wasn’t aware of her electrical current.

Diva was a rare jewel. But she gave herself to people who can't tell the difference between a rock and a ruby.

Mostly, Diva was magnetic.

But inherent magnetism and a deep-rooted lack of self-worth can cultivate the soil in which energy vampires thrive. From what I gathered, she had a few of those in her life. Greedy and sucking vivaciously off her supply—never replenishing the life force they hungrily took from her. It's only a matter of time before those of us who give and give and give but never get—get sucked completely dry. It's only a matter of time until we've got no blood left to give, we've run out of gas and we don't have enough fuel to move the needle of our own lives.

So we turn to drinking and drugs in hopes to regain enough bravado to get us through the day. But substance-induced bravado isn’t real bravado, it’s fake bravado. And what's fake will always exhaust and deplete you in the end.

The last time I saw Diva she taped 25-inch extensions to my head. She charmed me with witty stories of her haphazard dating life and laughed at all my dumb jokes. I laughed until champagne flew out of my nose—but my cackles were the kind of cackles you release when you're trying to choke down a sob. I guess I could just sense an underlying sadness swelling beneath the surface of humor and hair. Like a storm brewing on a too-calm day—her discontent was palpable. I wanted to ask her if she was OK. If she’d been going to meetings. If she was still sober.

But I didn’t.

I don’t know why.

Maybe I feared that just by acknowledging that despite the pristine window dressing I could see that inside she was not OK—I'd somehow be forced to do the same inventory on myself? And I didn’t want to do that kind of inventory. I wanted to drink white wine and leave with long mermaid hair and pretend that everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.

The night I found out that Diva left this earth I sobbed into the floorboards of my apartment, for hours, all alone.

And then I wrote.

Because I can’t make sense of anything until I write about it. But in my long-winded ramblings, I realized I had completely lost myself over the course of the past two years.

Because I had stopped listening to my muses. To Diva. To all the Divas in all their sparkly, messy, charismatic, reeling-from-betrayal, heartsick-but-gorgeously-alive glory. My purpose is and has always been to write and create art for girls like Diva.

Because I *am* a girl like Diva.

I *know* what it feels like to harbor shame.

I *know* what it feels like to rely on substances because the shame inside of you feels like shards of glass so excruciating you’ll do anything to turn the pain dial down—even though you *know* there is a *solid* chance you could very well die from these pills you've chosen to swallow.

I *know* what it feels like to prefer to live in the pitch-dark blankness of nothingness over the fluorescent blinking lights of last night's regrets.

I *know* what it feels like to have others celebrate your quirks and unique iteration of beauty—but to punish those same qualities in yourself.

I *know* what it feels like to seek validation from people who inherently disapprove of the core of who you are because their disapproval of you matches the disapproval you feel about yourself and you think that maybe if you prove to *them* that you’re a good person, you’ll finally be able to prove it to *yourself.*

I *know* what it feels like to be so starved for affection you’ll settle for subpar sex with a monster who treats your heart and body like yesterday’s dirty laundry.

I *know* what it feels like to long for true love so intensely that you confuse attention for love and end up in a controlling relationship that makes you lose trust in your own ability to care for yourself.

I *know* what it feels like to think peace is just one cosmetic procedure away. To feel like everyone will like you more if you take up less space, so you lose more and more weight to make yourself smaller and weaker because you’re "too much" left to your own devices—and small and weak is what the people want, and we must give the people what they want—right?

I get it. All of it.

And by writing directly for girls like Diva, I healed myself. And based on the feedback I've received, a lot of others too. And isn’t that the whole point? What is the point of art except to heal from it and initiate healing in those that connect to it?

But I lost sight of that.

Because I lost sight of myself.

I lost myself in the friendships I hid behind. I lost myself by abusing my creative gifts and using my precious words to lift the careers of others and never my own. I lost it in the hazy clouds of erratic partying. I lost it swimming in the opportunistic media sea, that was never my kinda water, to begin with. I lost it in the deadness of too many pharmaceuticals. I lost it in the go go go go pace of New York City.

When you can’t even catch your breath—how can you catch your soul before it falls to the ground and splatters across the pavement?

As I grieved the loss of my beloved hairstylist with a heart of pure gold—I decided it was time to make a giant, irrevocable change in my own life. I decided it was time to listen to my guardian angels and my muses.

Because my relationship with my muses—the girls who inspire my work—it’s always been a two-way street. They inspire me to write and make sense of the world around me—in turn, I create content that speaks to them. I’d been ignoring them, you see. I’d been focusing on everyone else besides them.

But mainly, I decided it was high time to listen to myself, again. And bone-deep I knew, that I had to get out of dodge—fast. I was so entangled in a life that was so drastically out of alignment with my purpose if I didn’t make a clean break—I’d just get more and more wrapped up in the cords that kept me stuck there—and eventually, those wires would work their way around my throat. In fact, they were already choking me. I just couldn't feel it because I got so used to living breathlessly.

But suddenly I longed for air. I wanted and *needed* freedom. Space. Distance so I could finally take the long walk back to myself.

I keep calling this column a journey. But really this last chapter is where the journey truly began. It began when I promised Diva, silently through fervent prayer, that I would not let myself slip away. It began when the tears of loss washed away the rubble that had been clouding my view and suddenly I could see clearly again.

It began when the friends I turned to for support that night—ghosted me. Do you know that I was wrought with anger toward them up until a few weeks ago? But now, as I type this out, I realize I've finally released the anger. I feel nothing but gratitude. Their silent ambivalence screamed a very powerful message directly into my ear—one that I ~desperately~ needed to hear: this life is not for you, this life is not for you, this life is not for you.

And the life I was living babe, truthfully, it wasn’t for me. My body knew it before I did. For my body lost the ability to sleep. It ached. It hurt. I had a headache for seventeen months straight. I didn’t listen to my body’s pleas for reprieve, because I didn’t trust my body. Why would I? I’d spent my entire adolescence thinking that hunger pangs were to be ignored, that they weren’t there to signal that I needed sustenance—they were there to sabotage me—render me ugly, unloveable, invisible. When my body recoiled from a boy's touch, I yelled at it: this is what you're supposed to want you dumb asshole. When my body asked me for things like girl touches and food and water and escape—I deprived those desires. Because thy body was thy enemy.

But the body isn't the enemy. The body is home. You’re not going to ever go home if you don’t trust the place that is the foundation for your life. You’re going to disconnect from it. I disconnected from my skin, my bones, my blood, my home.

And the separation I experienced from myself was so unnatural, so destabilizing, and so utterly painful that, like Diva, I did whatever I could to numb myself. For me, it looked like this: Work, pills, wine, workout, work, pills, wine, workout, work, pills, wine, workout.

But feelings—even scary ones like mistrusting your body—can't kill us. It's the things we turn to in order to run away from our feelings that are, ironically, what can wind up killing us. Think about it: working yourself to the bone, popping pills and other drugs, binge drinking, suicide—those coping mechanisms, those things we turn to in order to RUN from our emotions, are often our demise.

But luckily, I got tired of running before running got tired of me.

Diva didn’t have that grace. And what a disgrace to her short masterpiece of a life to not explore this life-saving breakthrough of self-preservation that she gifted me?

It’s been about nine months since the night I found out Diva died. My last night in my beloved city of New York.

I guess what I experienced was a dark night of the soul of sorts. They say a dark night of the soul comes when you’re shedding one identity and a new one is forming, only it hasn’t been born yet, so you don’t know who the hell you are in the great in-between. You can’t see anything, that’s why it’s dark. I had no idea what was going to happen next. I couldn’t quite make sense of how I ended up where I ended up, either. I looked toward the future and saw nothing. But in that opaque darkness, I had no choice but to surrender. Surrending saved my life.

And I sat suspended in the darkness, safely, in Florida for many months. Until little by little, I saw a tiny beam of light blinking and twinkling in the looming distance.

I started, slowly, walking toward the light. By which I mean, I walked away from everything that hurt my body or sent alarms violently sounding off in my gut or made me viscerally uncomfortable and instead, I moved toward the things that felt nothing but warm and safe.

And then one late morning I woke up and realized, while I definitely haven’t rebuilt my life in its entirety, while there are still sprinkles of mess and hurt and pain tossed into the mix—the brightness and beauty beam and glow far greater than anything else.

But mainly the brightness and beauty this go around, they can’t be snuffed out or stolen from me.

Because I discovered them on my own and they're all mine. They aren't anything I sourced from the outer world. They live and radiate from inside of me. And I’ve decided to stick around this life. So long as I'm here, I can access them.

And I’m stepping into this new brand new story knowing that everything I’ve ever wanted I already have. So there’s no need to go looking for anything outside of me, ever again. What makes life worth living resides in my very own home. And by home—I mean my body.

I finally feel excited to write the story of my life again. I'm finally vibrationally ready to live out the words my fingers can't help but write.

I can't wait to share it all with you. And if you're going through anything similar—know you are not alone. Know that sometimes when everything feels like it's falling apart, your life is actually in the process of turning into a beautiful work of art. Know that it's these moments of immense pain that push us into the places we're meant to be in. And if it all feels too much, if you're longing for someone to navigate the sea of change with you: I get it, I'm armed with tools that may help facilitate clarification, and mostly I'm here.

Book a life-coaching session with me.

Learn more about my coaching ethos here:

If you're worried about money email me: We'll figure it out. I love you.



bottom of page