A Year and Some Change

Has it really been almost two years since my last entry? It feels strange looking back at this foreign land, the mind of a person with whom I can no longer really identify. Am I the same person I was when I started this back in December 2010? No. Hell I am not the same person who wrote that last entry back in June 2013. It feels like I have lost a connection to this blog and that is something I have decided I need to mend in this new year. So much has happened to change me and yet so much is still the same, the lost feeling I had when I first started hasn’t gone away, neither has the battle with depression or anxiety, but in these last few years I have progressed. All we can ask of ourselves each year is, “Have I progressed?” Further more,  have I moved forward even a small step, and I can say with full confidence that I have taken more than a few giant steps forward in my life? 2014 was a transformative year for me, one filled with love, hard work, friends, partying, crying, and so much more, all I hope is that 2015 will be even more progressive.

But what about this blog? It can never return to what it was originally, not that I have any notion of what the point was when I started it, really this is just a place for my brain to spill open for the world to see. If you can relate or glean something from my brain vomit, great, if you read it and think it is trivial drivel with no point or purpose, that is fine too. This is about expression without censorship, not censoring in terms of dirty words or possibly offensive opinions, but from social constrictions or personal fears. It is my goal to make this a place where I can say what I want, express something, write without fear of backlash or derision, use the brain I have been growing for the last 30 years.

What will you see in the days, weeks, posts to come? Your guess is as good as mine, all I want in this new year is to write, let the keys fly however they choose. I promised myself when I was a child that I would someday get published, that my writing would be acknowledged and enjoyed by others, hopefully some of the short stories I come up with on here will spark something and the ball can finally get rolling. So there you go, I will at least be writing short stories again, perhaps do some 30 Day Challenges, some movie reviews, and perhaps some personal reflection along the way.

With all of that in mind I will share a small thought on the new year. In the past I have attempted to come up with resolutions, those silly impossible goals that always made me feel worse about the new year than hopeful of events to come. This year I have decided to do away with “Lose weight”, “Eat better”, “Curse less” and all that shit, instead I want to adopt a philosophy of “More.” This year I don’t want to constrain my actions or experiences, instead I want to open myself up to the world and do more, read more, write more, see more, talk more, listen more, be more…you get the idea.

Let the year of More commence!

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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.

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?

Not Angry, Just Disappointed…The 2013 Oscar Nods

Okay, maybe a little angry…

Let’s break it down piece by piece, category by category shall we.

Best Picture – What I expected, seen 5 out of the 9 so I can’t really say anything about the others but Argo is solid but not an Academy darling like Les Miserables, Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty. Pretty sure Django and Zero won’t get any wins because of the controversy surrounding them, and Oscar really does love their histories and musicals, so no real surprises.

Actor in a Leading Role – I would have loved to see Bale get a nod for his turn as Batman, but I knew that wouldn’t happen. I think Logan Lerman deserved a nod for Perks of Being a Wallflower, but otherwise another batch of the expected. But then again is there any sliver of doubt at all who this is going to? I mean Lincoln is the kind of role the Academy has wet dreams over and they love Lewis like a first born son, and I will admit he is the standout in the group.

Actress in a Leading Role – Nice to see Chastain get some love, she had a good year, but I think Helen Mirren deserved to be nominated for Hitchcock as she pretty much carried the entire film. This one is anyone’s game but with all the buzz surrounding Jennifer Lawrence’s role I think she may have this one.

Actor in a Supporting Role – Christoph is the clear winner here for me, the only nominee necessary, much like the next category, he stole each scene he was in. I honestly do not get Alan Arkin for this, I loved Argo but I just don’t understand why Arkin was nominated other than his seniority in Hollywood. Would have really liked to see Ben Winshaw for Cloud Atlas, Ezra Miller for Perks of Being a Wallflower and dare I say…Tom Hardy for The Dark Knight Rises. Also where the hell is Leonardo Dicaprio? If anyone deserved a nomination this year, maybe not the win, he broke out of his normal box and blew away each scene. When will they acknowledge this poor boy?! Is he blacklisted or on someone’s hit list for those never to get an Oscar?

Actress in a Supporting Role – Like Waltz, there is no doubt who will win this and who should win this, Hatheway gave a once in a generation performance but…I think Kerry Washington should have gotten some love for her time in Django Unchained, and perhaps Judi Dench for Skyfall. I know it would have been a stretch but Emily Blunt did some great work in Looper, so some love there would have been appreciated.

Directing – ARGH! Let’s see. No Bigelow, no Affleck, no Tarantino!! I…no, can’t even. I know it would have been a long shot but when will they finally give Nolan the Oscar he deserved since Memento? I Just think they need to rewrite the rules for some categories, like they did with Best Picture, and allow more than 5 etc.

Writing – Original/Adapted Screenplay – As for writing I think ParaNorman could have actually had a spot in here, a fresh dark animated film, I know it would have been a stretch though. And really no Perks for Adapated Screenplay? That I just don’t get.

Music– Original Song – Although I have a clear choice here with Adele, what about any of the songs from Brave? Or could I beg Misty Mountains for The Hobbit, now that they have changed the rules for the song criteria?

Cinematography– Just happy that Les Miserables isn’t on here because I was offended by that camera work. But what about Argo and Lawless, both could have easily fit in here.

Costume Design – Meh, expected. Wish The Dark Knight Rises was on here, some great costume work there, and where the hell is The Hobbit!!, really? Also think The Hunger Games, John Carter, Prometheus and Avengers should have gotten some recognition. Oh and Cloud Atlas!

Film Editing – I am not as focused on editing, not really something I pay much attention to but I think The Dark Knight Rises, 21 Jump Street and Cloud Atlas deserved some appreciation.

Makeup And Hairstyling – Really? Where is Cloud Atlas, The Avengers, The Grey, The Hunger Games, John Carter, I could go on. Just argh.

Music – Original Score – This may be where my anger truly lies because there are so many other films that stood out this year as far as score, more original than these at least. Prometheus, Brave!!!, Lawless, The Dark Knight Rises!!!!!, The Hobbit! Seriously, this was the year of original scores and yet we get the same boring noms.

Production Design – Pretty happy with this, although I think Lawless, Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows and Prometheus all deserved some attention.

Sound Editing/Mixing – Again, editing/mixing are not really my thing but…what about Lawless, The Dark Knight Rises and Prometheus?

Visual Effects – Big bone to pick with this one as well. I appreciate all these nods, but but but where the hell is The Dark Knight Rises? I mean really? And Cloud Atlas, Looper, and yes even Total Recall and Cabin in the Woods. I no…just can’t.

Like I said, I am more disappointed than truly angry, I used to wait around for these awards shows every year but the older I get the more I realize they will never change. Sure, there will always be those films made specifically to win awards, or at least marketed that way, but someday it is my dream that a genre specific film will at least get something. I know we got it a few times with the Lord of the Rings, but honestly I think that there is so much happening right now in science fiction and just so little respect in the big awards. And I know the flack I will get because I am a bit of a hypocrite, I say I am disappointed in the awards and yet I watch them every year, but honestly it is so I can kick my brothers’ asses in our annual round of award betting.