Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Birthday

I had a birthday. By some planning and some chance, my parents were passing through town, so Hubby and I packed up C and spent the day with them. We had a lovely breakfast together, drove around the entirety of Lake Tahoe with a stop at Emerald Bay for a photo op, and had all-you-can-eat sushi for dinner. My kind of day! It was very nice. :)

I don't get excited about birthdays. They're just another day, after all... And, this year, it seemed an in-your-face reminder that I'm getting older than I want to be and still haven't really accomplished anything in my life. I'm still a student, I'm still not performing for a living (and that window of opportunity grows smaller with each passing year), I don't have a "real" job... The only thing of worth I've done is have a kid, and anyone can do that. ;oP So I started the day out a little bummed, but the abundance of love surrounding me all day quickly changed my spirits.

I'm still adjusting to the new meds, although that's going well. My moods have been stable, but the meds make me so TIRED! I have to take one at night, which is fine, because then I pass out for the night, but then I take another one in the morning, and that makes staying up all day quite a feat! I'm still working on adjusting to that. It seems like, if I can make it through the first three hours after I take the pill, I'm pretty much good to go for the rest of the day. I'm not having the trouble with spontaneously passing out that I was having with the previous med that sparked the change, though, so hopefully that means no more wrecked cars.

But yeah, I had a birthday. One year older... But this year, I'm working toward accomplishing my dreams. I'll have a Master's by the time I'm 30, and I've got my foot back in the revolving door of theatre, so who knows what could happen this year? :)

Friday, May 25, 2012


Day One on the new prescription:

Slept until 2pm. Went to get Hubby lunch. Came home, had to fight the urge to go back to bed. At 3pm. They weren't kidding when they said this stuff could make me drowsy... I hope I adjust soon. I have to be up early on Saturday!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Shifting Perspective

If there's one thing I learned from my accident on Friday, it's that life is fragile, and it can be gone in an instant. It can't be taken for granted. It must be actively lived, loved, and embraced. If you want something, you have to go for it. Nothing will be handed to you, but everything could be taken away in the blink of an eye. Love what and who you have while you have them, and let go of negativity the moment it creeps into your life. Live without regrets.

In the past few days, I've made peace with my demons. I've forgiven those who wronged me in the past, and I've learned to hold tighter to those who make my world a better place. I am stronger from the past, happy with the present, and optimistic about the future. I have always looked for the silver lining, but now I don't even see the clouds.

It took a potentially fatal incident to open my eyes. I hope that the rest of you are able to see life for all its wonders and embrace its beauty without such an eye-opener.

Monday, May 21, 2012

And Sometimes, Dreams Come True!

I can hardly believe it. My head is spinning, my feet haven't touched the ground... I auditioned yesterday for a local production of The Tempest (which just so happens to be the first play I ever did, waaaaay back in 10th grade--AND the play in which my first-ever kiss occurred--ON STAGE!!). I went in prepared, professional, and expecting great things of myself. I didn't expect a role, because these people had never seen me before and didn't know me from Adam. I didn't expect applause or congratulations. I didn't expect anyone to acknowledge me, or my valiant attempts at returning to the stage after more than half a decade away. I expected nothing from them, and everything from myself. I delivered.

I wasn't nervous. I read with confidence. I didn't hesitate to try anything they asked of me. I walked in with head held high, and I left two inches taller than when I had come in. I was PROUD of myself... For the first time in *I don't know how long.*

This evening, I got the call. I got a part! With plenty of stage time, a handful of important lines, and OHMYGOSH A REAL PART IN A REAL PLAY FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE GRADUATING UNIVERSITY!!

This comes at an interesting time, because, as we all know, I've struggled very heavily with PTSD this year. I've gone through a great deal, and I've journeyed a long way to find inner peace and strength in my life. Additionally, as I mentioned before, I passed out behind the wheel on Friday and ran off the road, wrecking Hubby's car. This was the final straw for my current meds, which means I have to change them--tomorrow. I'm anticipating a couple of weeks where I'm not sure what I'm feeling, or where I feel very little (that's typically the case when I transition: I go a bit numb). I was feeling anxious about that, but now! NOW! I have something glorious to keep me on Cloud Nine for the next two months!!

My readers have seen me fluctuate heavily in the very recent past. First, I was bursting with inspiration and optimism. Next, I was in a pit of despair. Well, nearly killing myself on Friday gave me the final kick in the seat that I needed to get out and start to make things happen. No more excuses. If I want happiness, I have to go out and GET IT, instead of waiting for it to come to me. I spent ALL DAY Friday preparing for this audition, shopping for an appropriate outfit, hunting down my actin' shoes, planning my hair and makeup, taking self-portraits so I'd have something resembling a headshot, updating my horribly out-of-date and dusty resume... I turned a very scary moment into a moment of reawakening. It gave me the courage I needed to go out and TRY...

...And I succeeded! :D

So, of my 3 goals recently set (to lose 30 lbs, to get my voice back in shape, and to be on stage before the end of 2013), I am currently ACTIVELY working toward the first two, and I've managed to reach the third. The one that mattered the most to me is becoming a reality right before my eyes. I am coming back to the stage, and it feels like coming HOME.

I couldn't possibly be any happier than I am RIGHT NOW.

Dreams really DO come true!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Just Across the Horizon

Well, I can safely say the worst is behind me. My appetite is back to a healthy and appropriate size (meaning I didn't switch from fasting to emotional eating; I'm eating two small meals a day, which is my standard). I put myself out on a limb this morning, and I came out all the better for it.

Success can be measured in a variety of ways. For me, realizing I still have the strength to take risks, the confidence to be myself and give something my all, and the satisfaction of knowing I did an excellent job is going a really long way. I don't need reassurance that today was a success, which is evidence that *I* am a success. I don't have to let go of myself, and I don't have to get lost in a depression. Everything can be overcome.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Wake-Up Call

This morning, around 5am, I fell asleep behind the wheel of my husband's Prius. I was driving 55mph along the highway when I lost consciousness, and the car veered suddenly to the right. It was the THUNK! of losing my side mirror to a metal post that jolted me from my unintentional slumber. Yes, I fell asleep while driving and hit a metal post while going 55mph. C and I were both okay, although the car sustained some fairly heavy body damage, and that side mirror is resting somewhere along 395S. Frankly, I'm lucky to be alive, and I'm lucky that C was in the middle seat and didn't take any of the force of the impact.

So here I was, last week talking about dreams reborn, this week moping about life getting me down, and today? Well, today, I could easily have died. I could have lost my daughter. By no fault of my own, in that instant that I lost consciousness, everything could have ended. Instead, I have to come up with $1000 to fix the car and hope that our insurance premiums don't go up. (Also, I have to switch medications, because I've been having some trouble staying awake at the wheel ever since beginning this particular pharmaceutical. Pity, because it was really working very well for my moods...) All in all, a VERY small price to pay. Catastrophe narrowly averted. Life goes on...

But it got me thinking. Life is fragile, and it's a gift, not a guarantee. My father-in-law told me just yesterday to quit worrying so much or I was going to find myself in the hospital, and that his own brushes with mortality have taught him to think of each day as a bonus. If every day is a bonus day, you don't want to waste your bonus time on something as silly as worrying about things you can't control. What I am now learning is that every day IS a bonus, and I don't want to waste it on depression.

Now, now... I know what you're all thinking. "But you're bipolar. Of course you're going to experience periodic depression." Yes, I realize this... But something snapped in me today. Just because I'm feeling depressed, it doesn't mean I have to give myself over to those feelings. I can fight them! I used this morning's accident as an excuse to spend the day preparing for a theatrical audition this weekend. I'm not expecting to be cast, but I guarantee I won't be cast if I don't audition! If I want to regain control of my life--if I want to recapture my dreams--then I've got to put myself out there! I've got to TRY. I can't fear rejection or failure; I have to embrace the opportunities that are presented to me. I have to stay positive, and project that positive attitude into the universe. I have to believe that I can see my dreams come true, that I WILL see my dreams come true, and only then can they stand a fighting chance.

I'm still feeling depressed. I still have no self-confidence and can't eat (although I had some noodles last night, which is more than I've had since breakfast Wednesday, and more than I've had today), and I still hate what I see in the mirror... But I have the opportunity to change all that. If I go out and PURSUE LIFE, I can regain that vitality and brilliance that I thought I had lost long ago. If I CHERISH what I have, I'll learn to focus on that instead of worrying about what may be lacking. If I live fully and love freely, then life and love will envelop me.

That collision was a wake-up call. Not only to literally wake up and drive, but to wake up to what life has to offer, right here and right now. The Universe may very well be speaking to me now, and it's screaming its bloody head off to tell me to get off my rear and put wonderful things in motion. Life is, after all, what we make of it.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Sometimes, I feel that I censor my blog too much. Try to keep the readers happy, you know? Fill them with words of inspiration, of strength, of hope... But that's not true to life, not for me. I have Bipolar II Disorder, so my moods fluctuate. I might be on top of the world, full of dreams and ambition, thrilled just to be alive... Only to fall abruptly down to earth, where I lie beaten, alone, and bloody as hell.

Just last week, I wrote that dreams never die. I wrote about new goals I was setting for myself. I wrote about hope for the future, and a desire to make my dreams come true. This week, I write about defeat. About giving up. About despair.

It can happen in the blink of an eye. A rose-colored world goes dark, and, all at once, everything that shone in the sun is now masked in darkness. All I see is blackness, and all I feel is the cold enveloping me. I want to push myself, to dream big, to pursue greatness... But I feel like a complete and utter failure at all aspects of life. I lose all self-confidence, all hope, all will to go on. I simply go through the motions of life as dictated by C's schedule. I get up to put her on the bus to school, and I get her off the bus. I feed her, I bathe her, I hold her... But I feel so incredibly alone. It's all a charade. I can't connect with her, because I feel like I've been cut off from myself. I can't FEEL anything that isn't dark and gloomy.

I know, intellectually, that things will get better. That this can only last a week or two, that the drugs I take at night will counteract the chemical changes in my brain, that the heart is just an organ pumping blood through your body and not the seat of emotion. You can't die of a million heartbreaks; they're all in your mind. You just have to struggle through until the lights come back on. And the lights always come back on. If they don't, I just go to the doctor and get another pill. It's easy, really. It's a game of endurance.

But here I am, at the beginning of the game, just setting out on my dark path back toward the light... And it all seems so far away, well beyond my reach. Dreams are a thing of the past, because I can't afford them anymore. Hope is useless; it doesn't make the journey any shorter or less arduous. I can't even muster a smile.

Perhaps the only good to come of this is that I can't seem to force myself to eat. Makes dieting and losing weight that much easier... So perhaps I'll make a little progress on that goal to lose 30lbs. Without love and inspiration to drive me, I sure as hell won't make any progress toward putting myself on stage, but I would probably wither in the heat of the spotlight at this point. No, I just need to stick to the shadows, lurk in the darkness, and push through until everything shifts back toward a life worth living. A life that WILL return... Eventually.


They happen. You can let them get you down, or you can let them push you to try harder to reach your goals.

I was down last night, but today? I'm stronger than ever before. I'm fortified my walls, and I'm not letting anyone in. Life won't get the best of me.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

When the Universe Speaks...

When the Universe speaks, LISTEN!

I've been told that time and time again. Life works out the way it's supposed to. You may not realize it now, but you are exactly where you need to be for the rest of your life to move forward the way it's intended. Everything happens for a reason. You are here for a reason, these things are happening to you for a reason, and everything in your past has culminated in this one moment, in which you need to take the initiative to move forward.

It all sounds so neat and tidy, doesn't it? We may have made mistakes, but they brought us to this spectacular present! Or, perhaps the present isn't so sunny, but there's a new dawn on the horizon, and this is where we need to be now so that we can reach that horizon by morning.

For the most part, I believe in all of that. I know some who know me will be surprised, and others will be rolling their eyes at how obvious it is that I buy into this. When you live a life like mine, with the ups and downs that my life has had, you simply must believe there's some order to the chaos. A plan somewhere among the insanity. Some sort of rhyme or reason for what is, what has been, and what will be.

However, despite all of that... What about the future? If the universe has landed us exactly where we need to be now, does that mean it will neatly place us exactly where we need to be in the future? Or must we seek out the future that we want? Choose a goal and work toward it, even if it means fighting tooth and nail? If the Universe speaks to us about opportunities and when to take them, how do we actively listen? How do we distinguish between the voice of Destiny and the voice of our desires? What happens if we miss our cue because we were too busy talking to stop and listen at the right time?

I believe my life has happened for a reason, and all the ups, the downs, the sideways bits, the twists and turns... They've all led me to where I need to be. From here, though, I am faced with choices. With options. With opportunities! I'm halfway through school, meaning I'm halfway to a teaching license and a new career... But I'm hearing the siren song of the stage, beckoning me back. Life is settled and comfortable, but I'm stricken with wanderlust and a thirst for adventure. Do I keep my head down and push forward on the path I've chosen for myself, or is there some wiggle room to follow what sound like voices beyond my mind, beyond the four walls of this house... The voice of the Universe, perhaps? Can I have it all? Has life led me here so that I can have a steady career to grant me the economic freedom to pursue the dreams of my past?

It's so difficult to know what you're supposed to do, especially when what you are doing and what you want to be doing are staring you down, daring you to choose, seemingly at odds with one another... I want to make the right decisions. I want to follow the path that the Universe (be that God, Fate, the planets, or some other force) has laid for me. I want to find myself, in twenty years, exactly where I'm supposed to be.

As for now, I don't have a clue what that means.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


When I think of myself, I don't imagine some run-down, washed-up old woman. Sure, I'm not the vibrant dreamer I was when I was 20, but I haven't aged or fallen apart that much in the past 9 years (oh dear, my birthday's just around the corner now!). I see myself as a positive thinker, a strong woman, a mother, a friend, a wife. I see myself as someone who can weather any storm, and who has seen quite a few. I'm a fighter, although I'll never go looking for one. I'm a fixer, although I can't fix myself. I see myself as many things, and most of them are positive, but the one word that never changes is broken. I see myself as broken.

I've been broken for longer than I've been able to (legally) drink. Broken since long before I cast my first ballot in an election. Broken almost since I started to drive. I can hardly remember a time when I was whole...

Damaged goods.

I used to think someone would come along and patch me up, good as new. Some kind of hero would whisk me away, and life would be a fairy tale, fully of happily ever after. I thought someone would make the pain go away. Someone would shine a light into all the darkness and let in the sun forever. That never happened. That never will happen. It's a childhood fantasy. I'm a broken woman, and I always will be a broken woman. I'm okay with that.

Because, despite being broken, I've managed to piece together a pretty great life for myself. I have friends, I have family, I have people who love me and whom I love. I have dreams (still!), I have goals, I have drive. I have the determination to make it through every day and see through to the next. I have a daughter, a child, a little life who relies on me for her everything. And, broken as I may be, I give her everything. Everything I have, and more. I gave her life, and I will give her love until the end of time.

I may be broken. I'll always be broken, I'm sure... But that sure hasn't held me back yet!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I Have Decided.

Therefore, it must be so.

I will lose 30lbs.

I will get my voice back in shape.

I will be in a stage production of some sort.

All of this will occur by December 31, 2013. If not, the entire internet will laugh at me. Or just the 20 or so of you who regularly read my ramblings. ;)

It shall come to pass!!

Dreams Never Die

Dreams never die. They may be forgotten for a time, but they live on, indefinitely, until the time comes for the heart to remember. Dreams never die.

Sometimes, it's easy to forget that I once had huge dreams. Like, ENORMOUS dreams. I was going to be a star! I was going to make a living on the stage, live my life as hundreds of different characters in different cities around the globe, become someone else for a few hours every night, and bring joy and perspective to those who came out to see me perform. I had DREAMS.

Then I had a child. Moreover, I had a child with special needs. A child who needs a dedicated team of medical specialists nearby to monitor her progress regularly. A child who needs extra attention, extra help, and structure to her life, more so than some other children. A child who can't be packed up and carted around the country with a touring troupe, or bounced around from apartment to apartment, city after city, without a single home to call her own. A place to grow and thrive. A life that I could never give her if I continued down a path toward the wild and crazy dreams of my young adulthood...

So, my dreams shifted. I dreamed new dreams: dreams of special schools, of helping children, of developmental milestones being reached and tiny smiles on my little one's face. Dreams of her first spoken words, the ability to potty train, walking distances without leg braces, telling me she loves me, her falling in love, her going to college, her falling in love and starting a family of her own... Dreams that are easily as grand and enormous as my dreams of stardom, but in very different ways. Dreams that are just as difficult to achieve as my earlier dreams. Selfless (or mostly selfless) dreams for my child's well-being. Those are the dreams I dream now.

However, even as I dream these new dreams, as I spend my days and nights working toward them, as I go to school in furtherance of them, as I devote my time and energy and heart to that little girl who needs me for so very much, I haven't lost sight of the old dreams. They haven't died. They haven't vanished. They've simply been buried somewhere deep beneath the surface... From time to time, they dig themselves out of their shallow grave, because I can tell myself I have killed them, but they never truly die. They are immortal, and, at times, they are stronger than I. These dreams have a life of their own, and they yearn to be realized. Perhaps they've matured with time, and they've narrowed the scope of their ultimate goals a little. Perhaps New York City and national touring companies are no longer a part of the dream... But the stage is still there. The lights, the greasepaint, the proscenium, the audience... Those things crave realization. They haunt me, and they call to me at night, when the lights are out, when I'm drifting off to sleep and my heart and mind are at their most vulnerable. They whisper in my ear, and they encourage me to seek out auditions, to go to karaoke, to do anything and everything I can to be in the spotlight once again, if only for a brief moment in time.

Dreams never die. They may be forgotten for a time, but they live on, indefinitely, until the time comes for the heart to remember.

Dreams never die.