Category Archives: Changes

Why I Love ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ And You Should Too

If you’ve started watching Season 2 of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” on Netflix too there’s a good chance you can’t get that catchy-as-hell theme song out of your head. But do you know where this viral little ditty came from?

Unbreakable!

They alive, dammit!

It’s a miracle.

Unbreakable!

They alive, dammit!

Females are strong as Hell.

As a word nerd, I had to find out what it was he was saying. So today, I Googled it and dove further into my obsession with the show.

Simply finding the lyrics proved tougher than I expected, as I stumbled across multiple pieces discussing the origins of the song. Turns out, not surprisingly, the theme song is the product of a monologue written by producers Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, according to Vanity Fair. See a clip of character Walter Bankston’s full monologue below, from Netflix’s YouTube page:

While I found it surprising that some viewers thought the above was a legit newscast, there was another point in the article that stood out to me. Vanity Fair refers to Ellie Kemper’s character as being not “just a survivor of a horrific experience, but a very famous one[.]” That got me dwelling on how the silly and sometimes dumb Kimmy Schmidt was so much more than just another unrealistic comedic character to watch.

Turns out, Fey and Carlock were asked by NBC if they’d want to write a show for Kemper. As the two (mainly Fey) go on to explain to E! in an interview, they recognized that Kemper has “this kind of sunniness, but also this strength.” And it was with these two traits and the crazy-horrific backstory that Kimmy’s character was born to create a twist on the standard starting over story.

For me, I think that’s what makes this goofy girl and sitcom so lovable – it is relatable and inspiring. Unlike most of us, Kimmy is able to keep a sunny disposition despite tragically losing out on her childhood. So we get to follow her around NYC as she makes her way, and laugh about it with her. Because there seems to be one thing that Kimmy did learn while living inside that bunker: Bad things happen.

And, as Kemper points out in an interview with E!, Kimmy has the ability to overcome her bad things and not let those experiences define her. Which is what makes this comedy so worth watching. Let yourself be inspired by the pure optimism and strength of a character who may just seem simple at first glance.

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Dear Dad

When my fiance and I got engaged, he reluctantly called his dad … and I was so jealous. While this may sound a bit strange, let me explain.

I think I was around the age of 2 when my parents got divorced, so needless to say I don’t remember that part of their relationship. The thought of them promising each other happily ever after has always just been something I searched for in old photos. But still, I look to find what’s now long gone.

In the years of my childhood that followed, I literally have no fond memories of my dad. Mostly it’s just anger over events that were missed or his selfishness. And, I’m not going to lie, I’m often jealous of other women who are close with their fathers. Oddly enough, I still consider myself a “daddy’s girl.” However, I chalk that up to always wanting what we can’t have.

I have a lot of respect for my fiance, because despite a poor relationship, he still respects his father. The fact that his dad was one of the first people we called to announce our excitement was something that spoke volumes to me. I didn’t even want to text my dad the happy news – this celebration was about us after all.

To tell the truth, now that I’m planning my own wedding, I think I’m just upset that my dad won’t get to walk me down the aisle. I realize that this is ultimately my choice, but why would I choose someone who rarely remembers my birthday to “give me away”?

Instead, I’ll have my Papa stand by my side. While I’m not sure he’ll ever understand or that I could fully explain, my Papa’s love for me has given me the strength to be the person I am today. It is my dream to be the rock that he is for my own family. And, as such, there’s no one else I can imagine asking to help me join in beginning my lifelong adventure with Mike.

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Body Image

Over the last year, I have struggled with my weight more than ever.

Growing up, I was never thin, but I was also never fat. I know plenty of girls who suffered eating disorders throughout their childhood and teen years, but I guess I always just accepted my chubby cheeks, thick thighs and belly. Fore the most part though, I was fine.

In high school, college and after graduation, my weight fluctuated. A boyfriend led to extra pounds, and the following break up shed what I’d added plus some. Biking and hiking around the city always kept me fit, and I owe something to that. Still, I was never skinny.

But after a three-month recovery, I was finally thin. I joked: Great weight loss trick, get hit by a truck. But at that point, I was unhealthy looking and the doctors urged me to eat, eat, eat – even if it was ice cream and potato chips. So, I did. And I got healthy. Then, I got fat.

I don’t weigh myself, to me it’s more about how I look and less about my actual size. Because of that, I think my body image issues have worsened. On top of the pounds, I have a hideous scar. Fake it as I might, never will I feel confident laying out at the beach in a bikini – no matter my size. I’m hesitant to even let a peak of my mid-drift slip into view.

(For those of you who are unaware, I have about a 12-inch scar running down the center of my abdomen – the result of emergency surgery.)

Some people say it’s beautiful, and I want nothing more than to wear my skin with pride. But it’s not. Either side of the scar is off-balance, as the left will always remain a little bit swollen. And more than anything, that scar serves me as a daily reminder. No, it’s not something everyone can see, but I always know it’s there. It greets me in the morning when I shower, and kisses me good night when change for bed.

If you follow me on social media, you know well that I’ll be participating in Mudderella Chicago this May. Not only have I found this training as an outlet for aggression and stress, but of course I’m also getting stronger. However, over the last six weeks, my visible body has not changed. Tonight, that hit me as a frustrating and disgusting fact. What do I have to do to be happy with my body’s image?

Still, I can feel myself getting stronger, and for that I am infinitely proud.

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We’re Goin’ to Better Places

If you’d asked me two years ago where I thought I’d be today, well I honestly wouldn’t have been able to reply. Not for a few days anyways, and even then, my response may have come out in the form of a singed alphabet.

I’ve wanted to write of the events on October 6, 2011, for awhile now, and well I still may not be ready to share all the intimate details, there’s a lot to be said. Many in my family would rather not hear it, as it’s a topic that makes both them and me uncomfortable at times. And, when it is discussed, it’s done so with a sort of sadness, distance and caution.

For those of you who don’t know, which is many, two years ago to this date, I was struck on my bike by a large delivery truck while en route to work. It looked something like this:

(No, it’s not the actual truck.}

So, anyways, I was struck while on my bicycle, riding in a bike lane in downtown Chicago. I flew off of my bike and was then partially run over. I point out partially because had I been flat out run over, I wouldn’t be writing this post.

My first thought was, Today’s going to suck at work. Of course, I did not make it in, and wouldn’t for another 3.5 months.

That’s the end of the accident portion of this post, it’s the easy part to say. The recovery, fear and fight that took place after, that’s where it gets messy. All in all, thanks to this man, I’m here.

Not the best quality, but this is the only photo I have of Dr. Shapiro.

In the last two years, a lot has happened. I went back to my position at the Chicago Tribune in mid-January of 2012, got a promotion seven months later and was laid off by the end of January. Luckily, I snatched up a writing position in February and have since been promoted within a great company. So career wise, I feel pretty good about how far I’ve come, and I’m much better off than I was two years ago.

Friends, friends  have come and gone over this time. One of my closest, who actually held my hand during the quick ambulance trip, and I have gone our separate ways. Which, for a time, was hard to swallow, but I have since come to appreciate the fact that he was there when he was – when needed the most. In a number of other friendships, the bonds were strengthened. Most specifically, this nerd:

Na na na na na.

My family has always been close, so I won’t say that those relationships were tightened at all. Especially when it comes to myself, my mom and my brother – although I think something changed there, I can’t quite put my finger on it.

I’ve heard your life changes when you have a near-death experience, but I don’t think that’s true. Some small things about me have changed, but I’m still the same clumsy goofball I always was. I have less patience for complaints about unwarranted issues and more compassion for others. My spleen was removed, I’ve got scars to carry with me for life and struggle with anxiety in certain situations, but I was always a little neurotic. But still, I’m me, I haven’t really changed.

There’s a part of me that wants to go out, explore and change the world, and maybe some day I will. For now, I’m just living and figuring out the usual issues of a 27-year-old woman.

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