Updates and Check-ins

I haven’t checked in in a while and I’ve missed you. I’ve had multiple people reach out to me and ask how I am doing since I have been very touch and go with my online presence lately and I can’t begin to tell you how much that means to me. 

There are so many things I miss now that the pandemic has robbed me of them. Little, odd things, like the Northwest Sound Men’s choir who rented out space at the place I work to be able to gather and rehearse every Wednesday evening. I miss shutting down my office at the end of the work day and hearing them practice their songs in perfect and jovial harmony down the hall. I miss putting together my powerpoint presentations for people who would pass by and stop for a few minutes, attention snagged, to view them. Something about knowing that people are going to be present to appreciate your work makes it so fulfilling. 

I could go on and on, and so could you because we have all lost something. There are days that are incredibly rough still, and others where I feel that I have made so much progress and growth as a person. Recently, I had to have a tough conversation with someone where I had to lay down my boundaries. Always such a pleasant conversation, sigh. But I resolved to myself to be fully present and not give an inch even in the inevitable face of their hurt feelings/pride. It’s always that much more tough when the offending party encroaches on your boundaries and into your personal space from a place of overeagerness and wanting to insert themselves into spaces in your life that you never asked them to. Giving advice that was never sought after, sharing too much personal information out of nowhere, unburdening themselves to you without asking if you’re even okay with it. Finally I had to tell them they were making me uncomfortable. I wrestled with all of the feelings that came along with the whole scenario, but the relief in my soul was absolutely worth it in the end. The art of saying no to people, not maliciously, but out of self care, is a powerful tool in our arsenal. Sometimes it takes years of courage to learn how to wield it properly. 

There are moments that I cherish that are made even brighter in the face of all the tragedies that keep unfolding on the world stage. One of my best friends at work sent me and our other best friend (yep, at work) a Charlie’s Angels mug as a celebration of our friendship. That made our day. It’s gestures like these that keep me going when I just want to lay down and give up sometimes. 

Not all has been difficult and I would be remiss if I weren’t going to touch on the parts that remain shiny, faceted gems in the caverns of my mind. Before the pandemic hit us in full force, the start of this year brought with it unexpected adventures and little surprises that were cool to experience. The University of Washington had found my blog and contacted me to see if they could interview me about it. I had agreed, of course, and had a lovely interview at a coffee shop on a rainy, February evening. I had also auditioned for and won a part in a show that I flew out to California to film. (Don’t ask what show, I will never reveal it 😉) I was also scheduled to go on a vacation to Scotland in May, but that’s when all the borders had shut down and I was never able to go. But sometimes, just remembering the track record of neat things I was on the path of experiencing this year helps me to get through the parts that are lonely and remind me of how fragile we are. 

Anyway, with all of that being said, I’m going to have to wind down and head out for my massage but I can’t help but be wildly curious to know what things have you unexpectedly missed during this pandemic that you never thought you might miss? What has been helping you to stay sane and grounded when it seems that all else keeps failing?

2 out of the 3 “Charlie’s Angels” cheesing with our mugs (there’s a pun in there and it wasn’t even intentional.)

Pretending at Living

Is this who we are, then,
choreographed echoes of moments
long since faded,
like the photographs in the stack of
albums hidden in the bottom drawer
of the china cupboard,
where we still remembered how to smile
in the way only a child can.
Before disappointment came and
leached the glittering hues of innocence
from the years wrought with failing
and flying, and the terrible sepia
that stole in with the loss of childhood.
A chorus of repetition greets the day,
where mimicry is mistaken for flattery
and empty words fall like spent
bullet casings. I string them together
and loop them around my neck,
try to remember how it felt to embrace
a kaleidoscope of living color.

Uncertain

Is there anything

that is inherently

beautiful

all by itself?

Or do all the

beautiful

things

wrap themselves

in

thorns

to guard

from being crushed

by overzealous ardor?

Photo by *andokadesbois on We Heart It

It was an odd and eventful weekend

It has to be an unwritten law in the universe—the night before an eventful weekend, you just have to break out or get sick. In my case, I was puking and my head was spinning like a wayward top. Lovely.

In any case, I was able to rally enough to get out and join in on the adventures. How do they put it—come hell or high water, right?

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Fall in the Pacific Northwest is gorgeous.

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We were treated to the most stunning sunset. This photo was taken with an iPhone with no filters or editing applied.

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Girls girls girls.

Sunday we attended a concert and got lucky enough to be able to meet (and in my case, hug) the singers!

All in all it was a successful weekend, I think.

What I’ve Learned About Myself in my Brief Blogging Adventure

I’m not a good person. When I look at all the brilliant, kind, warm, and caring individuals that I have run across on this platform, I realize how much work I still need to do on myself. I do realize that online and in real life, we tend to display a specific persona that we want people to perceive, and it’s more prevalent online, but I feel that there are some genuinely sweet people on here that go way above what I am willing to do. And it makes me envy them. Not in a bad way, because I know that I can continue to persevere and I can get there too, but it doesn’t come natural to me. I have to work at it. I consistently work on kindness and grace because I need so much of that bestowed on me too.

I was not a nice person growing up. It actually wasn’t until I entered into the darkest years of my life that I learned how to be kind to people. If I hadn’t had my heart absolutely shredded and my beliefs challenged to near extinction, I don’t believe I’d ever have changed the way I was. I enjoyed my lifestyle too much and I loved being elitist. What I mean by that is that I was incredibly picky with who I allowed into my most inner circle, and it meant that I had many acquaintances but only a very very few close friends. On top of that, I was incredibly smug about it too—until the people I adored with all of my heart failed me and I was left with no one. Over the years I was forced to learn how to let people in and not keep myself closed off because my status quo to meeting new people was to not like them. By default, you can’t really get far with that kind of attitude.

As for my blog—my interactions to everyone I have met on this platform have all been genuine, so to whoever is reading this, please don’t mistake my past behavior with my current self. Although I am still under construction, I will admit that I’ve come an incredibly long way from where I was. I read a quote once that said, “It is okay to be a masterpiece and a work-in-progress at the same time” and I don’t think it could be said any better than that.

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Body Language

Men and women are so different. The contrast fascinates me all the time, until sometimes, it doesn’t. Like when men and women cannot read each other’s signs or body language they are giving off.

There is this little grocery store down the street from my neighborhood that I frequent because it is so convenient. Well, one of the workers there recently took a shine to me. He works behind the seafood counter and maybe he interpreted my questioning him what type of salmon was the best to buy as an interest in him, I’m not sure. Well, the next time I ran into him in the store, he asked me for a hug. Being a little taken aback and not wanting to be rude, I said sure. So we hugged. Well, that quickly escalated into him exhibiting stalkerish behavior. Every time I go into that store, even when I’m nowhere near the seafood section, he will pop up right beside me and start chatting. And now he goes in for a hug without asking me. It’s making me hesitate as to whether or not I even want to go there anymore, and I hate that because it is so convenient for me! I know the best thing for me to do is to tell him straight out that he needs to tone it down because my silent hints of avoiding that side of the store are not carrying over, but honestly, that is so much easier said than done. Ugh what to do what to do 😕

On the flip side, I tend to read way too much into something when I like a guy, especially if I’m not certain if he likes me back, and I’ve certainly lost my sh*t before in former relationships where I misread or overthought a situation. You would think that with all this information at our fingertips in this day and age, we would certainly learn how to communicate more effectively, but nope. We revert to our lizard brain when certain chemicals are triggered in the brain.

The Day I Was Jealous

It caught me unaware, seeing you standing there in the parking lot, talking to her. I had finally decided to call it quits on our relationship, and this time I had made up my mind that it was going to be the last time. I thought I was prepared for it too, as our back and forth had worn me down to my very bones. But leaving the store that evening, I was not expecting to look up and see you standing there looking so put-together in your snug blue jeans and my favorite grey hoodie.

I quickly blended into the shadows and cursed myself as I stopped and watched your interaction with her take place. She had said something that made you laugh. My breath hitched and I couldn’t tear my eyes away from your face as every familiar emotion played across its surface. The way your brown eyes became soft and crinkled at the corners before your husky laugh rolled like sweet molasses out into the chilly evening air. I watched her place her hand on your arm and noticed that you didn’t shrug it off. You were still looking at her with that soft smile—the smile that was only reserved for me when you were being incredibly indulgent with whatever shenanigans I had gotten us both into.

Closing my eyes and taking several deep breaths, I quickly got into my car and pulled into the busy traffic, letting autopilot take over. Feeling something steadily drip off my chin, I swiped my hand across my face and realized I was crying.

A Box Full of Darkness

Depression will often make you believe that you want to die, when what you are really craving is to feel alive. There have been so many times over the years that I desperately wanted to put an end to my misery and I mistakenly thought that looked very much like suicide. I couldn’t find my way out of the darkness and pain I had fallen into—yet my overwhelming desire to end it all was a response to my inability to obtain life and joy from everything that used to bring me fulfillment.

I would gaze in bewilderment at the people around me, going about their everyday lives, and I would scream at them internally, “Don’t you feel it?! Don’t you feel the disaster of my existence, the utter annihilation of my very soul? How can you not stop and stare in shock and horror at the destruction of everything I once was?” I was bleeding out my very essence into the universe and yet no one had the slightest clue. They blithely kept on living while my life had come to a sudden and unexpected halt.

Being on the outside looking in engraved some of the most brutal lessons into my shattered soul. Mainly, how important it is to notice the people around you. Not just their outward appearance or the expressions painted on their face—but to really see the person underneath. Being forced to a complete stop in a world that constantly rushes forward at the speed of light showed me how often I would trample over people in my climb to the top—never once noticing or even caring if my actions hurt someone in my rush.

Learning the simple act of kindness came with a terribly steep cost and one I am loathe to ever have to learn again. But unexpectedly, I was also left with invaluable gifts that could not have been obtained in any other way than making my way through that darkness.

darkness