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All my friends are getting married /
by Faye Orlove

All my friends are getting married. On one hand I'm really happy because true love blahblahblah but on the other hand I'm like "woah slow down. Boys are still gross to me, can I marry mozzarella sticks?" What I mean to say is that the life I live is somewhat more uncommon than what is conventionally thought of as #normal or #theamericandream or even #successfulinanyway. In moments of crippling, Jim-Beam-afflicted self-doubt, my friend Mitchell always says to me, "Hey, you're doing great. Non-linearly." My trajectory has always been jagged and bumpy and on any given day I'm generally between -16% and 4% sure of what I'm doing. But I've been proud of myself a lot this year. I'm not getting married, and I'm not paying a mortgage, and I wouldn't have what I guess you'd call a "proper job" or even a "job at all." But I'm getting by and I want to be proud of these weird, punk rock, unconventional milestones that make me feel like maybe, just maybe, I'm doing okay. So here are my top 10 weirdo triumphs that I am hereby declaring "successes" because sometimes it's hard to feel good with no guidelines.

1. I booked one sold-out show and 3 nearly-sold-out shows at the Middle East in Cambridge, Mass. I'm most proud of the fact that all of these shows featured all girl or girl-fronted bands and that most everyone who performed was my friend! Here's the flyer from the very first show I put together, which I still have hanging in my apartment. In fact, it's now hanging in the apartment I share with my friend Rachel, who plays in the band Slutever, who played this very first show I booked, who I became friends with that very night. Woah. #Meta.

2. I told a boy that I loved him this year and I really meant it and I really felt it. It was sweet and it was scary and it wasn't reciprocated. LOL. No rly. But, it wasn't a bummer, and I'm so proud of that. I didn't wallow or eat a pint of ice cream like Katherine Heigl in literally any of her movies (I'm assuming). The weirdest thing happened to me this year, I didn't let myself feel heartbreak on account of someone else. Most days, I felt strong and confident and beautiful. And it was the day that I told a boy that I loved him and he didn't love me back that I realized it. When I didn't break and I didn't question my coolness and I didn't wonder if I had too many zits to possibly be lovable, I realized that I've got that thing called "self-confidence." Or maybe it's called IBS. I don't really remember, but either way it's weird in my stomach.

3. I saw Fleetwood Mac perform this year and I cried the whole time. If I had seen me I'd have hated myself. Honestly, it was disgusting. I was putting on a show 10 times more theatrical than the way Lindsay Buckingham poses for photos. But I was proud to have an album in my life (Tusk) and a personal patron-saint-of-witchyness (Stevie) that made me feel a whole lot of feels. I was proud to know every word to every song and I was proud to take (and post) bathroom #selfies of mascara tears.

4. I had my first ever illustration in print this year. It was a picture of Waxahatchee for an article Liz (Pelly) was writing for the Boston Phoenix. I'm realizing now that this was the first of my collaborations with Liz. See list #10 for another.

5. This is the first 365 day span I have gone without shaving. Like, at all. And I'm not rocking a thin layer of delicate peach-fuzz. I mean thick and I mean obvious and I mean constantly-stared-at. But I believe in order to love myself, I have to love all of myself, just the way I am. The way I was birthed out of what I presume is another hair-covered body part. And I've gotta tell ya, I love how my hairy legs look with lace socks and I love how my arm-pit hair looks like Madonna's in the September 1985 issue of Playboy and I love my how my little cousin told me once he'd know he was a man when his legs were finally hairier than mine. Good luck, Alex! Never gonna happen!

6. I had an art show this year. It was called "Are You There Courtney? It's Me Margaret" and I'm proud of not only the work I created but of the fact that I was finally brave enough to share it with anyone besides my mom via text message. You can see some photos from it here if you want.

7. I spent August-October of this year creating a music video for Potty Mouth, a super rad band from Western Mass that I'm sure you've heard of by now. I'm proud that I can call those four girls my friends and I'm proud that people have enjoyed the music video enough to have it premiere on my personal favorite website, Rookie, in mid-January. If you follow me on Twitter, I promise to bombard you with reminders to check it out if you promise to bombard me with 140 characters of sweet, sweet validation.

8. I bought a car with my friend (and now roommate) Rachel (see list #1) and we drove it across the country. The adventure itself was fun and fulfilling but we're both mega-Virgos so our comfort does not lie on the open-road. Mostly, this trip made me proud of the relationships I've been able to form. As we drove across the bible-belt along 12 southern states, we had a friend to stay with every night in 6 separate cities. I felt very lucky and happy to have friends that were willing to open their homes to me and show me around the cities they love. And for anyone who needs a couch in LA, holler at me. I will feed you kale and cherry-coke and we can rewatch the Halloween episodes of Pretty Little Liars.

9. Speaking of which, I just moved to Los Angeles after spending the first 17 years of my life in a suburb outside Washington, D.C. and the next 5 years in Boston, Mass. I didn't understand why everyone was all "wow I could never do that" and "well do it while you're young" and "good luck, you can always move back!" but now that I'm there and it's really fvcking hard and it gets really fvcking lonely, I kinda get the feigned enthusiasm. But I'm proud that I made this trip and that I can see some sort of hazy silver lining having to do with vague career-opportunities and dating whoever plays Loki in the Thor movies. #Swoon.

10. I'm really fvcking proud of The Media. How many weirdo-The-Craft-worshipping-23-year-olds can say they've started their own publication with one of their best friends that positively affects their own life as well as their community? Well I know one other girl that can, hi Liz, I love you. I'm proud of you, too. <3

Faye is an illustrator and animator living a very glamorous life in Los Angeles. See her work at or follow her @resilientbstrd

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