Meet The Mess Maker

by Courtney Sirotin

Welcome!

The first thing you should know is…

Sometimes I feel like I’m being swallowed whole by my disorganized life. I’ve made numerous attempts to pull myself together over the years, but I inevitably fall back apart. I’ve decided to just embrace myself, since changing seems futile. I’ve started this blog to chronicle my journey of self-acceptance and my ultimate goal of finding ME in the mess.

So, who am I? Let’s start with who I am not. I am not the charmed lady at the top of the page. I am not a domestic diva. I don’t clip coupons, put away laundry or even have a retirement fund.

I heard the term “left of center” used to describe someone once and it resonated with me in a big way. Even when I try my hardest to do things exactly the way everyone else does them, I end up slightly off mark. I’m simply not like the put-together ladies I eyeball around town…the women who are supposed to be my contemporaries. My hair’s too dry, my nails too ragged, my wedding ring’s got a layer of crud on it and my shoes are just…clunky. (Thanks, size 11 feet!)

When I was little my mother took me to the pediatrician because she had concerns about my strong-willed nature (a feeling I now empathize with, having a strong-willed son of my own) and the doctor told her that if I could channel my extreme nature into positive things it could be a great asset in my life, but if I channeled it into negative things, it could be my demise. Quite frankly, I’ve been at both ends of the spectrum but I trend toward the latter. Part of this blog is also my quest to bring more positivity to my life.

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I was born March 18, 1978. I have two parents who remain married, an older sister and a younger sister. My family has always been extremely (unusually?) close. We enjoy spending time together. Go figure. I grew up in a small New Hampshire town and life was good. I also went to college in New Hampshire (UNH) where I studied English, Psychology and Philosophy. I graduated and set-off for the nearest big city, which was Boston.

I went to graduate school in Boston (Emerson College) and got a Master’s Degree in Visual and Media Arts. I simultaneously worked at a start-up television network (XY.tv, now defunct) where I met and fell in love with my husband, Jason (not defunct). When the network ended we moved to NYC for a year and a half, during which time I had three very interesting jobs: 1) I did QA for a cable provider and my only responsibility (for decent money!) was too sit in a room and watch TV all day long. Mostly Bollywood movies; 2) I edited trailers for Howard Stern’s television network, Howard TV; and 3) I managed the web development and online presence for the book division of Alloy Entertainment.

A year and a half was about all Jay and I could handle in the Big Apple. Jay had an opportunity to open a production company with his friends in Georgia, so we took off. Along with an assortment of freelance writing jobs, I’ve spent the last five years or so…dabbling?

I started by trying to open a healthy bakery called Healthy Confections. I didn’t go through with it but I did journal my experience and ended up with a hefty manuscript that I…put on a shelf and forgot about.

I then got a personal training certification, started a website about fitness and nutrition, opened a personal training business and wrote a book about how to lose weight. Then I put the manuscript on a shelf and forgot about it, stopped working out (temporarily…to help with my fertility), and gained 20 pounds (also to help with fertility).

I then wrote a middle school/young adult novel and actually pursued publication. I was (am) very proud of it. But then an agent suggested I make a few changes to the plot and instead of doing so, I put it on a shelf and forgot about it.

As you can see, I make a lot of false starts. Will this blog suffer the same fate? Possibly? I don’t know, but it stands to reason that I’ll stick with something I start in this lifetime, right? I haven’t stuck my kid on a shelf yet, either!

The two years after my writing spree were devoted to making movies, being homesick and trying to get pregnant. I worked on the set of two movies, which I talk about here. At the same time, I was undergoing fertility treatments due to a condition called Hypothalamic Amenorrhea. The treatments worked and I gave birth to my external heartbeat, my greatest gift, my beautiful, sweet, precious, precocious little boy, Dylan. I am over-the-moon in love with him, even if he does drive me batty sometimes! As I said before, he is very strong-willed, like his mother. And his father. Oh dear…we’re screwed!

Lastly, homesickness. Suffice it to say, I miss living near my family and it’s an every day struggle for me to manage those feelings. My sisters both live a short drive from my parents and they both also have children, three of which are Dylan’s age. They all spend a lot of time together and I often feel sad that Dylan is missing out on the excitement and security that comes from such a large and close family. It is my dream that one day Jason, Dylan and I will be able to move back to the Boston area which was a fun city and a short drive to visit my family! All that is to say, you can expect me to talk at least a little about my homesickness on this blog.

My friends, welcome to my blog! Stick around and embrace my mess. If nothing else, it will make you feel a little better about yourself. 😉

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You can reach Courtney at [email protected]

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

ALANA February 5, 2012 at 8:20 pm

I love you Courtney!!!!!! 🙂

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JORDAN February 12, 2012 at 3:44 pm

You should self-publish all those books! It’s so cheap and easy! I literally wrote this yesterday – http://theemployablemom.blogspot.com/2012/02/i-need-ebook-to-publish.html

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COURTNEY February 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Oh, cool! I’ll check that out! And welcome 🙂

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KATIE February 23, 2012 at 3:53 pm

I love you, too, Courtney!

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CELESTINA BIER March 15, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Spot on with this write-up, I really think this website needs much more consideration. I’ll probably be again to learn way more, thanks for that info.

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MR. MESSY April 29, 2012 at 4:16 pm

I just came across your blog while researching material for my blog. I love your prose as it gets down and dirty on every day matters. Keep up the great work. Just curious…would you be interested in reciprocating links to our respective blogs?

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RUSS May 27, 2012 at 10:53 pm
COURTNEY May 28, 2012 at 11:20 am

Thanks! I liked this part the best:

[For his latest work, “I chose gourds because they’re universal,” he says. “They were used for tools, for water carriers, for bowls, for musical instruments— the possibilities are practically endless. They’re very important in the cosmology of a lot of cultures. And they grow incredibly fast.]

Also, I’m quite proud that you associate me with gourds now. My work here is done.

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RUSS May 29, 2012 at 10:12 pm

Christmas will always be extremely easy for us now with your gift……….

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TOM H. July 9, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Love this blog!

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ZACH T. September 17, 2013 at 12:09 am

Domestic Diva – love this blog & you. This is so Courtney. It was great reading your going-ons since college. You have been busy! Wishing you and your family the best. Drop me a line when you visit that small town. Life there is good (most of the time).

-Z

P.S.- Hello Alana.

P.P.S.- you really should start that retirement fund and 529 for the youngsters.

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