We Can Run Across the PARP (WE CAN!)

Sometimes, the behind-the-scenes activity at Carterhaugh is just… really weird.

You know how Instagram is usually hyper-polished and styled?

Brace yourself for the opposite.

In fairness, we work really hard to keep Carterhaugh organized. We file our documents ruthlessly, plan our calendar half a year in advance, and maintain our inbox with (very polite and friendly) military precision.

But sometimes, things go a little off the rails, because life or technology or Mercury has gone straight through retrograde into a hell dimension. 

This is when we accept that it’s time for The Process.

As of writing this newsletter, our website is partially exploded. (Okay, as of 6:13PM, as we edit this post, we think we’ve fixed it. But WHO KNOWS?)

Sending out our newsletter to you and getting up a blog post consistently every Tuesday is important to us. We want you to know that we’re here, that we’ve got your back, that magic and folklore is afoot. 

But exploding websites complicate matters.

So instead of peacefully uploading stuff like normal people, Brittany is on the phone with GoDaddy (our web host and, UGH, their name) for the third time, and Sara is reloading webpages and describing via text what she’s seeing while raking her fingers compulsively through her hair, which is a terrible idea because that just makes it tangle and also somehow go vertical.

So, we institute The Process.

The Process is less an actual process and more a living homage to the collected works of Allie Brosh, creator of the webcomic Hyperbole and a Half, plus two exquisite books.

Brosh’s work is a lot of things (she’s written more eloquently and accurately on depression than pretty much any other person we can think of), but our favorite part is how she takes life’s most chaotic, ridiculous moments and makes them funny.

Like, absurdly funny.

Her piece about trying to run across a park to prove that she was lucid and normal after dental surgery somehow turned into our north star for getting through grad school.

We’ve literally been screaming “WE CAN RUN ACROSS THE PARP” at each other for a decade now, whenever we’re stressed or have something impossibly difficult to do and keenly feel the lack of our normality.

We recommend it. The Process is both cathartic and strangely motivating.

Behold, the masterpiece that Sara painted of us during a “Calming Painting Social” two years into grad school. Brittany made the explanation piece.

But the most pure distillation of The Process is inspired by Brosh’s new book, Solutions and Other Problems when she talks about the intense, deeply bizarre friendship between her sister and a girl named Becky.

Honestly, we hope you just get this book and read this chapter, because it’s the funniest thing we’ve ever seen, but in essence, Sister and Becky do lots of activities together, including geography projects and locking each other into pantries, with great intensity and mutual understanding.

This speaks to us. Not the locking into pantries, which we would never do, but the sheer audacity and commitment to whatever it is that they’re trying to achieve is strangely admirable.

So when things get messy – when our website breaks, for instance – we tell each other that things may look bad, but the parp will still be crossed. With intensity. With dedication. With weirdness. Which is really all The Process is – laughing wildly at life’s chaos and continuing on your journey in spite of it. Or maybe just to spite it.

And if you experience your own equivalent explosion this week, we hope you metaphorically join us in laughing and persisting!

[All images, except for our ridiculous homage paintings, belong to the wonderful Allie Brosh!]

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