Couldn't think of a cool title…

September 11, 2011

Coming back here, for awhile?

Filed under: Memories, Personal — me @ 6:19 pm

I remembered that I had written this post on this day five years ago so I went back to re-read it and was kind of surprised to see that the last thing I had posted was just after Christmas this year. Things were just beginning. It’s funny how months can go by and people feel like nothing ever happens to them, and then sometimes a week happens that changes you forever. Today I also read this beautiful article from Colin MacEnroe and thought today is as good a day as any to engage in that exercise. What has happened to me in 10 years?

Ten years ago I had been living in my first apartment for about six months. I was just learning to balance bills and was living a starving artist freelance lifestyle. I was excited to be getting work as a teaching artist and doing a lot of overhire electrics in local theatres. I had been living off savings, more or less, for some time then and the challenge of paying bills, especially student loans, was probably starting to catch up to me. Today I have a lot more financial stability but still go through periods (like this week) when I live far closer to the edge than I would like. I moved out of that apartment five years later, to where I am now. Today I struggle with loving the place I live in but knowing I need to leave. I took classes to become a foster parent last year. Things got put off a bit during the difficult months after my last post here– in an ironic climax I spent about a week wondering with great seriousness if I was going to need to take custody, unofficially or officially, of BestNieceEver. Instead I ended up taking her every weekend for 3 1/2 months, with great support from some friends and not-terribly great support from some members of my family. It all also resulted in a painful conversation with my landlord that hit the nail in the coffin that, foster care or no, it’s time to move on. It’s just taking me longer than I would like to make it happen.

If you had asked me then what I most wanted to do I would probably have said direct. Today I want to direct, with my whole heart, but I want to have the income to finance my future a bit more. Mainly I continue to want to be a part of the field I love, and contribute as much as I can. Ten years ago I might have jumped at the chance to take my Old Job. Today I look back on the 3 1/2 years I had there fondly but know it was better to have moved on.

Ten years ago I was trying out yahoo personals and going on a date every now and then. Today yahoo has gotten out of the personal ad game but I still belong to eHarmony. I struggle with whether to continue to spend money on a service I only sporadically use, but I feel just as terminally single today as I did then, and after over 10 years, on and off, of therapy, I’m pretty frustrated that this issue has not gone away.

Ten years ago I was in lust with a man. He had a girlfriend at the time. They broke up for awhile but are now married and have a baby girl. My lust has not gone away, it just– is what it is.

Ten years ago I had a CD case full of music in my car. It was 98% music that either I had found because of shows I was in or BestFriendfromHighSchool had introduced me to. My car, and all the CDs was stolen in 2002 and until recently didn’t listen to much new music at all. Only in the past year has music been a major part of my life.

Ten years ago I didn’t belong to a church. I had church shopped a little bit and felt like I wanted to belong somewhere but everything with my friend’s death and all that made me very cautious about where to go. Today I went to the annual picnic for the church I’ve attended for 9 years.

Ten years ago I was starting a long process of getting off of antidepressants. Today I’ve been back on them for almost six years, and the Doc says it’s likely I won’t go off of them again.

There have been many funerals, some of which have reached down inside me to the point that I thought my head would never feel screwed on properly again. Too many taken too soon.

There were some births, the most touching to me, of course, being BestNieceEver, my 29th birthday present. I’ve honestly never loved anyone more.

Ten years ago, my relationship with my family held me back from fully realizing my dreams– although I would never have been able to articulate it that way. Today, things are better. But not as better as they ought to be.

Ten years ago I think I would have hoped that by now I would have it all figured out. Today I wonder if it’s possible ten years from now I could even hope to.

 

 

 

 

December 27, 2010

wandering back to a blog is helpful in times of powerlessness

Filed under: Best Niece Ever, Melancholy, Personal, Sister — me @ 2:57 pm

So my Brother in Law is in the hospital. The doctors told Sister last night that he was “300% drunk” and wouldn’t be sober until this morning. The last I was told is he would be there until Wednesday. That’s really all I know. BestNieceEver is with my parents, who are reeling from the news in a denial ridden helpless way. It’s happening.

I’m relieved in a way, that a light is being shined on something I’ve ached over for 5 years. The pain my family is struggling with now, and has struggled with thus far, continues to weigh on me. I don’t know what will happen next. I’ve spent a lot of today hiding, watching Scrubs on Youtube and pacing. Crying and then feeling numb, lonely. It’s a dark and scary time, I’m just hoping that when it is all over there will be light and blessings for those who are so dear to my heart.

August 13, 2010

The year AFTER the year after college

Filed under: Memories — me @ 11:30 pm

I think about writing in this blog often and have had trouble getting the confidence to just put thoughts on screen. So thought tonight I’d try adding to my memory collection, getting closer to my real age now. My twenties blend together a bit more for me than other memories of my life.

The year AFTER the year after college I directed a production of Once on This Island, Jr. that I was very proud of. It was really satisfying to see my vision come to fruition and also to hear really genuine praise from people who had not expected they would enjoy it.  

Aside from that I pined deeply over a long time lust. And I tried valiantly to stay afloat financially. In some ways it was my first “real” on-my-own year, when the novelty of a first apartment had worn a bit and the question of what-do-I-do-now-with-this-adulthood? loomed large for me. I was still in graduate school and looking forward to getting credits out of the way so that I could student teach. A lot of my life felt awry for some of that year, but it was also the year I found a church and a gym, and a small group of friends that were growing more important to me– so in some ways I suspect I was, at times, happier that year at times than I’d been in a long while.

March 8, 2010

20 years ago yesterday

Filed under: Memories, Personal, Sister — me @ 10:49 pm

I started menstruating. I was not happy about it. I cried that whole night and stayed home from school the next day grieving over it. How dare my body defy me by growing up against my wishes?

Twenty years is a L-O-N-G time. I think if I could change one thing, it would be to have someone find out why that little girl was so determined to stay little and coax her out of the notion, if possible. If I could change two things, it would be that my parents had found a community of their own to help them navigate the strange world of parenting teenagers. And if I could change three things it would be that Sister would have found her way into a therapist’s office somewhere along the way.

How did you feel about growing up twenty years ago? Are there things you would change if you could?

October 5, 2009

Awkward Interaction

Filed under: Personal, Talks with the Doc — me @ 8:39 pm

Ran into the Doc at the library today. I thought I recognized her, and then I knew I did, and then our eyes met and I didn’t know whether to say hi or not, and she stared past me and kept walking. Protecting my confidentiality is nice– and professional, but it’s also weird. Weird for me anyway, pretending not to know someone who knows a variety of details about my first experiences with intimacy and my true feelings about people I’m forced to be polite to. And weird in that way I used to feel as a kid when I saw my second grade teacher in the grocery store– “what? you have a life beyond that building I always see you in?”

It’s funny, because when I think about it I realize there are these little bits of things I do know about the Doc. I imagine it’s common to wonder about someone you regularly reveal your innermost thoughts to, and at the same time of course it’s reasonable not to have access to much about them at all. I know she went to school in Missouri and Connecticut because that’s what the diplomas on her wall say. I know she has at least two kids and that they go to schools in different districts for some reason because it complicates her availability for appointments around the time of spring vacations. I know she worked professionally with someone at my undergraduate school and that she knew my old neighbor, because he’s the one who recommended me to her in the first place, ten (!) years ago. I know she’s married, as she wears a wedding ring. I know she went from working in a business run by someone else when I first started going to her, to co-owning a business with other people now– because where she used to work a receptionist took care of billing and scheduling and now it’s all handled directly by her. And apparently she lives near enough by me to have reason to go to the public library in my town. And that’s about it.

It’s interesting to me that I found this chance meeting of non-interaction so awkward, because often when I see people I vaguely know in public settings I have an impulse to avoid them, a sense that I don’t want to be forced into smalltalk maybe? Or just a sense that running into someone makes me feel the need to be “on,” to entertain them on some level, to be worth talking/listening to. So in a funny way sometimes I see people and almost wish they would pretend not to see me. Sometimes too much of my life is a game of trying not to risk feeling too uncomfortable.

September 3, 2009

Job Lost Made for a Crummy Week

Filed under: Business, Melancholy, Personal, Talks with the Doc — me @ 10:10 pm

Kind of had an up and down week this week professionally. I applied to teach at my old high school and didn’t get the job, and I REALLY should have. I know the teachers they have there and I know what I’m capable of, and more importantly, I know how my credentials stack up by comparison. I also know that two people who left positions there specifically told him that I would be their first choice to take over their classes. So that leaves the interview as the apparent dealbreaker. I was interviewed by someone whose known me since I was 14 or so. Did that make me approach the interview too casually? Perhaps, or perhaps the fact that a LONG list of people were assuring me I would get the job so that made me complacent. (In my defense, the person interviewing me was barefoot at the time. Not exactly a cue for formality. But that’s petty I suppose.) My “spies” on the inside tell me that the only clue as to why I was not hired was a comment that I was “too vague” with my ideas. I’ve been feeling hurt, angry, frustrated, and sad about this all week. I originally made contact about the job early in the summer but the interview wasn’t until August. I did not get any notice whatsoever after the interview, only knowing I didn’t get the job because school started. I’m upset because I deserved at least the professional courtesy of notice, as there were other positions I did not apply for because I was unclear if I was still under consideration. Obviously this adds to the financial strain inherent in my starving artist lifestyle at the moment. But more than that I thought that the relationship I had with this person was such that if I didn’t get the gig and it really came down to a problem with my interview or something, that he would give me some feedback– “Look, we decided to go in a different direction, but I thought you should know…”– something.

So I’m annoyed with him because I feel strongly that he’s come to incorrect conclusions about my abilities, and I’m even more annoyed with myself– because somehow after all this time knowing me he wouldn’t think I would be good for his program. I know most of the people who encounter this blog at all will know that this isn’t a matter of my ego or something– this was a job that I was more than qualified to do, at a time when they REALLY need well-qualified people due to the particular mix of students they have  this year. So it’s all well and good for me to say “Fuck him,” — but if under these circumstances he didn’t see my potential then I really didn’t demonstrate it to him. And if someone who’s known me as long as he has doesn’t see that, how am I perceived by people who are just meeting me?

Interviewing is a skill, and maybe it’s one I need to work on. But more than that, I think I stumble a lot in putting myself  “out there.” I remember several years ago some work I did for a company got my name in the paper. And the head of the company, where I’d been working for three years, came down the stairs one day and said, “I saw that article. I didn’t know you were looking for a career in this. We should talk about that.” And it occurred to me how ridiculous that was– that I’d been working there three years, in and around this man who had a lot of connections that could be beneficial to my career– and he had NO IDEA that I had any particular aspirations of interest. There are a lot of people in my life, people I daresay have less to offer the field than I do, who would never have let something like that happen. And it’s all well and good to complain that “nobody notices me,” but what have I done lately to get noticed?

August 13, 2009

Blogging?

Filed under: Uncategorized — me @ 12:39 pm

Just back from a great conference, still coming down from my inspiration high. I’ve been thinking a lot this week about this blog and the potential for starting a second one, more as an extension of my Professional Self. I am convinced that I have some things to contribute to my tiny little field, and I’m also looking for ways to unpack my thoughts after conferences and reading articles and such. I’m definitely on the precipice of article writing, doctoral study, or SOMETHING, and a blog seems like a means to sort some of all that out. When asked what my professional objective really is, the answer I’ve come up with is that I want to be a contribution to my field. Whether or not my “job” will always be in exact line with this objective is less important to me, as long as somehow I am a part of the dialogue and growth of this thing I feel so passionately about.

So– here’s the issue. Do I create a webpage that looks something like this, perhaps with a blog component– that theoretically could serve as a potentail space to find likeminded individuals and also to network/find potential work? Or do I attempt, as Ucellina says, to guard my “paper-thin internet anonymity” and thereby feel less inclined to self-censor, more protected from stalkers, etc.??

Whatcha think?

May 31, 2009

Pentecost and Today’s News

Filed under: News Worth Knowing, Spirituality, Uncategorized — me @ 3:31 pm

Went to church for the first time in a long while, where several 14 year olds were getting “confirmed”– a process I was never subjected to but might have actually enjoyed as a kid. It happens to also be Pentecost Sunday, which is the day the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples and they famously could speak in tongues. If you had asked me what Pentecost was before the Service I would have made a bad guess and even now I’m only marginally sure how to spell it.

I learned a few things today, such as that the Holy Spirit, linguistically speaking, is without a doubt feminine. There are many (valid) reasons to debate whether God should be referred to in the masculine but there is no question that the words in Hebrew and Greek that are used to describe the Holy Spirit are feminine. Pentecost, the minister told the young confirmands, is emblematic of Christianity– to be so taken with the Holy Spirit that outsiders will gossip Are They Drunk? It’s interesting to me that this holiday has no Hallmark cards or special candies, no traditional feasting to speak of– is known as “the church’s birthday.” So the Christian church was born in mysticism– feminine mysticism at that– a radically inclusive and dramatic flash of joyful connection– and now it’s anniversary year is celebrated so often as a footnote shrouded by often inhibited churchgoers in their Sunday best, who barely know their own neighbors let alone the people in the pew nearby. Where is the intrigue, the adventure in the re-telling of it all? So little surprises people anymore, is it a wonder there isn’t excited debate going on during “coffee and conversation” time each Pentecost Sunday?

I love the story of Pentecost as a Tower of Babel in reverse– suddenly people of all different backgrounds found a common language, a reason to connect, a hurrah in their hearts as the Holy Spirit descended on them all. There is perhaps no better example of the radical inclusivity of God’s love than this  particular testimony, and no better directive towards community and diverse assembly in doing His Work. We are called to talk to each other, despite sometimes seeming insurmountable differences.

Thinking in this light, it makes this tragedy all the more outrageous. Forget politics. Any theology that supports this murder is bullshit.

April 25, 2009

Because I’m Out of Practice on the Whole Blogging thing…

Filed under: Personal, Talks with the Doc — me @ 12:15 am

I’m writing even though I’m not really sure what I have to say.

It’s been a weird time in Seeing-the-Doctor-land. I’m on COBRA thru my old job but it’s stupidly expensive so I tried to apply for a cheaper self-employment health insurance and was rejected — on the grounds that I’ve seen a psychiatrist and taken an antidepressant. Apparently people who go to health care providers and follow their advice can’t get health care. Looking into my other options but Holy Frustration. In other news the Doctor was encouraging me to look into a group therapy option in addition to seeing her, but now that she knows I’m seeking health insurance she doesn’t want to do that lest I “seem sicker than” I actually am.” My initial reaction to the whole group therapy thing was one of mild panic, a why-am-I-not-just-cured-or-something feeling, just a sense of What Now. But then when suddenly the Doctor reversed course I’m ironically more frustrated not to be looking seriously at this option– suddenly it’s something that Might have been good for me that I’m not doing but only for a really stupid reason. So, instead of looking at a therapeutic option she’s suggesting I find a singles group, not a dating organization but some kind of SinglesWhoHike or StampCollectingSingles thing. This came out of my questioning a couple weeks back of what real progress I’ve made, my need to do/see something concrete. Of course, she sees progress I find invisible, or even feel guilty over– i.e, she considers my increased “disloyalty” to my family progress. When we were discussing this she implied that maybe I wasn’t feeling like therapy was the right thing right now and that panicked me more than all the rest. I don’t know how people decide that they “don’t need it” anymore but I guess I’d like to think I’d have a series of appointments that didn’t involve hopelessness or crying as a precursor to  considering such a thing. I guess, but don’t really know, that I’m in a stage of therapy that a lot of people go through– I’m not immediately in crisis or anything so I’ve had more time to process and thereby feel badly about a variety of things and the question becomes what to do with the information. The Doctor says that I missed a developmental stage, that I’ve been parentified and that I “parent” my family in a variety of ways, sacrificing my self in the process. I’ve actually started to wonder if, at some subconscious level, I’ve never had an intimate relationship because that would hurt/upset/discomfort my family. Screwed up. Got it. Now what?

In non-mental-health news, things have been overall better than I had expected. I’ve had enough work and been paid decently for it all– without feeling like I’m in constant stress every week. I finished a show last week that was well-received, I’ve managed to pay my bills, and at present I’m set till mid-June or so when school lets out. I’m a bit anxious to be losing that employment-safety-net of substitute teaching for the summer, and trying to think more seriously about what I really want both for the summer and after. With a friend of mine going into grad school it’s looking good that I could teach her classes at my OldHighSchool and make a decent living, especially on top of some other freelance projects and the Tech gig I’ve got at a private school now. But of course all that would keep me Here, with all the family issues and career direction confusion Here has. On the other hand, leaving presents a million other scary prospects of it’s own. I don’t want to turn away from a good oppotunity (should one arise) just because I’m afraid to step out of my comfort zone, I’m just struggling to figure out what exactly I want that’s worth taking such a risk. So. Don’t really feel like I’ve stepped forward, but the breathing room of I’m-in-Transition has been kind of nice.

March 19, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me

Filed under: Best Niece Ever, Good Moodiness, Talks with the Doc — me @ 10:46 am

Having just been taken out to breakfast I’m doing my best to relax my morning away. Seeing the family later tonight and hoping to be able to just have fun and not struggle with them or myself for once. Looking back, 30 was a momentous year. This is still very much a transition but I’m more hopeful now that I feel like I went through some of the hard work of growing as a person this year that a payoff is coming. I’m definitely more relaxed overall these days– my stresses over work, for the moment, are far between enough to be more reasonable, and being in a more project-to-project situation keeps me from getting to emotionally overwrought over most things related to that. My finances should be in decent shape for the next couple months so I have some time to plan and figure out what’s Next after that.

With more space in my brain these days my thoughts have turned more to some of the work I’ve done with the Doctor, some of it being rather painful. I am honestly kind of surprised to have honed in on new things about my childhood at this stage of the game and I’ve been thinking a lot about what it all means and what I should do with the information as I go further in life. I am thankful for the opportunity to learn myself more and hopeful that it will be a very positive thing for my future.

BestNieceEver knows my name now and has lots to say about lots of things. I saw her this past weekend, and very excited to see her tonight as a new TWO year old. I cherish the time I have with her and feel that she was a great spot for me this challenging year.

The best things I did last year were quit my job and go on a trapeze 4 times. What will be the best things this year? I can’t wait to find out.

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