Another Absence, Another Excuse

Tonight is the first free evening I’ve had in a while – my play’s run having finished on Sunday.  I’m surprised it took this long to get to a free day, in which I had few obligations to keep me away.  In fact, I had to ignore a prior commitment to make this appointment with myself.

I hadn’t intended to write anything tonight; there was no real reason for that, it just wasn’t in my mind.  But I’ve missed it.  Whenever I pick up acting or singing or dance or writing, and one of those as a result, I miss it.  I’m not sure how to fit them all into my life at the same time, I’m just not, but it’s clear that I need all four to feel completely happy.  What a strange thought.

There were a number of other things I had planned to do with my first free evening in over two months, but the depression hit about the moment I entered my room.  After setting my backpack down on my bed, I found I could not get up again – could not force myself to do anything productive or leave.  I had a birthday party invite from one of my castmates from the play, and I simply could not make myself go.  Granted, I had asked her for details and she hadn’t gotten back to me yet, but still I could have gone and I didn’t.  I told myself I didn’t have the money – but I could have.  I told myself I didn’t get her a gift and I didn’t – but I could’ve brought a card or bought her a drink or something.  I gave myself all these excuses, but I realize now that it was the depression talking.

Show runs end – another audition lies around the corner – school goes on – work never ends – and the damn sun keeps on rising and setting on the same bloody schedule every day of the year.  Here I sit, wishing that once – just once – it would stay down and let me sleep for a while.

I got quite a lot of good news this week relating to my voice training and performance, but post-show depression has managed to trump even that.  Finals are in 8 weeks, I have a lot of catching up to do and a lot of auditions coming up – I do not have time to be depressed.  On the other hand, I need to deal with this so that the stress of it doesn’t eat at my body and cause me to get sick again.


There are so many paths my life could have taken – I can see so many different endings from moments now long behind me.  I could be a mother now, married to my first serious boyfriend out of high school.  He was going to propose to me, which I only found out after I broke up with him.  I wasn’t happy and I had no idea why, but my friends and family convinced me that he was the reason.  To be fair to them he was a rather large part of it, but not the only reason.

Later, I fell for line of the wrong men – each in a horrible time in their lives, each broken in his own way, and each made me more and more unhappy.  I could have shut my mouth and landed with any one of them, but I kept fluttering away (sometimes chased and sometimes during pursuit).  I even fell for the wrong woman – who turned out to be crazier than any guy I’d dated previously.

The wrong woman led me away from my first main cage and into one of her own making.  It’s funny how much someone can love you when you’re free to fly away, how much they loath you once they’ve locked you up behind their bars, and how much they shame you for trying to or even succeeding in breaking free.  Once I was thinking for myself, I realized how crazy and controlling she was and saw how I’d placed myself into that situation, questioning nothing and letting myself feel as though I deserved it and couldn’t do better – yet more reasons for my unhappiness.  I left.

I can see, however, a life that could have led from that.  A marriage.  An adoption.  The gods forbid, a pregnancy (not hers because she was hell-bent against that, but my body wasn’t hers so it mattered far less that I was hell-bent against doing that to myself).  A house.  A lot of unhappy years at a job I didn’t like to support her and the kids – well, him now.  I can picture it so clearly now.

All of these possibilities lurk in my peripheral vision, endless futures that will never be.  I don’t want them and I don’t wish I could go back and make any one of them a reality.  The only thing I wish is that I could go back and tell this amateur figure skater that no adult knew fully what they were talking about.  That a young woman who started skating at 15 could go on to make a future for herself by following her dreams – it might be unrealistic but realism is overrated anyway.  I wish I could tell her that she was beautiful and bright and talented, and that she should ignore anyone who told her otherwise.  I wish that I could tell her that she could do anything she wanted to do as long as she worked her ass off, and stubbornly pushed against every block others placed in her way.  I wish that anyone would have told me these things – just once.

The thing is – I’ve finally realized these things about myself, and it only took a lot of years of good friends and even some random acquaintances telling me these things over and over again before I could allow myself to hear them.  I know I’m not alone in feeling this way or discovering these things later in life.  Hell, I think it’s so common that anyone who manages to read this far can post this on their own blog as though it were their own with few to no edits.  Yea, I’m that confident.  That does not, however, mean it’s a useless thing to state or write here.

Because I can see it now – a bright future doing exactly what I want to do with my life and, yes, making a living that way.  I can see it.  It only took me ****** some-odd years, and a lot of what I used to think were empty compliments – words that people just threw at one another – until I really started to hear what was being said to me.


Writing – I’m going to do my best not to abandon it in my pursuit of other passions.  I need this, too – this release.  It keeps me sane, clears my head of all of the echoes and needless chatter or screaming.  And silence is the best state in which a mind to finally get some sleep.

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Permanence & Change

I feel a little bit like I’ve been avoiding this place, lately.  Not necessarily on purpose – just, I don’t think I’ve wanted to delve into my subconscious during the past couple of months.  Things in there are – dark and kind of bad, right now.  Something’s struggling to come to the surface with which I’m not entirely sure I’m prepared to deal.  I’m lonely and tired and depressed and constantly second-guessing myself.  This doesn’t seem unusual, really.  It’s just more intense than it has been in a while.  I keep wondering why I’m even trying.

This is, of course, the kind of attitude I’ve spent the past few years trying to fight off.  I know those doubts are in there; I even have a decent idea who put them in there – and parents, especially mothers, should fucking know better.  I’m tired of fighting, of people taking advantage and calling it caring, and I’m absolutely sick of – just – life, at the moment.

I’m fighting it.  I’m weary.  I can’t see anything good, right now.  I think what I need is a little break… unfortunately, only the privileged class get those.  I don’t know what to do.

What Mothers Are Supposed To Do

“I know what your mother did to you when you were little, what she was, what she made you watch, what she let men do to you and it makes me so… it’s just not fair. And no one can make that better, I wish I could, I do, but if I could somehow go back there, you know, and make what was happening to you stop, I could just pick you up and just tell you it’ll all be okay. That’s what moms are supposed to do. They’re not supposed to be the cause of your pain, they’re supposed to make it go away. They’re supposed to hold you and tell you everything is going to be alright. They’re supposed to tell you that thunder is angels bowling. And that it’s okay to be afraid of the dark, and it isn’t silly to think there might be monsters in your closet. And that it’s okay if you want to climb into bed with them just this once because it’s scary in the room all alone… They’re supposed to say it’s okay to be afraid, and not be the thing you’re afraid of. But most importantly, they’re supposed to love you no matter what.”

– Jennifer ‘JJ’ Jareau (Criminal Minds “The Longest Night”)

On Assumed Intimacy & Other Relationship Lies

I’m beginning to think that all my relationships (barring those with some family members and one or two friends) have been with people who see some idealized version of me, and assume that’s the person with whom they’re in a relationship.  They don’t see or want to see the real me, and when they can no longer ignore her that’s when they’re disappointed or annoyed.  These individuals try to force me into being someone I’m not, becoming surprised and/or angry when I refuse to bow down to their mental image of ‘the perfect (girl)friend.’

To add to this, in this new city in which I now live the trend is to assume an unearned level of intimacy; a trend that I cannot understand.  Why would anyone want to pretend with another person, who has not yet actually proven they can be trustworthy, that they have shared experiences that have not been shared?  It makes no sense to me.  You cannot tell someone that the two of you ‘are really close’ when all you’ve done is share a few weeks’ worth of conversations.  That is not intimacy, it is a budding friendship – relationship, if you will.  Even sex is not enough to achieve intimacy, though it is mistakenly believed to be enough by many people.

Assuming that you’re at a greater level of intimacy with someone with whom you’re not is a shortcut that can only be pretended.  With all this fabrication going on how can anyone maintain a relationship?

This is the real reason why marriages fail – constant assumptions, miscommunications, fantasizing, and expectations of instantaneous fixes to any problems.  Until people can accept other people for who they really are this institution will continue to fall and these relationships will continue to fail.  I, for one, am fed to bursting with the idea that someone can just tell me how intimate we have become, or how I should behave in our relationship.  Your fantasies hold no sway over my mind or my actions.

Thanks for reading my relationship rant, and have a lovely day.

Submission & Rejection

I have recently decided to put myself out there as a writer the traditional way. I know all about the self-publishing paths and I see their merits, but I want more than anything to be published through an actual publisher. So I have begun submitting my work to little online competitions as a precursor. The thing is: I’m not sure how good of a judge this is or is going to be for my writing. I just wanted to see if any of my pieces were accepted by random people online before I submitted them to actual literary magazines.

Perhaps I should be going straight to the literary magazines for feedback? Maybe that’s the better route for someone who wants to be published the traditional way? I know I’m not writing in any niche genres, and that seems the only way that amateur writers are getting published lately… at least the ones about whom I know.

I’m afraid of that rejection letter – the one that says my work isn’t good enough or that it’s weak or uninteresting or common. I know it’s part of writing and that once the first couple are out of the way it will become much easier, but I also worry about finally putting myself out there. Silly, really, when I look at the situation logically because I know that there’s no way I’ll ever get published if I don’t send my work somewhere that might publish it.

Rejection: what a fear. It’s the reason people don’t always chase their dreams, the reason not to tell someone you love that you love them, and the reason so many artists stay in the closet about their works of art. What a fragile thing, the human ego. I think mine could use some more character building via pain. Submissions – here I come!

Crushes

I have warring feelings about crushes. On the one hand, I love beginnings. They’re so wonderful to me that they’re worth dragging out. I don’t want to kiss you straight away, if I’m interested in you. First, I want to brush against you ‘by accident,’ maybe an affectionate and teasing poke when you say something to tease me, or cuddling up against you just to see if you’ll let me. The kiss comes later… after the butterflies have settled down a bit under the above circumstances.

On the other hand, crushes give you expectations, desires, and hopes about a whole other person, things which we have no right to feel about someone not ourselves. It’s confusing, it’s painful. It’s the possibility of something great resting between two people, and that is a horrible thing.

Silence: A Break-Up

It’s funny how angry I was before all of this began. I had started dating someone who really annoyed me pretty much the minute he began to be himself around me (which he began to do after we had sex). I’ve never experienced that before, but, being who I am, I sat back to figure out why I was often annoyed to be around him rather than breaking it off right away.

After noticing several traits in him that are pet peeves of mine, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. I had been afraid he was my mirror, and that the things that annoyed me about him might be my own traits reflected back to me. Don’t get me wrong, one or two of them were, still are, and are on my list of changes I’ve been working on in my life. However, the traits he accused me of having… it’s funny how seriously I took him before. I believed him about the things he said about me even while knowing that he was incapable of seeing past his own ego long enough to see anyone else clearly, including me. No, he had this idea of what he wanted, and he thought he could force me to be this fantasy, only to become surly and irritable when I would break stride with his imagination.

‘He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words.’
– Elbert Hubbard

He sent me a nasty message via Facebook. It’s funny because before I read it I thought I had a lot to say to him about the way he treated me or the lies he told me or the things about him that bothered me so much. Then I read what he had to say, and realized that he already knows about those traits. He doesn’t see them in himself unfortunately, but he’s well aware of their existence. I know myself well enough to know projection when I see it.

I thought I would be angry or hurt by his harsh words, and was afraid to read them at first. The moment I read them, however, everything dissolved. I pity him, in a way. I thought I could help him for a time, and after several failed attempts to do so I realized that it’s not my responsibility; someone else’s happiness is not my responsibility. That might sound cold, but it’s true. I’ve spent my entire life trying to make other people happy, forgetting entirely about my own happiness in the process. I’ve done this so habitually ever since I can remember that people simply expect if of me. They call me ‘selfish’ for changing and wanting to focus on bettering myself and my own life, but it’s not anymore selfish than their expectations that I focus only on them and making them happy. I moved away from home so that I could finally do something for myself, to better my life and my future, and I do not need to let anyone shove his or her way into my life to interrupt that pursuit.

I’ve been happier since he stopped contacting me, and his sporadic communications during the past month have only made me tense. In fact, I’ve found that when the relationships end, the ones that dissolved in the last year and a half, I suddenly feel huge weights lifting off of my shoulders and my heart. I’ve been able to breath easier once those people are gone, which is sad really because I feel that relationships should be about sharing, and should make one’s heart lighter… not heavier. Clearly, I keep allowing myself to be drawn into the wrong kind of relationships. It’s time for a change, I think, and I’m well on my way.

After all, art is, and has always been, my mistress and my master – art in the form of writing and acting, and it makes me happy – it keeps me sane, in a way. Anyone who tries to get in the way of that should receive a good, hard whipping.

Thanks for reading my retrospection, and have a lovely day!