Friday, May 17, 2013

Wow, Long Time...

I really enjoyed keeping this blog, back when I kept it. I found it cleansing to post my thoughts, share my feelings, and make public goals so I'd feel a sense of obligation to external parties, even if it was only in my head. Sadly, I had to stop blogging here because I was struggling with a stalker situation. Not because I'm some pseudo-celebrity or so insanely special or any other such nonsense, and it had nothing whatsoever to do with my blog... But my blog was a tool for the stalker to continue to follow my life and harass me after the restraining orders and his relocation to a nearby city made driving by my house and gym repeatedly a less viable option for him. He created slanderous profiles with my name and picture and links to my blog on various sites, and he referenced my posts in his harassing messages and rants. I couldn't let him continue to use this once safe haven as a tool for worming his way into any aspect of my life. And thus, I stopped posting. Since my last post: I was part of a beautiful and inspired production, followed by another, followed by another. I accepted a position working year-round with the theatre company that produced these shows, and I work (unpaid) to coordinate volunteers, help organize events, and I will be teaching a workshop with them this summer. I look forward to working with them more in all capacities, on and off stage, and will be submitting two proposals for shows I would like to direct next season. I'm also going to be auditioning for other local companies in the near future. I'm almost finished with my Master's! I completed the bulk of my fieldwork/practica requirements this past semester, and I've got another round to go this summer, followed by one traditional course and one compile-my-culminating-project "course" this fall, and then it's FINISHED. The kiddo is doing great! She's learning all sorts of new skills, especially in language--she's started responding appropriately to simple prompts (sit down, come here, eat, etc), mimicking a LOT of words, waving and saying HI! at her reflection and at people... She's healthy. She's happy. She's about to enter kindergarten! Things are starting to pick up a bit for her, and I'm excited to see how far she is able to grow. I just couldn't be more excited or PROUD. I'm taking a course in playwriting this summer, which I'm very much looking forward to. It's to bulk up my hours for financial aid requirements, because the only required course I'm taking this summer is the fieldwork. This is something I've very much been wanting to try my hand at, and I'm anticipating the structured course and regular submission deadlines will be the driving force that compels me to get more than a single scene written for the first time in my life. ;) I'm getting back on the health & fitness bandwagon, and I'm VERY happy about it! I got started back up this week with a new personal trainer, and I'll be going twice a week. Plus I'm taking a 2x/week high-intensity fitness class throughout the entire summer, plus I'm enrolled in two weekly dance classes for the fall semester. I've realized that a HUGE factor in my ongoing weight struggles is that I'm not dancing multiple times a week like I was in my teens and early twenties, and that's what kept me healthy most of my life. Clearly, going to the gym on my own wasn't doing the job for me, and working with a personal trainer is beyond my financial scope for long-term solutions at this stage, but organized dance and fitness group classes are affordable, structured enough to keep me on track, and fun enough that they're somewhere I WANT to be, not just somewhere I'm forcing myself to go for my health. This is all part of a very exciting, bigger package of lifestyle changes that I'm gradually introducing into my routine so I can not only shed some weight and get healthy again, but so I can maintain it for the rest of my life--because health and fitness have no end point; they're an ongoing, daily commitment! Finally--and I list this finally because it IS the least important thing to me, which I wouldn't have believed possible last summer--the stalker is in prison. At last. Not for his harassment or abuse of me, but for unrelated felony charges. I hear he was sentenced to 1-3 years, so I predict he'll serve one and then get out on parole, but he'll be a registered sex offender at that time. I'll be able to check online to see where he lives and works, and I will never in my life find myself anywhere near him. Never again. I stopped carrying my mace with me everywhere a couple of months ago, before I learned he was in prison (before he was convicted and sentenced, I think). It's in my car, and I take it out if I'm out in public after dusk, if I'm in an unknown area, or if I'm in any way in a vulnerable position for attack... But I stopped gripping it in my fingers until my knuckles turned white every time I set foot out of my house or out of the car. I'm alert and aware in public, because I know now how foolish it would be not to be so (not just from my experience, but from the experiences of several women around me, many of whom are now involved in a women's organization with me), but I'm not paranoid anymore. I'm not walking around scared. I have reclaimed my life, and I am LIVING it! On that note... I'm officially retiring this blog. I suppose most of my sporadic readers declared it retired long ago, but I held out hope for reviving it... But I think that would be foolish. That man will be released from prison one day, and I know him to be the type to hold grudges for forty years. I don't imagine he'll never look me up again... And, if he found this before, he'll find it again. So, like the phone number he knew, it will be set aside and forgotten. I may start another blog, but not on this account, and not linked to this blog in any way, so he hopefully never finds it in connection with my name. I am doing quite well. I AM HAPPY. My kid is great. My life is great. I'm doing so many of the things I always wanted to do, and I'm doing so many things I never imagined for myself but am now LOVING. I've almost got a Master's, I'm an elected official in a local chapter of a national non-profit organization, I'm an integral part of a theatre company and a known and loved member of a broader theatre community, I have a whole new social system in place, I don't drink anymore (not in over 8 months now), I'm making positive changes in my life on a daily basis... Things are quite fantastic. I'm feeling purpose and drive and inspiration! It's time to put this chapter of my life to bed and begin writing the next. Thank you, blog, for being my outlet. Thank you, anyone who read this, for being my sounding board. Hopefully some aspect of my experiences will give someone else some hope that THINGS REALLY DO GET BETTER. Rape. Assault. Stalking. Harassment. Abuse. Mental Disease. PTSD. Bipolar. Anxiety. Depression. Weight. Special Needs. Parenting. Motherhood. Disabilities. LIFE. These are all full of obstacles and pain, but don't give up--there's so much out there, and the only thing between you and it is YOU! Make it happen. Follow your dreams. HOPE. Work. You can have all the joy in the world. Make it so.

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