Monocycle: Episode 19
the Hormone Pills Are Back
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Ding-dong, the witch is back! Leg two of that really fun non-game I’m not playing called How to Have a Baby is in motion and this week’s episode of Monocycle is victim #1. Here I confront my narcissism, yell at myself in this really annoying tone that is not necessarily “millennial” but definitely whiney and kind of female Jewish a-hole-y and reminiscent of Janice from Friends. I also consider that I might not be living the life that I’m supposed to be living (if you’re sure you could be happy living in a small town outside of New York City but don’t actually know because you’ve never lived elsewhere — you should probably give it try, no?) and then confront my narcissism one more time! I swear I share the anecdotes hoping that you’ll be able to connect with them but I can see how all of these might feel like they are starting to blend together, so! If you’re bored/have lost interest — tell me why!

If Monocycle is my #1 victim, you are my #1 priority.

Monocycle is edited by Nicholas Quazzy Alexander; Logo illustration by Kelly Shami; photograph via Shutterstock. 


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  • So if you … do the radical thing and subtract all the influences you don’t consider to be really you, like weather and hormones and parents (I don’t really mean your parents, this is just a joke on how everything’s our parents’ doing) … Whatever remains should be important. And I do think that things remain, good and bad. I also happen to think it is worth knowing them, though I am sure there’s no straight line between “other influences” and “us being us”. Doesn’t matter – it is our right to know “who we really are”.

    Possibly, learning to separate behaviors triggered by outside influences from those that feel like they are coming from the depths of your soul could change the way you act upon them: on the one side, the cool self-observing queen of the moment (“Hi, Whore-Mone, long time no see, how are we today? What!? Nope, I ain’t be going yellin`* at my husband just because you want me to. Forget it.”), on the other hand, a lady warrior fighting for things that strongly seem to be right (“Noone puts baby into the unhappy corner. She deserves to be unhappy right now because A, B, C …”).

    Important aspects of our “real” existance are for example abilities, such as “How much communication can I survive/do I crave, generally? How much responsibility can I take, how much work can I do, how much leisure do I need …?” All those … basic wellness questions are actually important and if answered well, can lead to a life in sinc with ourselves (Of course they are to be upgraded by higher-level needs like arts, music, meaning of life :-), which we should also know about).

    So if you are working more than you should, it is OK to be unhappy from time to time. If you really want a baby, why should you be happy all the time? On the other hand, if you somehow manage to be happy despite all that crap, that’s good. A good reason to pat oneself on the shoulder, I think.

    About that narcissism: I read somewhere most people have different levels of narcissism throughout their lives: When life gets shitty, we tend to turn inwards and start “loving and loathing” ourselves to unnatural degrees, so we spend much time thinking and also talking about ourselves.

    I think we should be able to separate … “personal climate from personal weather”: there is such thing as a high-level innate narcissism (personal climate). But there’s also such thing as periods of life when we simply have to deal with me, myself and I all the time (personal weather moments) – maybe noone else will or can so it is our job. Till things get better and we can turn outwards again.

    (sorry for this sermon – I am stressed out because of too much work and looking forward to a bath while making backup copies of this week’s work 🙂

    *sorry for that: maybe you can speak in whole sentences in times of inner turmoil – I can’t and this is a caricature 🙂

  • Lou

    This was an irritating/narcissistic episode, but it’s clear you know that already from your write up. It happens, but no need to post if it turns out that way – just like writing, you can always throw it out and start over so that you’re Giving to the audience not simply spewing.

  • Abby

    Leandra, wonderful episode.

    I have a question:

    WHERE is this coffee shop with almond flavored coffee???? I live near 81st and Broadway and spent forever trying to find it but could not! Please clue me in, this coffee sounds amazing.

  • Farrah Mohamed

    I disagree with the comment saying how this is narcissistic or whatever. There were a few episodes before this where you were all like i’m not feeling great but you know this is the bright side or whatever. But, the reason I love monocycle so much is because I feel like I’m talking to a friend (or a friend is talking to me) and i can relate so much and you know what some weeks you can’t find the bright side and you just wanna bitch about something and that’s okay. You’re not some motivational speaker and you don’t have to put on a brave face and at the end of the episode be all like oh it’s gonna be okay I’m happy. You’re not happy at the moment and also you don’t feel like it’s gonna be okay and that is ok. Thanks Leandra

  • I think I’m starting to”get” Monocycle more and more . I think in the beginning I was mildly frustrated with it because I thought you were doing that thing where you say really weird random metaphors in long drawn out silly voices because it’s so weird it might be funny and at the same time you were trying to be this idiot -savant preaching how the world is because of all the definitive conclusions you’ve arrived at at the ripe old age of _____.

    But I get it now , you’re just working shit out aloud. Sometimes it’s wise, sometimes it’s narcissistic, but it’s okay because you mostly represent all the good and embarrassing thoughts I have in my own head, and maybe it makes me an awful person but it makes me feel better to hear someone gripe about 1st world problems and then feel guilty about griping about 1st world problems and exhaust themselves with all the emotional somersaulting and then try to step back and breathe to stop the spiral. It makes me feel …more normal.

  • me

    Hey, sis: I’m currently struggling through a horrible time. Severe work stress/cant sleep/ cant get perspective/feel sick all the time.

    So your ruminations on positive thinking & lifting yourself out of a rut & striving to be happy – when feeling like total crap inside – resonate with me. Knowing that I’m not alone in fighting off the negative demons helps a lot.

    Although we have different stress triggers – yours are hormone- induced & mine is work – I’m also wondering when I’ll feel like myself again.

    Bottom line, Please continue to share your story: Your words give me strength.

  • Leah

    Leandra. Thanks for keeping it real. 5 stars cuz you deserve it. I am going on the happy diet. And aren’t hormones fun ?! They make you feel like a psychotic emotional demon.

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  • sara p.

    Thank you thank you for this great episode! your podcasts always makes me feel better.

  • Margaux Cohen

    Great Episode. I was wondering if you could maybe have an episode about ways of making yourself get out of bed (and staying out of bed). As a third year architecture student I have tons of work. (Which is what I should be doing right now) Obviously it’s not the same kind of work as an actual job and I don’t really need to be up and going at a certain time, which is what makes getting out of bed much harder.

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  • Stephanie

    Hey just listened to this (I was behind on my podcasts) and wanted to wish you luck with this cycle. Those hormones are a total drag, cut yourself some slack.

  • Hannah Rafter

    I would love to hear about man repellers view on fashions relationship with feminism. Is it just a trend? Chanel bring feminism to the catwalk a good thing? please

  • diane

    Getting out of the city (and by city, I also mean suburbs, South Florida, LA) is cool if you’re into sanity.

  • I loved your use of the word ‘convicted’ during your reflection of your argument with the Hus. Captured your emotion perfectly.

  • Alexa

    Thank you for helping me realize why everything has been making me cry recently. I was in the middle of listening to this episode, which I chose because I was in my car on my way to something I was not excited about and on the verge of tears over nothing, when I said to myself, “HOLY SHIT ITS MY HORMONES.” I feel like a real person again, thanks v much.

  • Jemima

    Oh Leandra you speak my mind. Obviously take criticisms on board if you feel you must, but please know that I love Monocycle the way it is. Your outspoken internal dialogue helps me to process my own inner bullshit. Never change.

  • UGHH, YEA, THANK YOU FOR THIS. I’ve been PMSing for about a week now and you just made my heart swell.

  • RuthRLatusek

    The discourse on ‘a matter of mind’ related to thoughts I was thinking about a lot a few months ago – about why you would continue to do something that you’re aware is bad for you and/or doesn’t make you feel good. The conclusion I came to, which admittedly doesn’t solve the problem but has at least helped me begin to understand the reasons behind it pertaining to my character, relates to this part of the podcast:

    ‘if I can sit here and identify exactly what’s wrong and feel really frustrated and know what to do about it and yet not be able to do it’

    My conclusion – though I use the word loosely – is that the reason I continue to do things that I’m mindful will have a negative effect on me is because there isn’t something ‘to do about it’ as such. To avoid doing these things would require “no-action” rather than “action” despite the active verb ‘to avoid’. It is because the resolution requires “no-action” – the idea that you do not act, do not “do” – that I find it harder not to continue to do these particular things.

    As a proactive person, I address a problem by doing something in response to it, e.g. if I don’t know the meaning of a word I look it up; if I have toothache I make a dentist appointment.
    Conversely, if wanted to stay in shape –not eating a slice of pie every now and again – by not doing something, by taking no action – would be harder than working out regularly – by doing something and taking action to stay in shape.

    I think it’s to do with one’s character rather than specifically willpower. It’s the positive psychological association with being active – that to make yourself feel good is not just about what you’re doing, but the fundamental action of doing.

    Not a solution to the problem – but a kind of conclusion to my musings; stopping before it becomes ramblings.