On Being A Floater, or How Sometimes Not Fitting Into Boxes Sometimes Gets A Bit Old And Lonely And Also I’m Kinda Like E.T.

On Being A Floater, or How Sometimes Not Fitting Into Boxes Sometimes Gets A Bit Old And Lonely And Also I’m Kinda Like E.T.
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I promise this will all make sense by the end.

I’ve always been a bit of a “floater.”

One of the things I pride myself in is that I am fiercely individual, but I have found that this can sometimes come with a price.

I’ve been thinking about this concept a lot lately.

Continue reading “On Being A Floater, or How Sometimes Not Fitting Into Boxes Sometimes Gets A Bit Old And Lonely And Also I’m Kinda Like E.T.”

2016 In Review, or What Do Quinoa Bowls and Three Brothers From West Virginia Have To Do With My Mental Health and Self Care?

2016 In Review, or What Do Quinoa Bowls and Three Brothers From West Virginia Have To Do With My Mental Health and Self Care?

2016.  Oh, where do I start?

I’ve seen dozens of think pieces, of Facebook posts from friends and strangers, telling me how I should feel about myself and my outlook on this year.  I should feel lucky, I should take a good hard look at myself and realize that it’s all my damn fault that I’m not happy (forget about the fact that we have no control over some very serious shit that can happen like death and poverty and mental illness and abuse and it’s a very victim-blaming way to think about it to tell us we can just snap out of it.)

Personally, I’ll admit that 2015 was the bigger dumpster fire for me.  That was when my depression had gotten its worst ever, and shit hit the fan with my marriage.  2016 has been a year of growth and rebuilding my life.

But for this country, 2016 has thrust me into a huge amount of worry.  But that’s out of my control in many ways.

So what are my take-aways for 2016?  What have I learned?  How have I changed?

Ohhh, buddy.  If you only knew.

Continue reading “2016 In Review, or What Do Quinoa Bowls and Three Brothers From West Virginia Have To Do With My Mental Health and Self Care?”

On Down Days, or How Even Though The Only Person I’ve Spoken With All Week is an Aldi Cashier, I Can’t Possibly Be Social Tonight

I’ve been having one of those days.

No, I did absolutely nothing of consequence today. I’m off work for at least another week, and I slept in till 1 and took a nap at 7:30.

I had made some plans with myself to go to a dark electro night in a neighboring town, but I spent the whole day dreading it.

I made pros and cons lists. I didn’t want to go by myself but that’s just how it would have to be. It’s 20 miles away, which means it’s a commitment and I can’t just bail. I could meet some cool people, but if I got cornered by some weirdies (and there are definitely those types at these sort of occasions) I wouldn’t have a friend as an exit strategy.

And, even though the only human contact I have had in the last week was the cashier at Aldi, I really really don’t want to be around people.

I talked with friends, they tried to convince me it would be a good idea and I would end up having fun.

But in the end, I think I’m bowing out of my plans with myself.

Continue reading “On Down Days, or How Even Though The Only Person I’ve Spoken With All Week is an Aldi Cashier, I Can’t Possibly Be Social Tonight”

On Inadequacy and Self Loathing (Part II) or How A MadTV Sketch from 2002 Called Me Out On 30 Years of Damage

On Inadequacy and Self Loathing (Part II) or How A MadTV Sketch from 2002 Called Me Out On 30 Years of Damage

NOTE: This post is dealing with similar themes, though a different aspect of my life-long struggles with feelings of inadequacy.  You can read the companion post here.

This spring, there was a seminar held at my workplace in which we were expected to dig deep within ourselves to discover what our biggest roadblocks were to peace of mind, joy and satisfaction personally and professionally. 
It was going to be 16 hours of who-knows-what, and I had no idea what to expect, and what I could possibly get out of it. 
There were a lot of wise platitudes uttered which proved to be a bit of a mindfuck for me: “We’re only our perception and our experiences. And the way we perceive others doesn’t make it true–it’s just our experiences.”

Furthermore, we were introduced to the concept that “What you see is what you anticipate seeing, what  you’ve always decided things were. How do you ever see anything new?”

Basically by the end of session three, I was convinced it was entirely probable we were living in The Matrix. 

But then, we were asked to write down the biggest issues we had at work, and in our lives in general, that kept us from experiencing joy. 

Most people listed issues with coworkers or protocols or family.

But all of mine came from internal forces.

Continue reading “On Inadequacy and Self Loathing (Part II) or How A MadTV Sketch from 2002 Called Me Out On 30 Years of Damage”

On “Age Appropriate Behavior” or Sometimes I Just Want To Dance Around A Campfire With People Ten Years Younger Than Me, Don’t Judge Me! 

On “Age Appropriate Behavior” or Sometimes I Just Want To Dance Around A Campfire With People Ten Years Younger Than Me, Don’t Judge Me! 

Here at “Opera Camp,” I’m surrounded by a huge variety of people. And, as the cheesy saying goes, “I keep getting older as those interns stay the same age.”  
I can’t be sure, but I would guess that if you averaged out the ages of all of the seasonal employees here, it would be about 24.   That means that my subset of “acceptable age range” friends is getting smaller every year.

It’s been made painfully clear to me lately how socially starved I have become over the past year after moving to Delaware, so I find myself grasping at any and all social events this summer.  

So if I decide that I want to put myself out there and be social for the first time in years, I have a few choices:

I can have “quiet nights in” with some friends closer to my age (though my demographic is quite small) which is pretty much like my last five years has been if I’m being generous, or go out for dinner and spend way too much money. This is also keeping my friend circle quite small and homogenous, meaning: late 20s to early 30s women who work in the costume shop…

Or…

I can drink hard ciders on the porch with a wider group of people, most of whom are 20-26 years old. I get to meet new people from other areas and allow myself to have some silly fun for the first time in years. And many of these people actually have more common interests with me than people my own age. 

Continue reading “On “Age Appropriate Behavior” or Sometimes I Just Want To Dance Around A Campfire With People Ten Years Younger Than Me, Don’t Judge Me! “

On Depression, Anxiety and Mental Instability, or “What Are You Going To Do About Your Freak-Out Factor?”

On Depression, Anxiety and Mental Instability, or “What Are You Going To Do About Your Freak-Out Factor?”

This week at work, the entire company has been attending workshops in which we discuss our fears, insecurities, the way we handle issues, and how to improve upon them. A lot of the things that have been addressed have interlocked a great deal with the themes I have been writing about on this blog, and it has been a valuable prompt for more self-reflection.

So when the question was asked, “What do you fear that others will think about you?”  I knew right away.

“That I’m unstable,” I shared with the group.

The Crazy Girl. Mentally unhinged. Incapable of handling her emotions.

I scribbled a note to myself. I knew what I was going to write about tonight.

Continue reading “On Depression, Anxiety and Mental Instability, or “What Are You Going To Do About Your Freak-Out Factor?””

On the Vulnerability of Being An Artist, or Oh Goodness I Hope I Have Something People Actually Want To Read

On the Vulnerability of Being An Artist, or Oh Goodness I Hope I Have Something People Actually Want To Read

Mark Rothko Red On Maroon
Panel from Red On Maroon Mural (1959) by Mark Rothko (via)

Last night, I attended a performance of the John Logan play RED produced at my place of employment.

It’s a fascinating play featuring dialogue about art, philosophy, and life through the lens of the artist Mark Rothko in the late 1950s.

I was especially struck by a line that Rothko said when he was asked about how he felt about sending his art out into the world.

Selling a picture is like sending a blind child into a room full of razor blades. It’s going to get hurt and it’s never been hurt before, it doesn’t know what hurt is.”

–Rothko, in the play RED by John Logan

This was such an apt description of the vulnerability of being an artist, and the tenuous release of one’s work into the cruel world of critique and opinions.

Continue reading “On the Vulnerability of Being An Artist, or Oh Goodness I Hope I Have Something People Actually Want To Read”