Wednesday, January 1, 2020

New Page

So...I started a new page. There is a place for my blog and for my pictures. Check out the first blog, available now at

Friday, December 27, 2019


So it doesn't really feel possible to me that this year is almost over and yet within the week the year and the decade even, is over. My life has been a hot mess of change lately so it is interesting to reflect at this point.

My word for 2019 has been flourish. I was very excited about that as a word. I was very excited for it to happen in my  life. I guess the real question now is - did I accomplish it? Did I flourish this year?

It would be easy to say no. I tend to focus on the negative - it is something I am working on - but I can easily point to several things over this year that went wrong. Things I did wrong. Things I wish I had gone differently. But I am not going to list those things - I have probably already complained about them anyway. Ha ha. Instead I am going to focus on the good. I have decided to find 5 ways I HAVE flourished this year.

1. I own a home now!! This is huge for me. Not everyone supported my choice to move to Manchester or buy a home here but I believe that overall it was a good thing. An important thing for me to do. It feels good to have a place that is mine. To move past all the things I walked away from a few years ago and start a new life in the now. And my nephew is there with me right now which makes it even more home. It is hard to be further from people I love or want to spend time with but if I make that my priority and they make me a priority I believe it can happen.

2. I was in a play!! It has been 20+ years since I have acted. I had no idea how much I had missed it. Getting a part was a shock. How much fun I had doing it was like remembering a part of me long lost. It was kind of crazy hard to work all day and then go to rehearsal every night, but I loved it so much. I will do it again for sure. It reminded me to have more confidence in myself and to be more creative and to just love life.

3. I went out more. It might not seem like to everyone as I have many people I haven't seen in a while or that I keep missing, but the truth is I have been doing more. And/or maybe just doing different things. I painted this year! I haven't painted in several years. I am not any better than I used to be but I enjoyed it just as much as ever. I went to several concerts - something I used to do ALL the time but haven't been doing lately at all. And maybe more importantly I allowed myself to get lost in the music at concerts. It is rare that I don't enjoy live concerts, but I used to just let my whole world disappear in the loudness and chaos of it. I did that again this year. Not as often as I used to obviously was good. It was cathartic - as it always has been. Music speaks to my soul in a way no other thing or person ever has.
4. I have been dating. I know  - WHAT? - right? Nobody get too excited. It hasn't been that much and it hasn't gone that well to be very honest is kind of a big deal. It has been 10+ years since I have even given that part of my life any chance. There are many reasons for that - I was focused on my nephew, on my health, on my Mom. All of those things are true and valid but also...I was afraid. I wasn't good at dating even when I was skinny and young and did fun things. After two back surgeries, 50 lbs gained and a body that often gives out on me...I didn't feel I had anything to offer anyone. I still often feel that way to be honest - but I am trying. I am exploring. I am, dare I say it, flourishing a bit.
5. I have lost weight. So the reality is that I got to a really high all time high this past year and finally had enough. My health is bad enough without extra weight making it worse. My confidence is low enough with feeling too fat to be beautiful. I needed to lose the weight. And I did. Well I started to anyway. I have lost 30 pounds so far! Crazily it is kind of hard to see it. I still have 32 more to go so I am still very much over weight and I guess that is why. But I am ending this year at my lowest weight of almost 12 years. I am very proud of that and ready to work even harder to lose the second half (I have heard it is much harder).

So there you have it. Despite many flaws and many set backs and much floundering...I have to recognize some places I have flourished. And be proud. Not finished, not satisfied, not complacent, but proud.

**************I have decided this will be my last blog post on this site. I have been frustrated with not being able to make the changes I want to make for some time and at the start of this new year I will be starting a new blog as well. Once it is set up I will do a post here directing anyone who wants to follow to the new site. Thanks!******************************************************

Monday, November 25, 2019

Sorry...but not really

So if you are my Facebook friend, and I know most of you are, you know that I have been pretty discouraged as of late. And I have been pretty honest about that on Facebook. I have received an interesting range of responses to that.  First of all, I have awesome friends and family – they always send love and read my posts etc. So I want to say that off the bat. BUT I have had several people respond with everything from simply I am sorry to saying that they are worried about me. Several others have indicated I should not share so much of my personal life on Facebook, nobody really wants to see that. It is “not attractive” apparently.

You know what? Screw that. I know I am in a bad mood, I am the one in the bad mood. I am the one dealing with the crap. I know that my life could be MUCH worse and that I have many things in my life to be thankful for. None of that means I have a great life. So why should I pretend that I do? We are always posting things SAYING that we want more honesty on social media and that we shouldn’t just post our “Instagram ideal” life. When I actually do, however, I get side eye for it. Ugh. What do you want?

Listen, I am a very emotional person. When something hurts me, it hurts me deeply. When something is disappointing, it is really disappointing. This may be “too much” for some people…okay. I mean if you don’t like it - unfollow me. Super easy. I am not looking for sympathy. I do realize that many people who say I am sorry are genuinely sad I am struggling so please do not feel like I am calling you – I am not, I am just clarifying I am not doing this for sympathy and/or attention. I don’t need you to worry about me. I appreciate friends who care, but those who insinuate that I am unstable simply b/c I am discouraged annoy me like nothing else. And I am not a fake person. Maybe I should be. Maybe I would be more “normal” if I did that. Heck maybe things would even go my way more often if I just pretended. I never will. That is not who I am.

I even had someone tell me recently that I was over-shooting. In particular that someone I was interested in was a “long shot” anyway so really I should have seen it coming and not been disappointed. Again I say…screw that. I am who I am. Part of that is someone who sees potential – in people, in situations, in friendships, in relationships, just in general really (despite my current cruddy mood). While a part of me is tempted to agree with them – I should just stop trying, be satisfied with my life how it is and not reach for more, the truth is I could never be happy with that. I hope I never AM happy with that – even if/when things get better. We should always be reaching for more. And believing we can achieve it.

There have been many friendships I put a lot of work into that ended up with them walking away. There have been even more guys I have been interested who have not been interested in me. There have been jobs I have gone for, chances I have taken etc., and just b/c they haven’t always work out does NOT mean they were not worth it. And just because I get sad about something ending doesn’t mean I am not still glad it happened.

So…basically this is just me shouting to the world at large…stop trying to make me quiet. Stop trying to label my feelings as somehow bad just b/c they might negative at a particular point in time. I WILL be who I am. Sorry…but not really.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

More small things...

That are kind of huge depending on your viewpoint.

I debated about blogging about this just yet, I still have a long way to go. A really long way.
But then someone reminded me that I should be proud of how far I have come. And I am.

I have officially lost 22 pounds in the past three months. That isn't as big of a deal as it should be because the truth is, I had gotten to my highest weight ever. When I started at my current job (also when I first moved back to Nashville) I weighed what I do now. So in just under a year and a half I had GAINED 22 pounds. That is a lot. I finally realized it had to stop. And that I wanted better for myself. The truth is I gain weight when things are not going well. Stress eating is a BIG thing for me. Kind of a family trait honestly. But I don't want that to be me.

So I found something that is working for me. Dirty Keto. Not exactly keto, more like just low carb but some of the main tenants of keto are there. What is different, to me is very important. I do not prioritize fat intake. That is what always turned me off about keto. Everyone was get to eat all the red meat you want. Only...I am not that big of a red meat fan. I mean every now and then sure but for me...chicken like 95% of the time. So this form of keto actually prioritizes protein. So chicken, actually way better for my numbers than steak. That works for me. It is NOT easy. Some people say that they don't feel hungry and they lose their desire for sweets....none of those things have happened to me. BUT it is getting easier as I go and I am getting better at it. At eating healthy rather than just worrying about getting the right numbers in. It is hard when even fruits and veggies are mostly high in carbs. But at the end of the day the group I follow believes that it is about calorie deficit. Sure we track carbs but anything can fit into our form of keto...if it fits your numbers, it fits. AND if you mess up - just get back up and start again.

So...I still don't feel great about how I look. I still worry I won't be able to maintain this lifestyle. BUT, I lost what I had recently gained. I am excited about that. On the other hand I am still way over weight. Basically I have 40 more pounds to go. That number makes me doubt I can do it. BUT I made it 1/3 of the way. I am proud of myself. I am bettering myself, in many ways. Weight loss is a big one. I am not giving up. Not this time.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

So I did a huge thing...that is kind of a tiny thing

So those of you who keep up with me know that I have recently moved back to Manchester. Some  of you know the why. Actually it is a bit complicated. My Dad was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. Shortly after that we went to a neurology appointment for him and a doctor told us with NO uncertainty, and quite a bit of condescension that he should NOT be living alone. She made me feel horrible for ever leaving him alone. At the same time the lease on my apartment was about to be up. I had to make a decision RIGHT THEN. So I ended my lease and moved back in with Dad. So now the complicated part. That doctor was at the VA in Murfreesboro. We are not really sure why he had an appointment with her. Normally he goes to the one in Nashville. The doctors there know him and his condition. They are not certain Alzheimer's is what he has after all. It is possible. He definitely has some kind of condition that is affecting his memory. But his doctor there says he does not agree with the Murfreesboro lady. He thinks the longer Dad can be independent the better it will be for him. I am living with Dad but neither one of us is really happy with the arrangement. Dad wants more freedom and frankly so do I. But I am not willing to go back to Nashville. I need to be close by.  I am very glad that things are not as bad as that woman made them sound but the reality is that Dad is sick. He is probably not going to get any better. I want to be here for him. So...what should we do?

Well let's add to the story. My nephew called me up about 2 weeks ago and asked if he could come stay with us. He is trying to get into a program called Job Corp. The truth is we have no idea how long he will be here. It could just be a few could be a year. This isn't great for my Dad. He loves Michael but they have always butted heads and now he has TWO people living with him when he wants to be alone. He and I sat and discussed options. He suggested maybe Michael and I could get an apartment near by but we both agreed that it had to be something I could afford with or without Michael living with me.

I started looking online for rentals. Bottom line there aren't many in Manchester. And even those I could find were too much. But what comes up with rentals? Homes for sale. I saw two I liked. It seemed kind of crazy to think about buying a home in Manchester. I don't even like it that much here. But I decided to talk to Dad about it. I told him that if I bought a house in Manchester it would come with the condition - when his doctors (that he trusts) tells him he cannot live alone any longer he would have to come live with me rather than me move back in with him. To my surprise he agreed. I still wasn't certain it was a good idea but it was starting to seem like an option. I set up a viewing of the house I liked the best from the Internet. When the agent called me he told me that house was no longer on the market. That was almost the end of the story for me but I did agree to go see the other house.

When I saw it I fell in love. It is tiny. It is kind of odd (remember my old house? Lol...I have a type). I told the agent I wasn't sure I would even qualify to buy a home so he sent me to see a finance lady. She ran the numbers and said I totally did. She was awesome, answered all of my questions. Now I was getting excited. I went back home and asked Dad what he thought. Did he think that was a place he could live eventually? It is really small. Staying at his house would mean a lot more space for him to be comfortable. He said he really liked it to. It seemed like a really good deal and he could see me there and himself possibly in the future. I called my agent, we made an offer...and they agreed to it.

I bought a house! I know it might not seem like the smartest thing considering I don't love my job and am looking for a new one. And considering the market right now. And all kinds of things. I get it. just is. I have never done things the 'normal' way. Many people thought quitting my job when Mom needed me was not the smartest thing either. It probably wasn't from a logical stand point but I will never regret it. I follow my heart. It might not make me the smartest but, it is who I am. I don't want to be any different.

So...if all goes well I should be moving into my new home in November. I am not sure if Michael will still be here and go with me or not. I don't know how long it will be before Dad might need to come live with me. I do know I am excited about it. I am living in Manchester, I have to and I want to - to be here for my Dad. But now I won't feel trapped at Dad's house. I will be able to stay out late b/c I am hanging with Nashville friends without worrying about waking him up. AND I will be able to be close enough that if he needs to go to the doctor or have me bring him something to eat, it will only take me 5-10 mins to get to him.

So here it tiny huge thing (FYI it is not literally a tiny house like the ones that are so trendy right now but it is a pretty tiny house)

It is my little ginger house! Which is appropriate as I am a ginger! :) I love it. I hope to see many of you there!

Saturday, August 31, 2019

To My Bethel Teens...20 Years later

Dear Bethel Youth group,
Last week we lost another one of us. I cannot stop thinking about the rest of you. Twenty years later. Where are you? What are you doing? How are you doing? I see some of you on Facebook and I love so much watching your lives unfold. If those of you who are on my page know of others who are not, please connect us. I would love that.

You all hold such a special place in my life. My first "kids" so to say. I had another youth group in Kansas City, who I adored. And I had a lot of other "kids" as I worked at Trevecca that were fantastic. But you all - Bethel - were the first. The first time I gave my  heart away completely. For me it was really simple. I didn't have to deal with the church stuff (that much) or the budget stuff. I wasn't the youth pastor. I just got to know you. To love you. To be a part of your lives. There were always three things I wanted for all of you - I wanted you to know that Jesus loved you, that I loved you, and that you were freaking amazing human beings.

You know what? NOTHING has changed. I want you to know these three things:

Jesus loves you.

I love you.

You are freaking amazing human beings.

Don't ever forget those things. Don't ever doubt those things. Go back and read them slowly and let them sink in.

I know we are all at different places in life. Some of us (that I know of) are doing awesome.

Did you know that Ashley Fussell is now an amazing counselor and all around champion of human rights? She encourages me with her wisdom and love all the time.

Did you know that Daniel Henley just went with his family on a trip of Europe? The pictures were amazing!

Did you know that Josh Zeller is a YOUTH PASTOR?? I love that! Actually I haven't been in contact with him for a while but I know he was for a time.

Did you know that Nathan Hancock literally travels the world with work and married the man of his dreams? That is right, I said man. And just in case I have not been vocal or public enough for those of you who, like Nathan, have been brave enough to declare for yourselves a love that looks different than the kind we grew up being told about, let me say it clearly. You have my 1000000% support and love. I am so happy for you!

Did you know that  Juli White's daugher just turned 20!! What? How is that possible? (FYI in my head you are all still in HS so the whole kids growing up thing is wild!!!)

I am not going to single out every one of you that I know about I am proud of you. All of you. I know that some of us are probably not doing as well as those I just mentioned. Some of us are struggling. With money. With jobs. With relationships. With drugs. With all kinds of things. If that is you, oh my goodness...let me just say that - the truth is, I am right there with you! I am 42 years old, single, I have a job that pays crap and I don't even like that much. My car has no air conditioning. My Mom died a little over two years ago and I am still mentally a freaking mess about it. Sometimes life is hard. But you know what,

Those three things? Still. True.

Jesus loves you.

I love you.

You are a freaking amazing human being.

I am heartbroken that another one of 'us' died recently. Even though it has been 20 years and most of us don't see each other very often or have much contact, we are still a group. We are still a family. Never doubt that. If that means that you need to reach out to someone...please feel free to reach out to me. If it means you follow each other on Facebook and encourage each other silently (or with 'likes'), I am SO down with that. But never feel like you have no one. Remember the three things okay? Seriously. That is my prayer for all of you.

We miss you Ronnie.
We miss you John.
We miss you Josh.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Thank You

I have been so encouraged today to see so many people being kind to those of us who find Mother's Day a hard day. I know that some find that annoying and say that we should just 'get over it' and let other people celebrate and to be  honest, I understand that view. A large part of me feels that I (and others) should just hide away during this weekend. I don't have any desire to make others feel pity for me, or any type of sadness, on a day that celebrates something I love and find so much beauty in - motherhood is an amazing miracle and a blessing to so many. But to those who cannot be a mother, or those who do not have a mother. Or, as I now find myself - those who have is a hole that nothing else can fill. And for those who have experienced abuse from a mother who was supposed to be a blessing? I honestly cannot even begin to imagine what it is. So facing a whole day dedicated to pointing out, emphasizing and focusing on the thing that is a gaping hole in our life is...not easy. And while mothers UNDOUBTEDLY deserve SO much appreciation and love and praise - please hear me say that I am ALL FOR THAT, to those of us feels like they already are the focus and the emphasis. All the time. Because we constantly notice we have no mother. We always see how amazing other mothers are with thier sweet babies and incredible children and remember we have none. A special day to be reminded more? God help us.

I don't want anyone to stop celebrating Mother's Day. It is too important. They are too important. That's why it hurts so bad. I am just taking the moment to say how much I appreciate all the people who posted on Facebook a reminder that even if today was hard, I was still welcome. Even if was not a mother, I was still significant. Even if my mother was gone, I was still loved. I want to say Thank you to those who went out of thier way to send me messages asking how I was or just saying I am thinking of you. I want to say Thank you for making me see that I don't have to hide. I don't have to just hiberbate and cry alone bc it is s hard day. Those are viable options sometimes, I am not knocking them, but it is nice to feel they are not the only ones.

This weekend my Dad asked me to drive with him for a crazy fast/rushed trip to visit my Grandmother. My Mom's Mom. I wasn't sure. I mean, as I said, I kind of just wanted to hide away. And it was so far for such a short visit...but I said yes. We didn't even call any of my cousins or aunts/uncles. We weren't there long enough to see anyone else! But you was good to hug my grandparents. It was good to roadtrip with my Dad and our dog. We listened to some old country music that I haven't heard since my childhood which brought back a lot of great memories. And today my nephew sent me a text wishing me a Happy Mother's Day. It meant more to me than he will ever know.

So, it still wasn't an easy week. I missed my Mom so much. I would give anything to just talk to her or see her. There is so much I need to tell her and ask her and share with her. I missed my nephew too. He is growing up so much and is so far away. It is hard not be a part of this part of his life. I am SO proud of him. I wish could be there though. I miss the family I never had. The what if. The could have been. The broken dreams. That is not something that goes away.

But for the first time in a long time I was proud of the world in general. Or at least my little corner of it. Because I felt, and to be honest it was for the first time ever on Mother's Day, that it was okay for me to be in pain and yet still go about my weekend and enjoy Mother's Day. I don't know of I have done a good enough job of explaining why but hopefully you will see that by simply acknowledging and accepting my pain you made me feel that it was okay. I could honestly love all your sweet pictures on Facebook - because I DO! I adore them. But it is good and right for me to be able to say that I loved them with tears in my eyes. That doesn't make me bitter. It doesn't mean I want your pity or that we should cancel Mother's Day. It just means you accept me. Hurts and all.

So thank you.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Improving your vision can be a transition....or part 2 of my vision board

So i just have to say, I am SO frustrated that I cannot figure out how to get this background off my blog. I have changed the background to this thing TONS of times. The buttons I usually push (and that the help key is still telling me to push) are literally just not there anymore. So sorry about the background issues. Basically, I don't want to talk about

I have been thinking about how I sort of jokingly used my real life vision issues as a title for my first blog about my vision board and it occurred to me really works. For example...I am getting old and the glasses I have now are (shhhh) transition glasses. What does this mean? It means they are bifocals. Yes, I know. Old. BUT no one can tell they are bifocals yet except me b/c you cannot see the line from the top prescription and the bottom prescription. It is a transition from regular glasses to bifocals. To make it easier. It has been pretty great. Except every once in a while I will be going on my merry way -  learning to see the world in this new awesome way and suddenly I will turn to just the right (or wrong I guess) angle and look down at the ground and it is like the world is turned freaking UPSIDE DOWN on me. I am knocked over by a wave of dizziness and confusion and WOAH. That is quite a transition. That line between the old world and the new world can be a doozie...

It is kind of that way when you are trying to have a new "vision" for your life too I think. I mean it is easy to pick some words or pictures of what I want things to look like - and then you go out and you focus on those things and life looks new and beautiful and shiny. And then work and health and money and love and stress and life hits you at JUST the wrong angle....and knocks you flat on your ass. Transition isn't as easy as vision boards make it look. I just wanted to say that before I finish up telling you about my awesome words. I definitely know the truth of that and have already been facing it in the weeks since we made our boards. Which isn't to say I have given up on any part of my board or my vision  - I am just being real. In fact...that is one of my words so...let's get to it...

Vision Board Part II

Yes I definitely am posting the picture again so I can 
remember what I need to talk

Authentic Life: as I just talked about above - something that is SOOOO important to me is to live an authentic life. I feel like our world is filled with false ideals and that we are pushed to be InstaPerfect. I have no interest in that kind of life. I am who I am. I have SO many flaws. I do not want to hide them. I want to work on them sure but I don't want to pretend they do not exist. I also believe in a lot of things. Some of them are things that not everyone agrees with. Not even everyone I love. That can be REALLY hard. I do not like upsetting people that I love. I try not to. BUT being true to who I am and what I believe and support has become of UTMOST importance in my life. I will not pretend to be someone I am not. Not to impress someone, not to keep from hurting someones feelings and not to keep the peace. Not anymore. I did that for a long time. It is not living an authentic life. 

BE Healthier: this one is huge for me. I was very intentional about choosing these words and making the BE large and noticeable. A large part of me wanted to put GET skinnier. That is not my true vision for myself though, not in the long term. I would love to get skinnier. But what I NEED is to BE a healthier person. I need to BE mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually healthy. I need to be healthy about my choices. I need to be healthy every day. I don't feel good - many days. This month is Fibromyalgia Awareness month. I am also struggling with my health right now...a lot. I have several doctor's appointments coming up. But that is the thing. That IS being healthy. That is paying attention to my body and giving it what it needs. I can still be sick and BE healthy. It is not easy. I am even wondering to myself as I type this - do I really believe that is possible? But it is my BE healthy regardless of what happens. Would I love to get skinny and feel better in the meantime?Absolutely. But they are secondary. 

Smart is Beautiful: This is just a reminder to myself that I am never going to be what our society calls beautiful. I dont' agree with what our society calls beautiful though! It is so narrow and way too limiting. So many other things are beautiful too. Like smart people. 

Grow: Sometimes I am tempted to stay in my safe places. I like them. I have taken time on them and they are good. There is nothing wrong with having safe places but I need reminders to leave my safe places and grow. To see what and who and where there might be new good things to see and meet and experience.

Travel: I don't know what I can say here except that I am a gypsy at heart. If I had the money I would travel all the time. Or at least most of the time. I adored being on the road in the RV. I love flying in airplanes. I literally DREAM of cruising on a boat. Trains are a favorite since childhood. I have never had a car that hasn't gone over 200,000 miles. Whenever I have extra money I want to first think to give to others and then think to travel

Play: We all need to remember to take time to play sometimes. I tend to get so tired with work and the things I have to do in life that when I have extra time I only want to rest. Rest is SO important, but sometimes it is worth taking the time to just play and have fun. It renews you in a way that sleep never can.

Love my Wrinkles: Listen, I know that wrinkles aren't the best. I put on moisturizer every morning and an eye cream besides and strain my eyes trying to make sure there aren't new wrinkles there. BUT the truth is...I don't want to be like that. I have earned those wrinkles. I am 42 years old. I am not ashamed of my age. I don't want to be 22 years old anymore. UGH!!! I made it through that hell thank you very much. LOL. My vision for myself is of a woman who is who she is, and is comfortable with that. I am not saying I will never wear make-up again, but I am saying that I am going to try to use a few less filters on my pictures. It is okay if people see how old I really look. I really AM that old. And it really is okay b/c I really do love myself, wrinkles and all.

Others: There are some other things on the board. Some are unfinished, some I cannot quite read from the picture (the board is not currently with me). I know there is a picture of a person holding more books than he can handle - my dream boy! There is also a lovely reading nook - something I would love to create in my home, not exactly like that but still...There is a tiger - which was an impulse add - tigers are not a spirit animal or anything like that, but cats in general are, I love all cats and there is also a smaller cat pictured b/c I want/need a cat in my life. There are flowers just b/c I love the beauty of nature. There is a K b/c I love my name. There is the word 'mindful' but I wanted something more to go with it so that is not quite finished. There is a picture of an airplane near the travel word. There is a rose stem with lips for the rose b/c I am feeling very amorous these days - what they say about your 40's is true ladies! There is a quote that says something like 'Play the hero in your own story' which I love. There is a large 'Be Amazing' which just seems like good advice for us all. There is a typewriter that says Become a Famous Writer - I don't really want to be a famous writer but I do want to keep writing b/c I love doing it and it makes me feel good when I do. Likewise there is a camera pictured b/c I adore taking pictures even though the older I get the less steady my hands are and so the less good my photos are. There are berries and a bicycle pictured as they seemed to be good ways to achieve being more healthy. There is a phrase "Bless the Arts" which just sums up how I feel about the arts and the part they play in my life/vision for my life in general. And also...there is SPACE. There is a lot of space for me to have new ideas and new visions for myself. I hope I never stop developing my vision for me. I like the open space...I think I need it.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

I've always had bad vision

So I turned 42 this weekend. I laughed with some friends that I am apparently old enough now not to care how old I am. I literally forgot my own age. Since I recently met several new people I had been saying to them I was 42. I mean I was almost there so it just made more sense. But then when my birthday came up I started saying I was turning 43! Ha. Lying about your age is apparently never smart. LOL.

This year just didn't seem very important to me, though. In terms of celebrating I mean. Some years I am all about my birthday and love making lots of plans. This year I didn't put much effort into it and it just kind of came and went. I went out with some friends and that was fun but I didn't get a chance to really see my family and I really wasn't feeling good most of the weekend. Anyway. I did get together with my girlfriends, which is one thing I really always want to do. We had been planning to get together and make vision boards. That wasn't really related to my birthday but...kind of an appropriate thing to do on a Birthday weekend I suppose.

So the title of this blog is a reference to my literal eyesight and the fact that I have very poor vision, but it is also basically true. I really struggled with the whole vision board thing. The other girls set right in and worked fast and had concrete ideas and I just leafed through magazines and tried to think...what is my vision?

The truth is right now I don't have much in terms of vision. I try to make it day by day. Some days that is harder than others. Some days I think good things are happening. Some days I think I won't make it to tomorrow. Such is life I guess. Mid-life crisis is apparently a real thing folks. It is hitting many of my friends hard and furious these days. So anyway I looked at what the other girls were doing and I loved their boards,  I could see so much of each friend's personality coming through in what they were doing. But none of them were me.

So I started cutting things out...mostly words. That is me. Words are important to me. They always have been. I found a few pictures that spoke to me but it was mostly words. Here are some of the ones that I found that are what my vision are. Not necessarily for my "future" but more just for life in general. For who I am trying to be. So I guess that is the future but not in the sense of things I want or even goals to achieve, but more ways I want to live. Here is my board:

Imagine Happiness: this was the first thing that went on my board. I do not care for people who say that we need to 'choose' to be happy, I think it is so much more complicated than that - but I do think we can MAKE choices because we can imagine that being happy is possible. I seek that.

above that says Get CAST - Drama, and an actress with 'Break a Leg' : If you have been reading my blog you know how much being in a play recently has meant to me. Acting has always been important to me. Being cast in my first play in High School began the process of fundamentally changing me as a person (you can read about that here if you are interested). For several years after that I participated in and/or at least attended as much theater as possible. But I have let that slowly fade from my life over the years. I don't know why. I don't mean to imply that all the sudden I am going to be in tons of plays or start a new kind of life. I just know I want that to be part of who I am again in some way. It is good for me, it is good for my soul. I have missed it. 

Notice Goodness: Another thing about me is that I am super empathetic. I don't know what you think about personality types but my old workplace was super into them so I have taken TONS of tests and over the years I became intrigued by them myself. Especially Myers Briggs. The truth is INFJ does a better job of describing me than I have been able to do myself! Haha. One of the things it explained to me that I never had words for is that I take the stress of other people onto myself. When my friends/family are hurting or in trouble...I am hurting. I feel like I need to do something. Their stress becomes my stress. I am not complaining about that. Being aware of the needs of others, and helping as much as possible is something I like about myself. BUT it can be draining. Especially when it is not just friends and family. When it feels like it is the whole world. The world is a mess these days. When you take that on yourself, well it can be overwhelming. So one of the things I KNOW I need to seek more and more is to notice GOODNESS in this world as well as things that need fixing.

Think Love: So this one has a double meaning. I have the worst dating record. Ever. Seriously. Many have told me I must not really want to settle down b/c I am only ever really attracted to unavailable men. I see what they are saying - it does seem to be a pattern, I mean married men, men who are about to move, men too old, men who literally "meet their soul mate" the next weekend, basically, men not over their ex's, men who can't get over themselves, no really the list goes on. BUT in my defense I don't usually know these things when I am attracted to them. But my track record is super bad. And the guys who ARE good guys I tend to NOT be attracted to. OR I become friends with them before I decide I am attracted to them and then they decide we are only friends. I have had very few relationships that have lasted more than a few months and I am super picky. So, one thing I have been trying to do is...think more about love. Do I want to find love? Am I willing to compromise with someone in order to not be alone? What are the things I am willing to compromise? Etc. Etc. I am really not sure but I am thinking that way. Even MORE than that, though, I want to ALWAYS think love first. In everything I do. I want to think love before I make choices. I want to think love before I respond in anger. I want to think love before everything.

Well this post is super long and I am not feeling well...which is funny because 'Be Healthier' is next. Ha. But I am going to stop here. Part 2 to come...

Thursday, April 11, 2019

My Fatal Flaw

So much of you know that I love TV and movies. I probably spend too much of my free time watching them to be honest. One of them, and I honestly cannot remember which, but one of them had this storyline where one of the characters had a school assignment to write a paper about his 'fatal flaw'. The idea was that he was a writer and all characters had fatal flaws so he had to consider and decide what HIS was. I loved this concept. It has stayed with me and I have considered how I would do the assignment many times - both for myself and for many characters I have written. I am rambling a bit tonight b/c I am actually only telling this story because while I have come up with several possible answers for my own fatal flaw, the one that I always seem to come back to is self doubt.

Self doubt has always been my biggest personal issue. It is something I am working on, and I think I have made some pretty good steps. I can look back and see many ways in which I have improved over the years, I also know I still have plenty of ways in which I still need to improve. I am thinking about this because last week I had a moment, or a whole night really, of self doubt that hit me so hard and seemed so out of the blue. It knocked me on my ass to be honest. I am only writing about it because it surprised me how hard and how fast it hit me that day. In thinking back on it I realized that self doubt is something that if people are honest, most everyone struggles with at least to some degree. And as I worked through things last week I came to a couple of simple realizations that seem pretty significant to me despite their obvious nature.

So basically what happened is that last week we had our second weekend run of the play. Well we didn't have rehearsals in between. So we did a show that Sunday and then we didn't meet until one pick up rehearsal on Thursday before shows that Friday and Saturday. It had been a long day for me, I was really tired and hadn't slept well the night before and I just didn't do a great job. When we met afterwards for notes - which we did at every rehearsal we have had - I had a lot of notes. Meaning there were a lot of things the director had noticed that I needed to work on. We finished up and I was walking out at the same time as my director and he innocently (poor guy) said, hey how are you doing?

So....I honestly had not realized until I looked up at him as he was saying that, just how upset I was. I almost started to cry you guys. I managed to keep from totally breaking down and mumbled something like 'I think I am getting worse instead of better' and just kept walking. I was kind of shocked by how upset I was. I know he was shocked by how upset I was. So he was very kind. He stopped me before we left the building and just like took 2 minuets to remind me that notes are just to help you polish your performance and that he thought I was doing a good job and that letting that kind of feedback make you emotionally upset was bad. It was so kind. He made me feel better about myself instantly and I realized I was overreacting and being silly. I am not kidding, all it took was a moment of kindness.

Let me tell what really happened that night. After I left I drove home (it's about 40/45 min) in silence and I just considered the night and why I had gotten so emotional and upset. Here is what happened. Well, like I said - first off I was tired. I had a long day at work and I didn't sleep well the night before, those kinds of things matter for sure. But really what happened is that one of our actresses didn't come to rehearsal. So we had to fill in for her. Whoever was not in her scenes just grabbed a script and went out and read her lines so the other actors could still go on rehearsing. So this girl has this one scene that we all love - it was one we read in auditions and it is really fun and funny. Someone else read that scene. And she was good. Like, it seemed like she had been practicing that part for a month kind of good. I had that thought, and I heard another actor just say under his breath, "man she is good". She IS good. I wasn't jealous. I was impressed. There was another scene. I don't remember if the same girl did it or another girl but it was good too. Then there were two scenes that I was really the only girl who could read for her. So I did.

I stunk. I am serious. I am not saying this so someone will say 'oh I am sure you were fine' (just FYI I hate that. When I am blogging don't just reply with platitudes. Ugh). The truth is that part is totally not me. It is overly dramatic and whiny and I didn't like it. I felt awkward, I sounded awkward. I didn't know where to stand or sit b/c I am not usually even watching them do those scenes so I was not very helpful and it was just...ugh. That is where the seed started. The self doubt seed. Why was I even there? I was twice as old as these kids. Obviously they are more talented than me. I am just a crazy fat lady trying to be funny and pretend I can act. I shouldn't be here. It was a small thing. Very unimportant to be honest. It wasn't my part. I didn't need to be good at it. But I wanted to be good at it. The other girls did good reading it. I wanted to do good. And that part was re-assigned when there was an issue within the show and to be honest, I had gotten a little upset I didn't get that part at first. Not b/c I really wanted that part - if you read my last blog you will know I actually had exactly the part I wanted BUT this was a bigger part and I sort of felt like I deserved it b/c I came to rehearsals and learned my lines  - the other actress didn't. A lot. But as I was reading those lines I realized...I sucked at that part and she was good at it. I didn't want that to be true.

So now this seed of self doubt was in my head and I had to go do MY parts, which I actually had a fairly good sense of confidence about. Not that night I didn't. In fact every time I came on stage I was worse. I forgot lines, I jumbled up ideas. One time I came out and literally just stared at my co-star's face b/c I had no clue. I knew I was supposed to talk to blank. It was awful. The truth is my director could have and probably should have given me much harsher notes than he did. I was so unfocused that night. I didn't even realize it, though, until later.

So that is my first point. Be careful about little things. They sometimes seem big but they just aren't. Don't let them grow like that. Sure I would love to say that I can pick up and read anything and sound/feel totally comfortable, but I can't. And I don't really need to be able to. I am not a professional actor. I don't want to be. I have no idea why I got so hung up on that. But I let that small moment of not feeling good enough spiral into something that had me nearly in tears over a play that I adored being a part of. That's bad. But it is a good lesson. I have been thinking about that in other parts of my life and I can see that same thing played out other times and ways. It is not always that obvious, but it happens a lot. Let small things go. They are just small.

Also though, be kind to one another! When I got in my car that night I cried for about the first five minuets of my drive home because that is the kind of person I am, a crier. I cry ALL. THE. TIME. It is how I deal with emotions. But the thing is I wasn't sad crying. I was actually relieved and just letting all of the stress out. Because Steve, my director, had made me feel better. He didn't do anything major - he just took a moment to be kind. He told me it was okay. Oh my goodness people, THAT is a little thing that is HUGE. If we would be kind to one another more often maybe we would be able to let go of the little things that we are holding on to that are so toxic to us. Holding on to kindness is so much better.

Okay I know that was a bit corny, but I totally meant it. Self doubt is my fatal flaw. I am determined not to let it kill me. So...lessons learned. I am trying to take them and live them out, and share them with you.