• Maddie McGuire

Hi there. Let's talk about some shit.

I’ve been pondering starting a blog for a while. Free writing every now and then, and occasionally skimming over my messy, jumbled thoughts shying away from the idea. The bullshit (but very real) fear of wanting it to be “good” kept my desire to just post the damn thing at bay.

But now here we are, living in a time that’s born out of chaos. Leaving me no excuse to be scared of having my silly thoughts and words published on my own website (that I’m almost positive hardly anyone will ever see), when true fear is lending its time to many other departments in my head. The fear of posting a blog has become utter child’s play, people.

So here we are. And I don’t really know where to start, but I’ll do my damndest.

I’ve been reading copious amounts of articles detailing the intense losses that people are going through. From their jobs, their income, their sanity. Or the most devastating of them all…the loss of a much loved family member or friend. I really don’t want to be all sad and morbid, but shit is currently a little sad and morbid. But everyday as I read the John Hopkins Covid-19 updates and I see the escalating numbers, a burning pain filled sensation floods my chest. Holy shit, that number is a reflection of people. Real fucking people all over the world. Some dealing with a completely overwhelming new normal.

I think about death a lot. I’m not entirely sure why. I write screenplays and almost every single one of my ideas deals with loss in some way. When I’m breaking story on a new script and I ask myself “What is this story’s mah nish ta nah?” (Translation: Why is today different from all other nights? - which is arguably the most valuable question in storytelling because if today isn’t different from any other day….why the hell does this story even need to exist? Unless you’re the Tiger King where your day to day involves countless marriages to a variety of younger formerly imprisoned men, playing with big cats that could eat you like a snack and the inevitable random arson, then by all means).

Some of my mah nish ta na’s are as follows:

-Desi had a near death experience.

-Mary died today - throwing Minnie’s personal and professional life into a tailspin.

-Mia’s mother passes away and leaves her their family’s bankrupt horse racing stable in her will.

-Today is the day her mother-in-law moves in with her (1 month after the death of her husband).

-She finds out her best friend faked a terminal illness

Sooo yeah. Death, and loss, fascinate me. And clearly inspire me.

And anyone who is reading this, don’t fret, I’m in therapy and will hopefully be able to one day report back to you on what my underlying issue(s) are.

I’ve always had a bizarre fascination with loss and I feel like it’s partially because it’s the only thing in life that is certain…for everybody. Like we’re all dealt a completely different hand at life, we’re all promised a different amount of time to roam the earth….but we are all guaranteed to move on from this earth at some point. It’s the one thing we can count on happening. We have no idea what’s going to happen with our days, our time, our actual life and living, but we all know it will come to an inevitable end. There’s something oddly liberating about that to me. And also alarmingly terrifying. I can honestly express one of the things I’m most terrified about is not using my time alive wisely before it’s my time to kick the can. That I’ll reflect back and be like “Why did I spend so much time worrying about (insert pretty much anything here)?” “Why did I care way too much about impressing my boss who had the impeccable show collection and a brilliantly humorous instagram personality but reflected none of what she captured online in her real life?” “Why didn’t I love more bravely?” “Why did I obsess over eating that midnight grilled cheese sandwich?” “Why didn’t I call my grandmas more?” “Why was I ever dishonest about who I believed myself to be?” “Why wasn’t I more proud of my faith?” “Why didn’t I just write…and write…and keep writing and not judged myself for any of it?” Anybody else feel me?

And the list continues. The beautiful thing about still having a beating heart and air in my lungs is that…every moment of every day…I get another opportunity to choose what it’s going to be. Some days it’s easier said than done because you have obligations and shit. But you always have choice to be grateful. Give yourself some grace. Try gaining new perspective. Doing something you’ve done countless times in a completely new way. Savor a moment. Say I love you (saying it to yourself counts too). And this list continues as well.

Life is cool y’all, I’m definitely a lover of life. The fact that it changes at the drop of the hat, you never know what’s coming your way, and you’ll never relive a moment, ever. Like once it’s gone it’s gone, and replaced by a new one. And then another new one is coming. Just the fact that we get the opportunity to change and evolve is downright magical.

Anyways, I digress. Again, wish I had a plan for what was being dumped out onto my computer keyboard right now, but I myself am sitting in the passenger seat on this adventure also. At the mercy of my hands, heart and head right now, so bear with me.

As I’ve been thinking about the losses people all over the world are experiencing, it’s reminding me of the loss of my Uncle a few years ago. Three to be exact. But instead of reflecting on the pain of losing him and the time surrounding when he moved on, I’ve been thinking a lot about his life. And how he was so good…at living.

My Uncle was kind of like a life guru.

He was loud and boisterous. He made an entrance anytime he entered the room. He ripped his rented tux dancing on stage at one of my aunts ‘mrs.” beauty pageants and won “husband of the pageant.” He could’ve taught a college credited course on “How to Be a Total Ham 101 - How to Ham it Up for Your Personal and Professional Success.” He used to carry around a designer man purse that he bought at Saks 5th avenue in NYC like a boss and didn’t give a rats ass what other people thought about him. He loved ripping shots of Jack Daniels during family gatherings. He was in charge of my cousins carpool rotation for her cheerleading squad and would host all the other moms over after for wine and cheese nights.

He met my aunt at a co-ed softball game where their friends brought them to try to set them up. It was the first time my aunt hit a ball during that game and as she was running to first base her legs cramped up causing her to tumble to the dirt. She had recently been dating a body builder and he forced her onto his workout regime, when she was more of a Jane Fonda aerobics kind of gal. Now, lying in the dirt unable to make her way to first base, my soon to be uncle made his introduction by helping her up and using the opening line “You okay? There’s nothing that a shot of Jack Daniels and my hot tub can’t fix.” (Don’t worry, during his 101 class you’ll learn many more of these brilliant, perfectly Hammed Up phrases.)

He was voted one of the 50 most eligible gay or straight bachelors by a San Francisco magazine in the 90s. Every bachelor’s article about them ended with a quote of their choosing. My Uncle’s was “Life is a party, and parties weren’t meant to last.”

And I’m not sure if there’s a better note to end on.

I hope you’re all staying safe, spreading love and trying your best to party your way through life right now.

And in the words of my Uncle…there’s nothing that a shot of Jack and a hot tub can’t fix. I’m settling for a Bota Box of wine and hot shower.



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