Episode 15 Transcript- New Year, Same Queers

Megan: Welcome to Queers Next Door
Leigh: with your hosts Leigh and Megan.

M: We take the topics you care about:
L: sex, relationships, feminism, kink, social justice, and entertainment,
M: and look at them through a queer as fuck lens.
L: Find us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook at Queers Next Door
M: and make sure to follow the blog at queersnextdoor.com.

L: Cheers, queers!

M: Hi Leigh.
L: Hey Megan.
M: Happy New Year!

L: Happy New Year!

M: (laughs) What day is it anyways? Like what even is…
L: Who the fuck knows? It’s January 7th. I have my computer telling me. Should we talk about the journey that we’ve been on today for minute?

M: Yes. Yes we should. Well, first of all, we’ve been meaning to record for what seems like forever.

L: Yeah.
M: But now here we are. And it almost didn’t happen because we just spent, what, two and a half hours figuring out how to record remotely.
L: Yes. because we are, as you know, if you’ve been listening to us, it’s not easy for us to get into the same place at the same time. So we each got these new microphones. We’ve got new headphones. We are ready to go to record from our respective homes, except that we don’t know how to use technology.
M: Yeah. We’re like extremely bad at it.
L: So bad.
M: You wouldn’t think we’ve had a podcast for a year, but… (laughs)
L: No, no. Any time somebody asks me about having a podcast and I want to say things like about it, they’re like, “Oh, could you give me tips?” And I’m, “Well, like not on like the podcast part of it. I don’t now how to do…”
Both: (laugh)


L: So, yeah. So, here we are.
M: So Leigh is in LA somewhere and I’m in Long Beach. So, I moved close to her for like five minutes and then moved back out. So it’s always a struggle.
L: Yeah, that was a real tease.
M: (laughs) It’s always a struggle because of traffic and I got a dog now and just lots of life stuff. So we thought, “Oh, it will be easy. We’ll just get these USB mics and record.” And nope, it’s not easy. But we figured out a temporary solution at least. We’ll see how the audio goes. So hopefully it works. I’m sorry if it doesn’t sound as clear as normal.
L: Yeah, we’ll see. We’ll see what kind of studio magic can be done to
M: We’re doing our best.
L: make it sound okay. We’re doing it! Okay, so Megan, what have you been doing to take care of yourself since we last got together?

M: Well, I’m always talking about my basic white girl shit. Like I got my chihuahua. I have my vape that I’m obsessed with. And to add to that list, I got Uggs. So that, I wear them like every singleday, all day. They are like little miracles on my feet. I love them. And the other thing, like that just brings me so much joy, is that my feet feel so great. And then the other thing is playing The Sims.

L: Amazing.
M: Yep. How about you? What have you been doing to take care of yourself?
L: So, first of all, I’m very jealous of your Ugg wearing because, as should be no surprise to anyone, I’m allergic to wool and I can’t wear Uggs.
M: (laughs) Oh, no.
L: But my daughter has a pair at each of her houses, which is some basic white girl shit
M: (laughs)
L: for a small child. And she is obsessed with them and will not take them off either. So I’m glad that someone can wear them.

M: Yeah.

L: What I have been doing to take care of myself is I got a tarot deck finally for Christmas from my friend. And so I’ve been doing some tarot pulls and thinking about that and reading some more on tarot. So I’m getting into some more like witchy shit in 2020, which feels like a nice way to kind of, I don’t know, connect to something.
M: Yeah.
L: And then the other thing is, I got a pet. Again, back to allergies, I can’t have cats or dogs. My kiddo has been wanting a pet for a really long time. Did a bunch of research to figure it out and now I have a bearded dragon living in my house. And his name is Dragon. He looks like a tiny dinosaur.
M: That’s so cute!
L: He eats crickets. It’s so weird and cool. He pooped on me today so I’m not super psyched about that.
M: (laughs) You have to bring him up to the screen before we’re done so I can see him.
L: Oh my god, I totally will. Now that he’s had his poop for the day, you can see him and I won’t be worried about it. Yeah, it’s, you know, if you are a person who needs a, I would say medium to low maintenance pet… If you’re grossed out about eating like alive insects to something, then probably not your jam. But it’s sort of beautiful because now I also have crickets in my house in a little cricket house. And they sing to me all day and that is strangely soothing.

M: And crickets are good luck. Aren’t they?

L: Suuure? I don’t know. I think so.
M: I always think so. I see them outside and I get excited and I think it means I’m getting good luck.
L: That’s possible. I know ladybugs are good luck. And ladybugs used to be my thing that like always showed up and landed on me. And it’d been a really long time since that had happened. And yesterday I was standing outside and a ladybug just like fell onto my shirt. So I feel like that’s a good sign too.
M: I’ve seen your tarot deck on Instagram and it’s really beautiful. What kind is it? Or what is the name of the deck?
L: Yes, I’d love to shout it out ’cause it’s great. It’s called Modern Witch tarot and the artist is Lisa, I think Lisa Sterle is her name or their name. And yeah, I’m obsessed with the way it looks. It’s really cool. And also shout out to my friend Sarah because she got it for me. And I’ve been wanting a tarot deck for a long time. And I know you’re not really like supposed to get you own, so,
M: Mmmm.
L: which I mean, I don’t know how true that is, but, yeah.

M: I’ve always got my own. Well, some- One person got me one too. I have so many, but I always use the same one, the Raider Waite or whatever one that like

L: Yeah.
M: I always use that one.
L: The traditional.
M: Yeah. But I like yours.
L: That’s what my, I mean, I like the traditional, like I like the pictures, like the art of the traditional one.
M: Mmmm.
L: That’s what my tattoos are. But for outside of that, like, this one’s really cool because they are all, they’re all like women or nonbinary people. And there’s lots of. like. all of the different cards, and there’s lots of people of color and like people in really interesting outfits. And there’s things like modern things thrown in. Like one of them has, like The Hermit has a laptop and things like that.

M: Ohhh, how fun.

L: Yeah! Which sounds like it could be cheesy, but it’s not at all. Like, they’re really beautiful, so, yeah.
M: Well, I’m happy for you ’cause I love the tarot. It always brings me some sort of comfort or peace.
L: Yeah.
M: And it really helps me. I like to journal about it.  I don’t know.
L: Yeah, I’m interested in, like, kind of, going that route. The other thing to, the last thing, is that I had book club last night. I’m in a queer book club and that’s really fun. And I know that we were gonna try to do a book club and we didn’t.
M: Hey, maybe we will in 2020.
L: Maybe we will in 2020. And if anyone wants to be, read along with me in my book club, last month we did The Teahouse Fire, which was really good. And now we’re doing, Call Me By Your Name because no one in the group had read it so seen the movie, so, yeah.

M: Well, those sound like good self-cares. Good job.

L: Thanks!
M: (laughs)
L: So we didn’t do like a specific, kind of, end of year wrap up, but I found this thing on Instagram by – and we’ll post this in the show notes – the person’s name is Silvy Khoucasian, sounds like is how it’s pronounced. And it’s an end of year ritual with like reflections and lessons of 2019. So we thought that we would go through these and also, you know, give you the opportunity to hear them and see if they would be helpful for you and your journaling or your setting intentions for the year. Do you do New Years resolutions Megan?
M: I didn’t this year. Sometimes I do.
L: Yeah.
M: This year I did, I wanted to do like some candle magic stuff on New Years Eve. But I was so tired I ended up going to bed at like 11 and not doing it. But I did do a tarot reading. And I kind of did try to make some, like, bullet points about what I gathered from that reading
L: Mmhm.

M: and like what to focus on for this year. But I didn’t do a specifc reso- I mean, every year it seems like I always say, “Oh, I’m gonna start eating better in January.” Because the holidays are so terrible for me. Like between going to my family’s and then I went to my partner’s family out of town this year and there was just so much eating that I feel like bloated and crappy.

L: Eating is good.
M: That’s always been one of my things. But yeah, because this year I’m trying to retrain my brain, I thought like, “I’m not gonna do that this year.”
L: Awesome.
M: I’m not gonna focus on the eating part. So that is usually my go-to one and I didn’t do that. So I’m just trying to be positive.
L: I’m proud of you. There’s a lot of pressure.
M: Thank you!
L: Yeah.

M: Yeah, it’s hard. And then I posted on my Instagram this thing I saw that was a pretty popular meme that was like “Stay fat 2020.”

L: Yep.
M: It was this really, her body is beautiful, and this girl like sitting in the position that people don’t like their stomach to be in
L: Mmhm.
M: because it shows the rolls.
L: Mmhm.
M: And I was like, I love that! That’s me! That’s how I feel this year, is like, I just, I’m learning to love my body as it is. And to not treat food as like punishment. So, or trying to.
L: That’s amazing! I know how hard that can be. I’ve definitely started the new year that way in the past, where it’s like, you know, bodies do gain weight, especially like as we get, you know, around holidays or as it gets colder and that’s so okay. But yeah, I’d get a lot of negative messages around that when I was younger so it took awhile to get out of that mindset. So, same. I don’t usually do New Years resolutions but I do, like, the marking of a new year

M: Mmhm.

L: and try to do more, like, intention setting. And so, yeah, that’s kind of what this stuff is.
M: Do you want to…
L: Do you want me to start by asking you?
M: Yes! And I was gonna say, we’re in the roaring 20s again.
L: We are!
M: That’s fun.
L: It is!

M: I saw a lot of people who did parties based on the 1920s. That was such a good idea. I didn’t even think about that.

L: That is really cute.
M: But like I said, I’ve been sleeping, or trying to sleep early, so this year I didn’t party at all.
L: Totally. Well, I hung out with my kiddo and watched old episodes of Saturday Night Live because for some reason she really likes that show,
M: Aw, that’s cute.
L: which, yeah. So this is the first year of the last like five, probably, where I didn’t go out. It was kinda nice to just stay home. Okay, so the first one is: what I learned most about myself this year was
M: What I learned most this year about myself was that I still love to move and have the ability to move quite often after a few years of staying in one place. Like my whole life since… Well, because my mom died when I was 18, that kind of forced me into like moving.
L: Mmhm.

M: Or I assume I would have lived with her until I finished college and stuff. I moved like sixteen times in my life. That was before like these last three moves this year. But I thought, “Oh okay. I must be more settled. I’m like, I’m not into that anymore.” But nope. This year I moved like three times in the summer.

L: Yeah.
M: And just based on, of course, like life, things happen in life that you can’t control. But I moved and then moved and then moved again. So, it feels good. I think it’s part of my- I mean, I don’t know if it’s a good thing, but definitely with my PTSD, I have this weird, like, house safety issue. And for some reason, moving feels very freeing to me. And I love getting rid of stuff. And I think I have a hard time getting attached to things because of my mom’s death and because of it happening in her house, and like
L: Yeah.
M: never being able to go back into the house again with the stuff there. By the time I went back it was all gone. So just, that. It really reminded me of that time in my life when I moved so many times. So, I don’t know. My grandparents are always really nervous. They’re like, “You better not buy a house because you move way too much.”
L: (laughs)
M: I’m not ready for that commitment. I like to move. I mean, it’s always been in Southern California but…
L: It’s a good thing to realize about yourself.

M: (laughs)

L: I like that.
M: Not a very deep reflection, but still.
L: I don’t know.
M: (laughs)
L: I like it. I think it makes sense.
M: What about you?
L: What I learned most about myself, I would say that thing I learned is how much I’m capable of doing by myself,

M: Mmhm.

L: which, even saying it that way, like, isn’t fully accurate because I don’t believe that we should have to do a lot of things by ourselves. Like I’m such an advocate for like community and community care and community support. And I’ve had so much of that. But as someone who hasn’t been single since I was 21, I think. The last time that I was single for more than a month. I’ve been reliant I think on core partners or best friends or a spouse, a lot more than, maybe, than I realized or I would have liked. So, just learning that things, I think, in the past that I didn’t think I could do without a person like that, I’m able to do. Even just the silly thing of like, this is the first where I put up my Christmas tree, decorated it, bought all the presents, wrapped all the presents for my kiddo, played Santa Claus, and then went and like bought this like creature and set it up and did it at home. I never would have done those things without a partner or without someone else in the past.
M: Yeah.
L: So, I don’t know. That feels good.
M: That does. I love those independent feelings. I kinda similarly had that with the breakups and moving and, but I didn’t stay not partnered very long.
L: Mmhm.
M: But it’s always nice when you have those, that realization that, “I don’t need anyone. I can do these things.” Because I think we’ve talked about that, feelings of needing to always be connected to someone
L: Yeah.

M: and really putting a lot of identity into relationships outside of ourselves.

L: Mmhm.
M: That’s a good one.
L: Yeah!
M: And shout out to Tosh, Diana, Sam, who does our transcripts, and Peter, for helping me move. That was, when I moved, I forgot to mention that. It was so nice. I don’t think I’ve ever had that many people help me. And I was standing there. It was such a hard thing to move out of my exes’ house and, you know, all that stuff that happens.
L: Oh yeah.
M: I thought, “It’s so nice to have this little queer community behind me and helping me.” And that was, it was so nice. So, yeah. Shout out to them.
L: Aw, yay! Okay, the next one is: one thing I would have liked to differently was
M: (sound of hitting mic) Oh shit.
Both: (laugh)
M: I don’t think I would have done anything differently, honestly, so that’s really hard. Oh, the thing I would have done differently, this is a good one. I wouldn’t have stopped taking my meds.
L: Okay. Yeah. That’s fair.
M: Everything else, even all the hard shit that happened this year, I think turned out okay. And I’m proud of myself for listening to my gut. But what I realized with listening to my gut around my medication and mental health is not the best. So that a real shitshow when I stopped taking my meds for five weeks
L: Yeah.
M: and probably one of the lowest points. I would not do that again. Everyone says don’t do that without a doctor. But of course, me being me, and I know a ton of people feel this, it’s like, “Oh, I won’t be like that. I can do this.” And, yeah, I wouldn’t. That just was five weeks of- Well, the first week wasn’t so bad and then the second, it just got worse and worse. It was just like this kind of misery that was unnecessary.
L: Yeah. I get that.

M: What about you?

L: I mean, I’m similar in that like, everything that happened got me to where I am, those kind of ideas.
M: Mmhm.
L: And I think that, I mean, obviously my breakup was the hardest thing this year. And so I think the one thing, if I could just look at one thing, I don’t think it would have changed it, but I wouldn’t have agreed to my partner, my ex-partner moving in
M: Mmhm.
L: because I think it’s naive and incorrect to believe that if that didn’t happen we wouldn’t have broken up. But I do think that it was a choice that I made more out of fear than anything else. And so that’s the part of it, I wish I would’ve- And when I say fear, I mean like, ironically enough, fear of losing her or fear of not being as important as her life as her other relationships,
M: Mmhm.
L: like things like that. And I didn’t, I don’t blame myself or blame her. We both had a whole lot going on. But I don’t think we took the time to pause and look at what would really look like. And I think when I was still really sick, I just wasn’t capable of being more mindful and intentional about the choices I made. So I think there are things I’ve done and things I’ve said that I wish I hadn’t. But I think I can’t really, y ou know, I don’t know that I could have done differently, unfortunately, with my illness. But I do think that that is a decision that I don’t blame either of us for but I learned a lot from.


L: Yeah. To go on a more positive note: something I feel deeply proud of myself for doing was
M: I feel like this is always my answer but just surviving (laughs) was…
L: Yeah!
M: I’m so proud of myself. This year, being diagnosed Bipolar on top of the PTSD and stuff that I’ve known about, which depression, anxiety, agoraphobia. I don’t think I realized how bad it was
L: Yeah.
M: until being diagnosed and actually being honest with myself. Like, when I stopped the meds and then I realized how bad I felt. There’s so much of my life that’s like based around the trauma of my mom’s murder.
L: Of course.
M: And having lived with that since I was 18, I think I put up with a lot of mental stuff and just think, “Oh, it’s all related to that. Of course I can’t sleep. Of course I can’t leave the house because I’ve been through this really traumatic event.” But then I realize now that it doesn’t have to be that way. This stuff, I’m always gonna be dealing with – Sorry, I burped – that trauma.
Both: (laugh)
M: And I will always have PTSD flashbacks, I’m sure, and that stuff won’t go away. But it was really bad, and I feel bad for the people who had to deal with it. Because it was me not really taking responsibility for my mental health but not realizing that I needed to.
L: Yeah.
M: And I’m just really proud that I am now and that I survived because there’s so many times when it’s like, “Oh, I don’t even want to do this anymore. I don’t want to deal with this for the rest of my life.” But I did and now I feel better again. So hopefully that continues (laughs).
L: I’m so happy to hear that.
M: Thank you.
L: I’m proud of you too.

M: Thank you.

L: Of course. I would say the thing I feel proud of myself for doing is having surgery
M: Mmhm.
L: because, like, it’s not something anyone told me to do or a thing that I had to do. But it was taking, like, an extra step towards, similar to what you said, it is a way of like, you know, managing my mental health in an even better, which was to just say that this is not sustainable anymore.
M: Mmhm.
L: And so I will do a thing that seems big and scary in an effort to change things. And so, yeah.
M: I was proud of you for doing that too. It did seem really scary, you know, you going to the doctors and doing that test that you did and all that stuff. I was like, “Oh my gosh. That is terrifying.” But you did it! And I’m so glad you did and you feel better now.
L: Thank you!

M: (laughs) You’re welcome.

L: It’s still wild. I will continue to say that. I think I still haven’t found the best way to like talk about it and think about it. But yeah, I feel like a person again. I feel like I got my life back in a lot of ways.
M: That’s so amazing!
L: Yeah!
M: I feel like a person too now!
L: Yay! To being people!
Both: (laugh)
(commercial starts)
Person 1: On a night like another other night, we were on vacation from Christmas, so the week between Christmas and New Year’s.
Person 2: My parents were followers of the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, who is was then known as the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, currently known as Osho even though he’s been dead since the `80s.
Megan: And then I heard the noises again and I looked again but this time I could hear footsteps, like someone was definitely coming in.
Person 1: And when I walked into the bedroom I noticed that  Andre’s side of the bedsheets were pulled down, but he wasn’t in the bed.
Person 2: I wouldn’t say we were a doomsday cult per se.
Megan: But when the door opened, it opened like, like from a horror movie. It was like slooow and creaky and then she held the knife over her head.
Person 2: I think when you get to certain point where you’re either putting a tinfoil hat on
Person 1 (overlapping): Each time it got a little bit worse because I stayed and he made me feel like
Dick: Welcome to Being There, the podcast devoted to exploring the extraordinary aspects of everyday people’s lives. I’m Dick.
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L: Okay, the next one is: someone I became more connected to this year was

M: I have two people

L: Okay.
M: because my partner now
L: Sure
M: has been so amaazing, like such a great relationship, even though we’ve already been through so much in the last four months. And I’m so so so like thrilled to have met her. And I always think about that ’cause she’s from Maryland and
L: Mmhm.
M: ended up here in a sober living house. And I think about how much it takes for two people to meet.
L: Yeah.

M: And I’m just always blown away by that, especially people who are not from, you know, around here. So I’m thankful for her and for connecting with her. And it feels like I’ve known her forever.

L: Yeah.
M: And also Tanya, who is one of my best friends, and we stopped talking for like a year or a little bit over a year. I think I talked about this last episode. We called it a mental health break. (laughs)
L: Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
M: But I didn’t know that we would reconnect again. And I’m glad that we did. And it’s a very interesting thing to be so close to someone and then stop and then come back into their lives, so, yeah. Those are my two
L: That’s awesome.
M: that I reconnected with. What about you?
L: I think the awesome part about this question is there’s a lot of people I could say and a lot of this directly came out of both getting better and going through a breakup, which is to like really connect with like my friends in general. I feel like I’ve made more friends this year than I have in a lot of years. I guess, one of the first people I think, is my friend Sarah, who got me the tarot cards ’cause we joke that its still probably our most successful Tinder date,

M: Mmhm.

L: our friendship is. So, you know, we met on Tinder earlier this year, went on a few dates, and, you know, chose to persue a friendship. And it’s been really nice, just like, getting to know a new person who I’m close to without that, like, intense, like, “Oh my gosh. We have to be best friends and talk all the time.”
M: Mmhm.
L: But also with a sense of, like, I’m realizing like, I haven’t even known her for a whole year, and she feels like a very close friend. And so, just being able to have those kind of, like, queer platonic friendships like we talked about last time.
M: Mmhm.
L: That’s been really nice. And there’s plenty more that I can think of and so I like that that’s just been something that’s actually felt pretty easy the last year.
M: And she’s so lovely. I met a few times and I think she’s really great.
L: Yeah!

M: I met my partner on Tinder. I met Tanya on Tinder in 2015. Even, didn’t-

L: That’s right.
M: We have an episode called Banned from Tinder, right?
L: We do.
M: But I have to say that I’ve met some really amazing people, so thank you Tinder.
Both: (laugh)
M: But then fuck you for kicking me off. (laughs)
L: Yeah. Thank you and fuck you to Tinder pretty much always. That’s how I feel about all social media and all dating sites,

M: Exactly.

L: a thank you and a fuck you. (hiccups) Okay, now I’m hiccuping. Okay. One small thing I’d like that start practicing next year is
M: Meditating.
L: Awesome.
M: I do it sometimes but I would really like that to be a part of my day every day ’cause it really does help me a lot.
L: That’s awesome. I love it. That is also true of me and I think I’d also like, you know, I’d talked about yoga before
M: Mmhm.
L: and I think that’s something I want to practice more. But the thing that really is coming up for me is writing.

M: (sighs)

L: I want to get back into writing.
M: Yeah.
L: And having a writing practice, whatever that looks like for me, so, yeah.
M: It’s so hard to get back into.
L: It is. Habits are. Starting a new habit, starting a new routine, a new ritual, a new practice, is really hard.
M: Remember when we both used to blog all the time? And now we haven’t.
L: I do remember that.

M: (laughs)

L: I do remember that. But we’re both capable of doing it. And we talked about doing some accountability stuff with each other around that. And I think that I would still like that a lot.
M: Yeah.
L: Okay. Do we have a sense of how far we are on time. Are we checking time? Just because…
M: I think it’s been 30 minutes.
L: Okay. Cool. ‘Cause I like these last ones but I wanted to make sure we were good. Okay. A moment that brought me peace was
M: Let’s see. There was a time when, it was like week two of me not being on my meds, and I felt completely out of control and
L: Mmhm.

M: my living situation… I live with a lot of people and we don’t have a lot of space. So it’s been hard to navigate, like, crying. And I live with children too so it’s like, you don’t want your mood to be out of control in front of children sometimes and scare them and even other people. Sometimes for me I’m not ready to talk about something but I’m feeling it so deeply.

L: Yeah.
M: But if I start crying people are gonna be like, “What’s wrong?” And, you know, I don’t want to talk. I don’t want anyone to offer to hug me. I just want to be alone. So I came out into the garage. And I was trying everything. I was like, “I’m gonna watch a reality show. I’m gonna try to forget.” But I could not stop. I was like so fixated on this like really anxious feeling. And one of the things that I’ve noticed from having, like, I guess medication withdrawals or I don’t know what to call it,
L: Mmhm.
M: is that I felt like I wanted to rip my skin off twice now this year.
L: Oh. Yeah.
M: And it was one of those times where I totally understand why people want to end their life. I’ve heard that feeling before, where it’s like, the pain of like wanting to rip your skin off, you think, like, “What can make this end?”
L: Yeah.

M:And so I was feeling that and my partner was living in her house in The OC. And she was like, “Just come drive down here and we will talk outside.” And that was kind of one of the last things I wanted to do was get in a car and drive ’cause I hate driving, which is one of the issues with

L: Yeah. (laughs)
M: that we had today is I hate driving. I hate going out at night by myself a lot of the time. But I thought like, okay. This might be a good thing to get me out of my head and what I was feeling.
L: Yeah.
M: ‘Cause I was still determined to not- I wanted to have like six weeks off meds.
L: Right.
M: And I felt like, “Oh, I feel better when that’s over.” So I wasn’t just gonna give in and take them. So I did. I went and we sat outside on the curb and talked. And that moment was so peaceful. I think it reminded me of like maybe 12 years ago or so. There was a time when I thought I would never be able to be outside after dark
L: Yeah.

M: without feeling like very unsafe because of what happened to me. And it was so nice to sit out there and talk with her. And as soon as I left I started having the same bad feelings. But it was just like a nice break

L: Yeah.
M: to be, what’s the word, not entertained, but like, focused on someone else for a minute.
L: Yeah.
M: And I don’t know why, that moment really stands out as like… Also I think we were still, I mean we still are very new in our relationship, but that was even earlier on. So it was really nice. Because when you’re having these like mental health breakdowns with a new partner, sometimes you don’t know how it’s gonna go or how they’re gonna respond to it. But it was a really good like trust building thing for us and for her to see me. And I went, you know, without makeup, in pajamas. I was wearing. I joked that I was wearing, it looked like I was wearing hospital socks. It looked like I just got out of a hospital.
L: Sure.
M: And it was, my hair was a mess. And just like, to go there and to get a hug and to talk was so nice, so peaceful. It was like, I’m learning to trust someone new. She is understanding and open to hearing about my mental health stuff. She’s not shaming me that I stopped these meds. It was just so nice, so that was a nice peaceful moment in the midst of this chaos that my brain was dealing with.
L: Yeah. So for me, there’s like two things I’m thinking of. But the one was actually just a couple days ago. I went to one of the Korean spas and I got a scrub and massage combo. And for folks who are in LA in the Korean spa zone. It’s, you know, you’re nude and you like can go into different sauna type rooms and like soak in hot tubs. And so I got this body scrub into a massage. I’ve had a body scrub once before and it’s basically like a tiny women putting these mitts on and, like, hard, exfoliating every inch of your body. And it was, it’s incredibly intimate for a stranger. They’re like in there, like, you, exfoliating your buttcrack and, like, you are just like- And it’s not the kind of, like, at a massage place, where you’ve got the blanket over you. You are just like, a slab, like on a table and they get, they like get in there and splash water all over you. (laughs) But I had this moment, because it went from that and then it went into the massage. And, where I realized, that the only part of my body that was hurting was like this spot in my shoulder. And she worked that out with the massage and so, I don’t know. I just had this moment of being, like, “Oh, my body feels fine. And it feels nice. And there’s not one part of my body that I’m, like, upset about or that’s feeling bad. And, also I was like, it also was just a good reminder that, like, of how important physical touch is. Because that is something that I’ve been missing. And I realized, like, how much that, just like, you know, releases all your good hormones. And so I just, yeah. I don’t know. I just had a moment of like, “Oh, everything is-” Like, “I’m okay in this body.” So, yeah.

M: Awww.

L: Yeah, it was nice.
(sound of crickets becomes audible in the background for the rest of the show)
M: That’s so nice.
L: Have you ever gotten one of these scrubs?
M: No.
L: Oh my god. It’s life-changing. You should really do it sometime.
M: It makes me think of – I know it’s not the same at all – but when I’m gettting a pedicure, which I rarely do. But when I do it, they, like, scrub your feet and then massage you and someone does your nails at the same time.
L: Mmhm.

M: And I feel complete sensory overload.

L: Yep. Absolutely.
M: And I hate every second of it. (laughs)
L: Okay. You might hate this. It’s really intense.
M: But- (thudding sound of hitting mic) Oh shit.
L: (laughs)
M: Whoops. My mic. But I would still want to try it at least once and see if I like it. ‘Cause I like massages.
L: Yeah.

M: So I would be open to trying it.

L: Yeah. That’s cool. Do you have a mic cover on and I don’t? Did I think of that?
M: I do!
L: I didn’t even think about that.
M: I have- I was gonna say a pop socket. (laughs) What is it called?
L: I don’t know.
M: It’s something. A filter.
L: Yeah. I did not grab mine. Oh well.

M: It’s okay. Well, we sounded okay on our test recording, so hopefully this sounds good. We’ll see.

L: Okay. Cool. Let’s- Should we try to get through a few more of these?
M: Yes.
L: Should we like lightning round them?
M: Sure!
L: I don’t know. I feel like that doesn’t seem the best way to do reflections and lessons, but, anyway. A moment that brought me joy was
M: Getting my dog. Her name’s Honey.
L: Awww.

M: It has- I’ve always been a cat person and I never really wanted a dog until this year suddenly. And it just worked out so well and especially during all my rough mental health moments. She was like a lifesaver. And cuddling her, watching her because she was healing from surgery and how she would like just want to be in one spot all day and rest. And I felt like, “I’m not doing enough for her. I’m not-” You know. But I just tried to listen to her and follow her. And now she’s like a complete normal dog. She runs around. She has energy. She does like, the little, her tail wags and she stands on both of her legs, which is good because for awhile she wouldn’t put weight on the one

L: Awww.
M: from her surgery. ‘Cause she was hit by a car
L: Yeah.
M: like in July and then i get her in September. So I’ve had her now for four months. So I got- My partner and I got together and then a week later I got the dog. Or we got the dog.
L: Awww.
M: So it’s been like the same time with both of them. And it’s just been so amazing. I love my dog so much. She is always there and so sweet. Like, I hate to say it. And I know people are gonna hate me for it. But like dogs are so sweeter than cats.
L: Yeah.

M: Or they can be. Like my cats were very sweet. But the dog is just, like, oh my god. She loves me.

L: It’s a different type of energy.
M: It really is. (laughs) I’ve always been a cat lesbian but maybe now I’m a dog lesbian. I mean,
L: Amazing.
M: I guess why not both.
L: Yeah.
M: But yeah, she’s brought me so much joy. I love her.
L: I love that. You know, funny enough, for me it is also related to the pet, but not so much for me, which like, I mean, I think he’s cool. But it’s, he,

M: (laughs) “I think he’s cool.”

L: like, I think he’s cool. I haven’t really figured him out yet. But seeing my kiddo- Like, my kiddo is obsessed with animals.
M: Awww.
L: Like, that is the most, the thing she cares about the most. And she likes any animal. Like, she would have been just as happy getting like a, like she’s named a spider that we see in our house sometimes. Anytime she sees small spiders she thinks they’re his babies.
M: (laughs)
L: And like, it’s
M: That is so cute.
L: It’s really sweet. So when we went to the store and we picked out this bearded dragon and we said yes, like, we’re bringing it home today, we’re actually getting it, she got tears in her eyes.

M: Oh my gosh.

L: And like, it was the best day of my life. (laughs)
M: That is the sweetest. She is so sweet.
L: She is so sweet. So, like, just the, like, the compersion. That’s a really good, like, compersion, at just seeing like how happy, like having an animal in the house makes her
M: Mmhm.
L: is, yeah, brought me a lot of joy.
M: That is so cute.
L: Yeah. I’m actually gonna skip a few

M: Okay.

L: so that we can move ’cause I want to, I want… What I want to experience more in my friendships next year is
M: More quality time. I did really good at that in the beginning of the year but not so much since June.
L: Mmhm.
M: So I really need to prioritize that again, you know, like getting out of the house, doing things with people,
L: Mmhm.
M: even if it’s just lunch or coffee or just, I’ve been horrible. It’s so hard for me to leave the house. I hate to be that person who’s like, if anyone wants to see me you can just come over because (laughs)
L: Sometimes that’s where you are.

M: Yeah. It has been where I am, and I want that to change. Hopefully, it will get a little better. Because, you know, like everyone’s love languages are different and some people do really need that face to face undivided attention time and I haven’t been needing it so much but I know my friends have and I would like to be able to give it to them. So hopefully that will happen again.

L: Yeah. I think for me, I want to have like more active time.
M: Mmhm.
L: I’ve been really good about the kind of like coffee and lunch dates with friends. But I would like to, and I’ve started to do this, and I would like to continue to do more, like, you know, activities, bacially, where I’m like moving around and, like, it’s like going out dancing or going to shows or going on a trip, like things like that, I’d like to bring more into my friendships this year.
M: Mmhm.
L: ‘Cause now I feel like I can, which I want to take advantage of that. What I want to experience more of in my intimate relationships is
M: (laughs) I’m such a nerd. I was gonna say more of the relationship check-ins. I fucking love those things.
L: That’s okay! That’s awesome!

M: We still have to do our episode about that sometime.

L: Yeah.
M: And, so I try to do ’em once a month, but sometimes I forget or stuff happens. Or sometimes not enough stuff happens and then it feels like, “Oh. We don’t really have to do it.” But I think it’s very important.
L: Yeah.
M: My partner says she hasn’t had someone communicate before where I want to talk about every little thing.
L: Mmhm.
M: And I think that’s just such a good way of doing it. And I don’t want to get to the place where I have been in past relationships where you don’t like put in that work and…
L: Yeah. Of course.

M: Yeah, so I want to keep making that a priority and I don’t know. Like it feels very imtimate to me. But

L: Yeah.
M: words are my love language I guess so. It’s very important to me.
L: Yeah. That makes sense. I think for me, especially as like a single person, I’m thinking a lot about like what I want future relationships to look like.
M: Mmhm.
L: And so, I would say, like probably more, what would I like to experience more of? I don’t- It’s hard. It’s hard to think about, but like, I feel like it’s like all I’ve been thinking about and also, like something I’m still not ready to think about. But I think it’s probably just that I want to be more, make sure there’s more communication and less expectation
M: Mmhm.
L: where, like- And I guess that doesn’t, maybe not less expectation, but more clearly defined expectation, you know,

M: Mmhm.

L: where I don’t make assumptions about what a relationship is or what it’s gonna look like or how another person is feeling about me or about anyone else. So, yeah, I think that’s it.
M: What a good answer.
L: I just took a really long time to basically say clear communication, by not communicating clearly, and I understand the irony there. (laughs) But that’s a-
M: I love communication.
L: Ahhhh! Yes! (laughs) And then I like these last two because I think they’re really nice. What I want to be less hard on myself about is
M: My body.
L: Awesome. Yeah.

M: What about you?

L: What I want to be less hard on myself about is the way I’m managing my grief.
M: Mmhm. Aw.
L: Yeah. And then: what I don’t want to change about myself at all is
M: (laughs) I don’t know if this is a good answer but the word that best describes my favorite part of myself is honestly my hypomania.
L: Okay. Yeah.
M: Like, I absolutely love it and I never had a word for it before and I don’t think everyone experiences it in a good way, like, I know I just wrote a little bit about it on Instagram, and someone was saying, like, it can be good but it can also be terrifying
L: Sure.

M: And I just think, for me, like, when I’ve been like, “Oh, I’m my best self right now,” is in those moments, where now I’m like, “Oh yeah, that was hypomania.” But I love it, the energy, it’s like I want to get stuff done, I’m creative. I guess it’s a little confusing because is that just my personality or is that part of this like mental illness that I have. I don’t know. But it is one of my favorite things. I love waking up and feeling good and having the energy and not feeling so anxious and when I feel confident and talkative and fun.

L: Yeah.
M: So, I don’t know. Hopefully that makes sense.
L: It totally does. I think it absolutely makes sense. What I don’t want to change about myself is it probably, like, how I feel about showing up for other people.
M: Mmhm.
L: I think that as I, like, like yes I want to make sure that I’m, you know, doing my self care and focusing on myself and learning different ways to be alone. But I don’t want to change the fact that relationships, whatever they look like,
M: Mmhm.
L: are some of the most important things to me and that like doing things for other people really does make me feel good about myself, like being a helper,

M: Yeah.

L: being a person in a healing profession. Like I want it. I like that a lot about myself.
M: Yeah. And that’s not a bad thing. And some people can view that as bad.
L: Mmhm
M: Just like, I just saw a meme about that, like, about being gentle, like some people think gentle is weak.
L: Right.
M: I don’t know. What you said just reminded me of that. Like loving hard
L: No, totally.

M: and being gentle and like valuing people’s emotions and relationships and stuff. I think that’s- I love that about you. I love that about me. Like yeah, don’t change that. (laughs) I’m tired of people

L: Yeah, yeah. I think it’s-
M: saying that that’s a bad thing or it’s weak, you know.
L: Yes! Or the idea of being, like, sensitive and feelings things deeply,
M: Mmhm.
L: like all of that. I think that’s, that idea too of like, where we see that as weakness is really unfortunate
M: Mmhm.
L: because it’s, it can be a superpower of its own.

M: Definitely.

L: Yeah. Well I think-
M: Have we reached the end? (laughs)
L: We’re done! I think we have reached the end. Just a reminder to everyone to check out our Patreon. We’re still adding new content all the time, still sending out our little patron packs for anyone who pledges as little as a dollar a month. We still would love if you’re listening to us that you also subscribe and rate and review. That helps us. That helps more people see the podcast. We’re coming up on an exciting number of downloads and maybe we’ll do a little contest or something when that happens.
M: Yeah!
L: It’s not a huge number but for our little podcast it feels big. So keep an eye out for that.
M: Thank you so much everyone who listens and I see on Instagram when you share on the story that you listen to us. It always makes us happy so thank you so much.
L: It really does. We love you all. So we will talk to you next time.

M: Bye everyone!

L: Bye!
L: Thanks for listening to Queers Next Door. We hope you enjoyed it. Be sure to follow, subscribe, and leave a review wherever you listen to your podcasts.
M: If you like what we’re doing, join the Queers Next Door fanclub at patreon.com/queersnextdoor to receive all of our exclusive content, and we’ll mail you a fun little surprise. You can find the link on our blog queersnextdoor.com. Cheers, queers!

About Queers Next Door

we take the topics you care about - sex, feminism, kink, social justice, and entertainment - and look at them through a queer AF lens. Cheers, queers! <3

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