Friday, November 27, 2015

On Becoming Self-Aware

Trying to determine your own self-worth is a learning experience.

We all make mistakes, but I refuse to beat myself up over my perceived infractions. I am a rare and delicate creature and given time I will come to understand that regret can sometimes be a good thing.

It is, in fact, better to have loved and lost. But the important thing is not to lose your sense of self. I was lost for so many years that I began to doubt my own existence. It's no way to live. I have recently come to the sometimes harsh realization that I am real. What I think and say matters. I have limited influence over what other people will do, but it is imparative that I assert myself. And that I continue to be myself.

Part of me is music. Part of me is writing. Part of me is my lovely daughter. Part of me is the light of self-realization. Part of me is hope. Part of me is a profound love of the world that I am priveleged to share. Part of me is regret, but day by day I am shedding that part. There is always a new facet of myself on the horizon, and new parts of myself to love.

Change is not necessarily a bad thing: evolution is a necessity if we are to grow as people. I grow by the hour it seems. I grow into things and out of other things, and none of it makes me a bad person. It is the essence of what it is to be human.

And it is time to be forgiving of others who are also ultimately human. I leave you with this beutiful piece by Hugo Wolf, sung by the lovely Jeanine DeBique. 

The Forsaken Maiden

Early when the cock crows
Ere the stars retire,
I must stand at the hearth,
Must tend the fire.

What beauty in the fire's light,
When the sparks are leaping,
I stand gazing long at them,
Lost now in my grieving.

Suddenly I remember,
Unfaithful fellow,
'Twas you I was dreaming of
Until the night had ended.

Tears well up and fall
One upon the other;
The day has just begun—
Oh, would that it were over!
 - See more at:

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Every Which Way but Loose

Well those of you who know me well (or read my stuff at all) will be quite shocked to learn that I drove on the freeway the last two days. I must be losing what's left of my mind.

My job is going well. I still find that I need to get out more (some immersion therapy, if you will, to combat social anxiety). The struggle is real, people. And it’s really with people. But I can no longer drink myself into a stupor in order to say the things I’ve been feeling. Time to be as brave in real life as I purport to be online. Watch out Boise, I may even start singing sober again.

Interestingly, all of those years I spent nearly crippled with stage fright, I never thought of having a drink to loosen up. I was too much a perfectionist and thought surely imbibing something before a performance would negatively influence my pitch, among other things. Little did I realize (though it was suggested by one professor) that what I needed for this anxiety was medication. I didn’t take kindly to the suggestion that I needed to be medicated at the time, because I was a young twenty-something and I knew everything. Yes, those of you who knew me in high school and college might readily recognize that my head was, and sometimes still is, stuck up my own ass.

Yet I wonder if they had struck upon this particular cocktail of medicines earlier in my life. What might I have accomplished? I love my daughter and I don’t regret one second of our time together. But I wonder about how my path might have differed if I had followed my preferred professions.

And then, naturally, I wonder if it is too late for me. I’m almost forty years old (though some would argue a tad preternaturally preserved). Can I still do this? Can I open my mouth and allow music to consume me once again? Can I perhaps get back the octave of range I’ve lost? Or was that simply something that was never meant to be?

And then there’s the other art I love, that of acting. I started out in plays because I found it was the only way to speak in public that didn’t involve my stage fright. I became rather good at pretending to be someone else. No wonder, since I wore the mask of normalcy over my illness for so long.

So it’s been fun being a coward and hiding in the shadows. I’m going to start getting out there somehow. Maybe I’ll even end up a geriatric actress in a laxative commercial.

Stranger shit has happened.  

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Miss Mood

I'm trying not to be too swayed by my emotions. It's not working so well. One minute I'm fine and the next I'm openly weeping. Alone time is not my friend in this respect.

In Utah, I was a bit of a social pariah, with the exception of my husband's work circle. Now I find myself with a variety of social events on my calendar. It's strange, and a tad overwhelming. It's good that I'm getting out but I still find it difficult to mask my anxiety.

I filled my prescription, and I feel more balanced. I have a vehicle now, and a job. My boss is very focused on goals, which is inspiring. I've lost a bit of weight without really trying. These are all excellent things.

And yet I'm struggling with my moods. I wonder how much is circumstantial and how much is just brain chemistry. I am at odds with myself. At times I know exactly how to articulate, other times my brain refuses to work with my mouth when I speak or my hands as I type. I am at once bold and then immeasurably shy. I have moments of calm only to have my pounding heart or shaking hands betray me. I started books in earnest and then abandoned them almost completely. I spend way too much time on Facebook, scrolling repeatedly, when I should be accomplishing something significant. Or even something simple, like remembering to eat lunch,

I sleep well, most of the time. When I dream, it’s about school or one of my first jobs. I’d like to say not all of them are nightmares.

Then there are the issues of awkwardness and silence. On Halloween, Violet and her cousin played “the quiet game” as we drove them around in the van. My husband and I played the same game as I dropped him off at a motel later that evening.

I am nothing if not stubborn and resistant to change. Yet I know, as difficult and illogical as it may seem, that I want to stay here.