Being Honest with 2013

As I sit down to write, my fingers pause at the keyboard, rendered motionless by my own inability to formulate coherency, yet alone truth.

…Here are a few things I know to be true:

2013 was a deeply troubling year.

I’m not sure whether I feel excitement about the clean slate of 2014 or fear over the lack of any plans or expectations.

The past year, if written into a play, would be obviously about the main character’s catastrophic fall from pride. Unlike in real life, the motifs and symbolism would be quite clear and everyone would leave the theater with a full understanding of how she got to where she is now. This eludes me.

What if the worst isn’t over? Yes, ‘the best is yet to come’, but what if the good that’s coming is after a few more months of awfulness? Dread very often strangles hope.

This is, of course, not the happiest of new year writings, but it is real and it is honest. I cannot give more than that. May 2014 be a year of Truth, both universally seen and individually realized.

What NOT to say to a Depressed Person, as told by gifs


Sounds familiar

WARNING: EXTREME SARCASM AHEAD. Not for the faint of heart.

(The absolute irony of explaining depression using gifs delights me. The juxtaposition is almost cold, isn’t it? Belittling the explanation of feelings with a pop culture reference. So postmodern. I love it.)leslie

The past few months have been some of the worst I have ever experienced. I’m not going to sugarcoat it.

The long and short: I’m moving far away to a place I don’t  think I’m supposed to be and essentially all because I broke my foot & cannot drive or work for 12 weeks (and other reasons which are too exhausting to recall.) anigif_enhanced-buzz-1787-1366753072-13

Everyone means well, but I’ve discovered how terribly difficult it is to comfort someone. I myself am not good at it–I’m too logical/don’t have a great bedside manner & people don’t like that. The past few weeks, however, have really taught me that comforting others cannot be a careless endeavor. People are really hurting & want more than empty platitudes, even if the intent is good. If I encounter someone going through the same “series of unfortunate events” I am (or just any kind of hurting at all), I’m going to try to not use these platitudes:

(note: I would never react like this to those who say these things, nor am I offended when people offer these words up to me. I appreciate every morsel of kind words! Sometimes I just overanalyze words to the point of banality.)

“Feel Better Soon!”anigif_enhanced-buzz-10455-1376413724-28anigif_enhanced-buzz-11326-1367655256-0

This is me being a grouch but…I don’t have the flu–I’m  not sick. I broke my foot. I’ll only feel better when it heals in 49853459 weeks.

“God has a plan.” 


 I knowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

“Maybe you’ll meet your dream husband there.” 

anigif_enhanced-buzz-15632-1366920652-15 yuckanigif_enhanced-buzz-4002-1366915278-6

Barf. Please, for the love of God people, STOP SAYING THIS TO ME. When people tell me this, I simultaneously throw up/die inside. Is that really what people think I’m after? Should I start wearing a shirt that says “I’m 22 and NOT LOOKING FOR A DREAM HUSBAND, just living normally”?

The slightly less offensive cousin…”Maybe you’ll find your dream job.” 

funny-gifs-lazy-dog-eating-kibbles-off-the-floor-2anigif_enhanced-buzz-2954-1375800990-15anigif_enhanced-buzz-15828-1369272826-0Nah, I was thinking about just staying home & living out my dream to be the girl version of “Failure to Launch.”

“You have such a great attitude!” 

anigif_enhanced-buzz-11860-1367655005-0 anigif_enhanced-buzz-24361-1366768520-2 tumblr_inline_mlpr9xnZYQ1rnvwt1

 If you’ve seen “The Butler,” you’ll be able to recognize an award-winning performance when you see one. Also, positivity is/was my top strength. I try.


original-2Are you ready?

“This is all for a reason.”



chuck1 No…just…no. This is not what to say to someone when they’re going through hard times of ANY nature. Illness, devastating natural disasters, unexpected loss, you name it. If it’s any sort of unpleasant life event, it is ALWAYS inappropriate to say this. Even if true, people do not want to hear this.

So, what IS something good to say when someone you know is going through a rough patch? (Also, aren’t those gifs of Chuck Norris absolutely mesmerizing? I’m getting distracted by the synchronicity.)

Well, at least for me, just be there. We don’t even have to talk about what’s going on (I prefer that honestly) but it’s nice to have someone just checking in on you now & again. Don’t give up on those who draw away or even lash out (like with sarcastic gif posts) because they honestly need you the most. Sometimes saying nothing is the best thing. Or just praying for them–and WITH them. Let them know that when they do want to talk, you’re a safe place & won’t be “burdened” by their honesty.

Depressed people are not fun. Don’t expect other results for the time being. Sometimes it’s really hard to maintain relationships, but trust me–now more than EVER are they so vital & life-bringing.

Everyone goes through dark times,  but the very most essential antidote is knowing that you are understood & not alone. I know “it’s always darkest before dawn” but it’s hard to be sitting in pitch black wondering when the sun’s going to come up.

I Gave Up on BuzzFeed

I’m not exactly sure the exact moment. Maybe one random afternoon browsing blogs or perhaps after searching for methods of distraction…all definitely sometime while I was in college & procrastinating. 

But then, it happened. I, Kelsy Leah Black, met BuzzFeed.


Needless to say, I was changed forever (as well as my friend group, who slowly but surely got hooked too). The insatiability of the content stream, funny lists, viral information, breaking news…it never stopped and I never wanted it to. (And yes, maybe I actually applied to a job or two there & perhaps even had an interview too but…different blog post.) 

Maybe it’s just me, but…isn’t the constant stream of information getting a little exhausting? Looking at it from a critical Communication Studies standpoint, BuzzFeed is endemic of the gluttonous appetite our society holds for EVERYTHING. (Not that an appetite for life & understanding more about culture, etc is a bad thing in moderation; there’s a huge difference in a healthy curiosity and mindless consumption [and I am a part of the latter].) Sometimes, such as the case with BuzzFeed, the problem becomes the old “quality vs. quality” debate. Surely the quality must decrease if a site posts 8234 new bouts of content a day (thus we have posts like “34 types of cat smiles” and “How to Know If You Grew Up in Dunwoody, GA in the 2000’s.” Mindless, vapid entertainment–but harmless right? 

I’m not so sure anymore. 

The constant source of new, fun information & trivia so easily becomes an addiction–and to what? Nothing that really matters. I don’t want to look back (especially during this horrible 12 weeks of having a broken foot ordeal) and wonder what in the world I did with all that time. Surfing Buzzfeed (/Reddit, Gawker, the list of insatiable websites goes on forever)? 

I want my life to be a bit simpler, richer, and purer–in which I mean I’m tired of “learning” through the Internet. I’m tired of wasting time on things that are entertaining, but invaluable. Being present in real life, especially going into this Advent season. 

Maybe I’m just writing this for myself (as with so many of my blogposts), but I want this December to be a little sweeter than usual–full of little joys, gratitude, and the quiet, expectant hope that comes with this season. Maybe by dispelling the cacophonous, unnecessary Buzzfeed lists, Twitter feuds, and other time-wasters, we (I?) will experience true contentment. (After all, there are tons of books to read!)