Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Happy!

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate!

And to my fellow Whovians, Happy Regeneration Day!  :)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Well, THAT Was Fun!!!!!!

Feeling much better now.  THANK YOU for all your support!  It really means the world!

  It has been suggested, by folks wiser than I, that a gluten sensitivity can often be a cause of depression, particularly long-term, low-grade depression like mine.  So I'm spending 2 weeks utterly GF, and seeing how I feel.  It's PMS time, so if it works, that'd be somethin', eh?

I think I'm also feeling restless.  Coming out of the (mostly) stay-at-home-mom cocoon and not knowing exactly which end is up. And realizing that, as much as I enjoyed them at the time, the teaching jobs I had (Pilates, then theater for young 'uns) are NOT meant to be my life's work.  It's most likely true that, at this point, raising my kids IS my life's work, and my creative stuff is my side job.  Which is fine.  As long as I actually get to DO creative stuff.
Short films. A solo stage show written by ME. Performing in other peoples' shows again. Short stories.  Maybe a novel. Bass player for the Rolling Stones (If I ever actually learn to play bass).  Who the heck knows?

I'm trying to look at this time as a re-awakening. I also watched an interview with someone whom i greatly admire, and he was saying that it took him until his 40th year to realize that the way to succeed in his creative life was to be himself, and not try to fit into any cookie-cutter mold.  And when he did that, guess what happened?  His career started taking off!  Yes, there were peaks and valleys, but he's now playing his dream role.

So what did I get out of that?  Well, another light bulb went off.  When I started grad school, I'd been working professionally for 3 years and had built up my confidence.  To the point where I actually started assuming I'd get pretty much every role I auditioned for.  It wasn't ego, really, it was just that I focused on the work rather than on trying to impress or please anyone.   By the time I FINISHED grad school, all that had disappeared.  Because I once again started wanting to please my instructors.  That became more important than doing my job and telling the story of whichever show I happened to be in at the time.  Ironic, yes?  Because if pleasing others was my focus, the best way to do that would've been to, well, do my job and tell the story!  But I got caught up in the minutiae, trying so hard to do everything RIGHT, that the bigger picture, the whole, got lost.
Then I moved to L.A. and, while I got some of my performing confidence back, I got caught up in body image issues again.  I honestly believed I didn't DESERVE to work because I wasn't attractive enough. Beliefs helped along by the industry, of course.  And I'm sorry for repeating myself here, but I'm still discovering just how deep and insidious these beliefs are.

It's time for me to put down the cookie cutters and find my own voice again.  I tell my students that what they bring to the table is ALWAYS more interesting than any persona they try to put on.  Why don't I take my own advice?  Oh right, it's a lot easier to dish it out to other people.  :)

I think I'm at a pretty interesting, juicy time of life right now.  I've lived a bit, I've experienced a lot, and I certainly know more now than I did 20 years ago.  I may not have the unlined skin, perky boobs and high metabolism I had then, but I also don't have the same crippling insecurities, fear, and self-consciousness, either.  I think I have something to say, and I think it's something that is interesting and that people can relate to.

There's a great quote from "The Velveteen Rabbit":  The rabbit asks the Skin Horse what it means to be real: "Generally, by the time you are real, most of your skin has been loved off, and your eyes drop out, and you get loose in the joints, and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

I get it now.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Epic Fail

During those times (which, sadly, seem to be coming more frequently these days) when I look at my life and wonder how the HELL I got HERE, my saving grace has usually been "OK, maybe I'm 44 and living, if not with MY parents, with my HUSBAND'S parents, and maybe I'm unemployed and maybe all my dreams have gone the way of the Dodo, but at least I'm a good mom and am there for my special kids with special needs.
Until one of them *cough WG cough* spends the better part of 2 days crying and, not only is there nothing I can do to help, but SHE DOESN'T WANT ME THERE.
Well, at times. Sometimes she'll crawl into my lap and squeeze me, and then, after a few minutes of that, push me out of the room.
Part of me thinks it's the onset of puberty. But, of course, I have no way of knowing for sure, being as she is non-verbal.

So I am left feeling like the worst, most incompetent parent in the world.  And, at 2 AM, when she's FINALLY falling asleep, wondering WTF is my purpose on this planet?!?!?!  It's not like I add much.  Truthfully.  For as long as I can remember, I've been depressed, scared, and pretty much useless.  For a few years I brought something to the world as an actor and teacher.  I was effective.  But that only lasted a short while.

So I guess the question I have to ask is the age-old one: Why Am I Here?  But I need to find an answer.  Because I don't want to be useless.  I don't want to waste my time/oxygen/space here.  I've probably already lived half (or more) of my life.  I KNOW I wasn't sent here just to eat food & surf the 'net.

Granted, I don't always feel this down.  But it just seems to be happening more and more, again.   And I know there are some who give up everything for their kids are are happy to do so.  I suppose I'm just not that selfless.  Because as time goes on, I often feel more and more trapped.  It hurts to say it, it hurts to feel it. Because, OF COURSE I love my kids, and want to do everything I can for them!  But we're also struggling financially, and I don't think my sacrificing everything is helpful to them.  My nightmare is that I'll wake up in another 10 years feeling resentful and angry all the time.  What the hell kind of mom would I be then?

Plenty of people who are not in my position have tried to make me feel guilty for wanting a little of my life back.  It doesn't always work, but sometimes it hits a nerve.

And now, in this living situation, where everyone has an opinion, expressed loudly, but no one wants to lend a hand, I sometimes just want to scream.  There's also this weird competition that my M-I-L seems to feel regarding cooking and, specifically, feeding my husband.  Add that to the fact that neither she nor my F-I-L respects to no-gluten rule when it comes to my kids.
I feel sometimes like I've woken up on the other side of the looking glass, with no way to get back home. At least not for a few more years, until we can afford to move out again.

So, yes, I feel trapped.

And my depression is back.  I'm getting pretty tired of it.  I've felt this way since I was 6 years old, and I'm not sure if it will ever fully go away.
So I tap, and I meditate, and it helps A LOT.  But sometimes it's a lot harder to find my way out.

I just didn't imagine that this is where I'd be at this stage of my life.
I feel like a massive failure, and I'm not sure how to STOP feeling this way.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Yosemite, Time Portals, Daleks in the Ahwanee, and Bossy Characters.

We spent Thanksgiving at Yosemite this year.  After the past few months, it was good to get away, just the 4 of us.  Our usual Best Western was booked solid, so we went to a different one, in Mariposa, California.  Which, as it turns out, is a pretty cool town.  We took the kids for a walk through downtown (all 2 blocks of it) on Friday night, and it was really nice!
There is also a large number of outdoor cats there.  I wondered if they were strays, but they're all very clean and well-groomed.  And utterly indifferent to the stupid human adults who make kissy noises at them and want to pet them.
Oh well.
Our first morning there we went to a little coffee place.  I asked for a soy mocha, but they were out of soy milk. They did, however, have coconut milk. The 2 baristas (one of whom is the owner, I believe) and I all got very excited at the prospect of a coconut mocha.  And it was GOOOOOOOOD!  So good that I went back the next day and ordered it again! It was like drinking a Mounds bar!  Even Hubby liked it, and he doesn't usually go for sweet coffee.
And, yes, I had sugar.  On vacation.  During Thanksgiving.  A tiny blip.

That lasted 5 days.

But I'm back on track now.
Yesterday i went for a walk, and ended up walking into a headwind, uphill.  Got a good workout, lol!

But back to Yosemite: We decided to take a 2.2 mile trail to Mirror Lake.  So called, I believe, because it is near El Capitain and, at certain times of the day, El Cap is MIRRORED in the lake.  Ya see what they did there?  Huh?  Huh?
It was a lovely hike.  It started to get cold as we neared the lake, because we got an early start and the sun wasn't reaching us.  And as we got to our destination, we discovered that the lake was, well, completely empty!  We've had a bit of a drought over the last few years, so there's been no runoff from the mountains to fill the lake, which is pretty shallow.
But it was very cool to be able to walk around IN it.  Both of our phone batteries died (we're getting new phones this month) so we couldn't take pictures, but it was fun.  And there were lots of other folks taking advantage, as well.
LG had a FANTASTIC time, running around, climbing, exploring.  WG was a bit more tentative, but happier once she had a snack.
Afterwards, we hiked back and went to the Ahwanee hotel to sit by the fire & warm up.  That was when I had my brilliant idea to set an episode of "Doctor Who" in Yosemite.  To have Daleks take over the Ahwanee, which is quite posh (President Kennedy once stayed there) and have them duke it out with The Doctor in the shadow of Half Dome.  Hubby also contributed: There's an area near the park called El Portal, and he pointed out that that could be the TIME portal where the Daleks enter Yosemite.

We were both a bit sleep deprived as we discussed this.  The kids had woken up at 5:30 that morning,  we'd just completed a 4 1/2 mile hike with them, and we were still thawing out. There may have been a TINY bit of delirium.

But it was a great little vacation. It was only 2 days.  Wanted to avoid the holiday traffic and have a day to decompress before work/school on Monday. And it was a quick drive: Less than 4 hours INCLUDING potty stops.
Y'know, for the kids.
That's my story, etc.

So now we're back.  3 more weeks until Winter break, and then it's 2014.
And still no jetpacks or flying cars?

Maybe in 2015.

Anyway, I'm working on my writing.  Nothing terribly exciting to report on that front, except that I had another story idea while in Yosemite.  I've always heard authors talk about how their characters dictate the story, but had never really experienced it until now.  The problem is, they're a bit indecisive at the moment.  I started with a very firm idea of where I wanted the story to go, but they didn't want to go there.  So I relented, and let them lead the way.  Now they're saying "On second thought, you know that idea you originally had?  Maybe it's not so bad after all.  Or maybe it is.  We don't know.  You'll just have to keep going, and then we'll make up our minds, 'kay? Good.  Buh-bye now."
Bossy little brats.
I have my class tomorrow night.  Maybe that'll help 'em out a bit.

And now it is time for me to get on with my day.

Have a good one, all!