May 2013 – A Retrospective

A long while back I had a series of posts in which I would sum up stuff that happened in my life each month, however I sadly haven’t had much time to really devote to my blog as of late, so it kind of died. But I really do miss the therapy that is blog writing, and I am getting old and my memory is slowly fading so I need help keeping track of my life. Also as a history person it is important to remember that we can learn from our past and it is nice to know what I learned from my random experiences each month. So I figure I will at least try to get back into writing and tracking my dwindling memory with this retrospective series.

Quick, mini retrospectives in 15 words or less

January – Groupon shenanigans. Boring. Blah.

February – Laid off! Boring. Jobless.

March – Stage Managing FTW! Parties! Social life! Twilight Zone and Aardvarks! Boo whiskey and men!

April – Ardvarks! Crushing hard on sexy men. Guys are stupid throw rocks at them! C2E2! Grubhub.

May

Events

- Stage managing craziness! Ended a show, joined two new ones. I have fallen in love with Cornservatory (Corn Productions, check them out! cornservatory.org) and they have taken me, a complete newbie, under their comedy wings and allowed me to work on five of their shows! They trust me with more than anyone ever has before, they allow for my voice to be heard, and they keep me smiling all through the wee hours of the morning.

- Put in my resignation to one place, although I am having a hard time leaving for a variety of reasons.

- Went on my first OKC date, well four (ish), and discovered I have very little self control. It went better than my fears wanted me to believe, nice to finally have a social life, but also hard to learn what some people are like. (See Lesson Learned #1 and 4)

- Did a few new things I never thought I would do, and all I can say is 16 year old me, who never believed she was wanted, is now jumping for joy and is quite proud of herself.

- Negatives: Pissed off friends, had my privacy violated by those I live with, another set of job rejections, went into financial negatives three times, didn’t pay bills because of lack of money, made a fool of myself for a guy who couldn’t give less of a shit about me.

Lessons Learned/Important Things to Remember

1. The saying: “Honesty is the best policy,” is a fallacy. We are taught as children to always tell the truth but as adults no one really wants honesty unless they want a reason to fight with you or get something for themselves. They can be honest with you but you cannot be honest with them. And there is such a thing as being too honest, being too open and frank about something can take all the fun out of a situation.

2. I bruise easily. Seriously, I had no idea how obvious a night out could be on my neck, chest etc.

3. I can always become a Boom Operator if I can’t get a job anywhere else. Although I would be a very short one, so that could cause a problem.

4. Even the nerdy, sweet, honest guys can turn out to have douchebag qualities. 

5. I have to seriously fight against my passive aggressive tendencies, it is difficult but keeping myself centered and calm, breathing through it is really the only way.

6. I am a powerful, beautiful, amazing woman and it only took me a couple of decades to finally realize it so from now on I will not allow anyone to make me feel any different. (Also, I apparently have a nice ass, never heard that one before but it is truly appreciated.)

7. People can surprise you in every possible way. Those whom you thought were black hearted, evil to the core can come out and save you in your biggest moment of need, never forget that family comes first and they are always there, even when they seem like they really are just there to drive you insane.

8. Bite your tongue but don’t stay silent. Hard thing to do right? Well I have learned that there are times when biting your tongue, and in my case that is physically what I have to do, can lead to the best outcome. But at the same time don’t allow for your desires, thoughts, needs, opinions, feelings to be forgotten or ignored in the process.

9. Play it cool. No seriously, be chill, don’t stress it, just play it cool. Advice I was given months ago by a good friend and I never listened to her until very recently, and damn I wish I had just listened earlier. She gets a big high five from 16 year old me. Just to note this is true in every aspect of life, from friendships to relationships to work.

10. Try new things and go for it. Simple as that, don’t let fear stop you from trying something new, who knows you may enjoy it.

A First Date: Part 2 – In gifs

Well, you saw what happened in part one, here is the conclusion to the epic adventure in first dates in the online world…

You get off the train or bus, start walking to the location you decided to meet up, it is too close, no much too close, everything is too close.

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You still have time to runaway, just get lost, turn left instead of right, RUN!!

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No, you can do this, you can do this, just breathe.

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You greet him, half side hug kind of awkward, but he is kind of cute, dorky but cute, not a two ton inmate, whew!

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Walking into the gaming place you realize, you are the only woman there…

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But your date is charming, confident and you are less worried. Play some games, chill.

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Games are over what now, a drink, his place…a drink at his place with videogames! Win, win win!

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Creepy walk to an unknown place, shit is this a set up? I knew it! Self defense moves ready to go…

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Nope, whew. Safe and sound in a stranger’s apartment, yeah your mother wouldd be so proud! Okay, time for gaming and drinks but dammit this game is taking forever to load…

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Okay, no game. How about drinks and a movie? Tangled drinking game it is!

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But alas distractions…
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Not a psycho killer, cute, sexy, funny, honest, confident, nerd, and I didn’t end up in a ditch…

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Yep, second date it is! SUCCESS!

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A First Date: Part 1- In Gifs

Online dating can  be scary, hell it can be downright terrifying, especially for someone like me.

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Trusting a stranger you meet in person is nothing like trusting someone over the web. They could be amazing, gorgeous and the perfect person or a two ton prison inmate or serial killer.

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You start chatting online, find you have shared interests in nerd culture perhaps.

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After awhile, the other person suggests that meeting for a real date might be a good idea…After some convincing, which includes them trying to prove they are not a psycho killer, you agree to a date.

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Public place, fun activity, movie and maybe food…then you realize holy crap you are going on a date with a complete stranger what the hell have you done!

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First dates are bad enough, but a first date with a strange person you only know via their online profile…anxiety kicks in

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Breathe, but hey they seem okay, they thought you were cool enough to hang out and you did agree to it, you can do  this!

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You are a sexy kick ass person, you got this!

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HOLY CRAP! What do you wear? How do you greet them? What the hell…AHHH Can’t be too slutty, too boring, to easy to forget but also can’t stand out too much!

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The night comes along, you have to start getting ready…three hours early because you are so damn excited!

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But DAMN you look fabulous!

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The ride to the location is the most horribly nerve wracking experience you have ever had!

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You still have time to back out, you don’t have to go in that place, you can leave right now no problem, fake a conflict…RUN!

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No, you are awesome! You can do it! Just a date, they will be just as nervous!

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Here we go…!

Random Brain Vomit of the Day – May 3, 2013

Obsession. Trying to break the habit, trying not to think about it. That is the key, thinking.

Over thinking, over analyzing, every moment, every encounter, everything. Planning every action that could be taken, always in fear that something will go wrong, so always thinking ahead.

The mouth causes trouble, speaking without thinking, the one time the brain shuts off, the planner vanishes. Speaking without planning is where everything goes wrong. A slip of the tongue, a truth released without judging what the outcome could be, and then it all falls apart. But the unspoken words, feelings and fears cause inner torment.

So which to choose?

Release the pain, let the truth be revealed, the truth too frightened to be spoken, but then it all goes wrong? Because it never goes right, there is never a happy ending when true feelings are expressed, needs and desired are given a voice, only abandonment and pain.

Or the mouth clamped shut, the tongue bitten, the words stopped, kept inside, the safest way? Yes, the safest for all, but still causing decay and anguish, eats away on the inside.

So what is the answer?

Don’t think, just act, play it cool, don’t plan, just do, but how? How to stop the habit, the obsession? If the mouth is allowed to speak the truth without planning ahead then the looks follow. Those looks that imply crazy or freak, retreat, flee.

So lies are how it must be, the mouth speaks falsehoods to appease others, always to please others. Play the game, pretend it is all okay when nothing ever is, keep those feelings hidden so others can go on being happy and normal, all the while slowly drowning in quicksand. Keep in control but never actually in control of anything, always letting others decide how to act, how to feel, what to say, what is appropriate.

Be patient, all will come in time, just play the game, play it cool, go with the flow, maddening phrases. Patience is a virtue bestowed on a happy few, but not on those who over plan, over think, over analyze; instant results, instant answers, instant gratification are the desired outcome always.

All that is desired is answers, truth, honesty without judgement from others, and yet keeping the mouth shut, feelings hidden, lies spread for the sake of others. Why? Fear. Plain and simple, fear. Fear of abandonment, fear of being alone, fear of being seen as crazy, fear of the unknown outcome. Fear of driving others away.

What does all of this inner struggle cause? Anger, resentment, sadness, pain, unending pain never to be soothed.

A life ruled by fear and thinking is not a life at all, survival yes but not living, enjoying, no happiness. Never getting what is desired, never getting what is needed, wanted.

Enjoying the Bliss

A couple of weeks ago I felt like I was on the verge of being pushed over a cliff, actually it was bad enough at one point that it was like being in a Looney Tunes cartoon. Remember when Wile E. Coyote would run off a cliff and freeze in mid-air, not realizing what he had done, then look down and realization kicks in and he falls. It was like I was frozen in that spot just past the cliff, everything dropping out from under me, I had no control over the inevitable outcome of falling and I actually wanted to let go and fall. It felt like everything, everyone in my life was turning on me, my world was imploding and I was decaying along with it. Several factors brought this depression on, from work, to guys, to family drama, but that is not what I want to focus on right now, instead I want to look at the now.

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Something clicked about a week ago, I woke up purely content, happy, and loving life. Sure, it could have been the fact that I drank too much the night before and I was still somewhat drunk, but the feeling hasn’t really gone away so I cannot blame it on the a-a-alcohol. It was opening night of my newest foray into stage management and we had a nice mellow party, something I would have run screaming from only months ago. But there is something about this theater, these people, that makes me want to be social, interact, dance, party and have a good time, again something I used to avoid at all costs. This group of people make me feel accepted, comfortable and like I don’t have to put on a face to be around them, I don’t have to lie (and from previous posts it should be clear how much I despise lying). I can be honest, open and feel no need to change myself, so my walls come down and enjoyment comes organically. At the party I was shown that I really did belong, I was appreciated and I was actually headed in the right direction. Although I never thought I would get into theater, never really had the drive to, I have found myself feeling amazingly comfortable and at home with my actors and directors. I also got to hang out with a great guy who is funny, talented, and shares my interests and I didn’t make a complete fool of myself (again, previous posts may highlight my tendency to do that).

I got home super late and had to work super early and yet when I opened my eyes the next morning I felt a bliss I had never experienced before. I didn’t want to lose that feeling, I held onto it, forced myself to remain positive and not think about how something good in my life always gets trumped by something terrible, I just let it be, let myself be happy. Although the bliss has somewhat dissipated over the last week the contentment has not, I find myself dwelling less on the negative and attempting to really change how I react and act around people. I want to be happy, I deserve to be happy and dammit no one is allowed to make me feel otherwise. That another piece to the puzzle, I am at a point where I refuse to let someone else define how I feel about myself and my circumstances. I have been criticized, bossed around, depended upon and used for far too long and I finally feel like I have the strength to take control and tell everyone to back the hell off. I know how I feel, what I want and more clearly what I do not want and I am going to fight to keep that control from here on out. If I am attracted to a guy I am not going to screw it up, I will do what I can do see where it all goes organically but I will not allow him to pass by again without me saying how I feel. If I feel like someone is unfairly criticizing me I will stand up for myself and tell them they are wrong or at least show them that I can do better and do not need to be told what to do or constantly put down. I will not be used, asked questions others can easily answer for themselves.

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On that note, I was somewhat insulted when a colleague looked down on me for not knowing exactly what I wanted to do in life, for not having a passion. Do I really need to have one defined, can’t I just live my life and let the pieces fall and allow the path to unfold before me? Right now I am happy stage managing, it isn’t a hobby, and I am insulted when someone implies that it is, I love every second of it and just feel right doing it. Does that mean I have a strong, overwhelming desire to keep doing it? Not exactly, it is more that I like the people I am doing it with, I enjoy the work I am helping produce. I don’t know where this will all lead in the end, does there really need to be an end goal? I know what I love to do, writing, helping others, producing something of value for others to enjoy, so why do I need to work towards an end title or goal? I do not want to be defined by what I do but how I do it. I am happy right now doing what I am doing, moving in the direction I am going and that is enough for me. Do I want more? Yes! Are there still things in my life that make me unhappy and goals I want to achieve? Yes of course! But at this moment I actually feel like I can reach some of those goals, I am not allowing the things that make me unhappy to keep me from enjoying the moment.

I will continue to live by these wise words…

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It All Comes Back to Truth

Twisted and mangled, inside wound so tight I can’t move. From my fast beating heart to my contorted stomach I am in knots, conflicted and tortured. Truth, it all comes down to truth. If I release the cause of my pain, if I speak candidly will I become untangled or will I only suffer more? An unending stream of questions compound in my head, blurring all other thought. Over thinking,  over analyzing each action, each word, why can I not just speak honestly? The reasons I have concocted are numerous for why I should stay silent, and yet none give me any peace. If I speak my feelings, allow myself in that most vulnerable state, I will be rejected, pathetic and unwanted. If I speak my feelings, allow myself to be open, I am going to sound crazy and only make matters worse. But then I always come back, if I don’t I will always wonder. I can’t stop the feelings I have, and why should I, if I don’t ask questions I will never get answers. If I never express my feelings at some point the bottle will burst and I will only suffer more. Circles of reasoning, infinite figure eights of rationalizing; circles of questions and fears.

Twisted and mangled, suffering in silence as I have for years, pleading for a sign, for something larger than myself to tell me what to do. Take away my choice, give me the answer without putting myself at risk. Everyone, everything around me says to keep silent it is for the best, but silence is where I have lived all these years. Where has silence gotten me? Without risk there can be no reward. Without truth, without affection, attraction, passion, what is the point of it all? Life is about living, about trying and failing or succeeding if you are so lucky. So if I keep myself closed, locked tight against answers and truth I am not really living, so I will never succeed. And yet even as I say this I know what the old-me will convince new-me to do. Clam up, keep your head down, lips sealed. I wish I could shut off my brain, allow the words to flow out without my intellect breaking it down, investigating every outcome. If I say nothing, nothing will change, no fear of rejection, abandonment, no movement forward either. If I speak up, change, the most terrifying thing of all will happen for better or worse, and there is no way to know which.

It all comes back to truth. Being true to others, true to yourself.

Is Honesty Really the Best Policy?

Honesty is the best policy.

An adage I have believed my entire life, and have tried desperately to live by.

For the most part I believe myself to be an honest person and above all things desire honesty from those around me, and don’t take lying lightly, in fact I take it as a personal insult. Crazy and unrealistic? Perhaps. However, recently I have discovered that I am in fact a hypocrite, or at least I am terrified of being honest myself or perhaps with myself.

Although I want only honesty from others I have never been able to be truly honest myself, at least when it comes to how I feel. Feelings are not easy for me to deal with, I tend to over think or overreact to things, leaving me in an endless awkward situation. So, when I am asked how I feel about something or someone I analyze what the best possible answer is, which will get me out without confrontation or more importantly abandonment, or I tone down my feelings so as not to sound weird. The times when I have been open and honest, allowed my true feelings to be heard it has never ended well, at least from my point of view. More often than not when I allow myself to be honest, when I turn my brain off long enough to speak the truth, I am met with negativity, abandonment, sideways looks, or worse, ignored. I have several friends who I feel I can be open and honest with, and I love them dearly for that, but they are so few and far between that I keep everything else repressed. And even when I can be honest with them I feel like a burden, like I am whining and taking them down. I am afraid that when I am honest I may be too open, too truthful, because I cannot level out how I am feeling, cannot tone down my thoughts and feelings. So, I have learned that perhaps not expressing my true feelings is the safer route, the one that will keep things from changing, from being taken from me, or from making others upset.

I believe now that it all boils down to fear; fear of rejection, of being abandoned, of being alone and invisible. Up until this past month I had never really thought about it, or analyzed why I always felt so depressed or angry. I think that honesty may be the key, I can never be honest about my feelings and so I hide, avoid answering or give a watered down response, I bottle it all up and don’t let others know my truth. When it comes to speaking freely, expressing my feelings about a situation or person I am lost, too afraid to be the honest person I strive to be. The other issue I face regularly is the appropriateness of honesty,  there have been times when I express the truth and it was seen as a social taboo, like I broke some kind of secret code I was never taught.

This past month I have had to deal with all of these issues at once, the confusing social taboos, being honest and being afraid. There is a guy I work with, only met recently, who I find myself amazingly attracted to, not only in body but also in mind and spirit. He is open, honest, funny, and just different from most other people I have met, he is one of the few men I have met who speak to me instead of through or around me. I feel like a teenager when I see him, think about him and about telling him how I feel. But,  ah, there’s the rub. Honesty. The only time I have been able to be honest with him was when I was heavily intoxicated and then blamed it on the alcohol the next day, thus negating any social awkwardness and avoiding any repercussions  To add to all of this he has a girlfriend, a rather young girlfriend, so social rules dictate I stop wanting to want him, but I can’t. People tell me to stop feeling the way I do like it is a switch I can just flick, a simple on and off, but I can’t and honestly don’t want to. What I want to do, I want to be honest, open and honest with him, call him, text him, tell him how I feel but I can’t, I have to keep from speaking the truth for the sake of keeping things from being awkward or uncomfortable for him and myself.

So, now I am stuck. I have come to a point in my life where I want to be honest, want my feelings to be heard and don’t want to be ignored anymore, but now I can’t. Again, I know what the social rules dictate, I know logically all of this, my brain understands but the rest of me doesn’t care.  Then there is the part of me that is convinced I am crazy for liking him because I have no clue if it is mutual, that nasty, depressed teenager trying to convince me that I am insane for possibly thinking anyone could like me, especially someone as talented, attractive and fun as him. And then there is the main part that wants to at least keep him as a friend because he really is a great guy and I want to hang out with him.

So, what do I do? What can I possibly do? Suffer in silence as I always have? Go back to bottling everything up because I am so afraid or because social rules say I must?

In this case is honesty the best policy? Or perhaps, is silence golden?