something witty

I'm 22 and am exploring some feelings publicly

I got a big ego (ha ha ha) such a huge ego

This research paper would probably be halfway done by now if I didn’t stop every two seconds to pick my split ends.

I definitely did not get that commercial I was on hold for, which surprised me at first. I was sure I had it. Then I felt really bad about myself. “It’s because I’m too fat. They picked someone prettier. They knew I couldn’t do it” blah blah blah. Then, relief. “Good, I don’t have to face the pressure of being good on the day of filming. I might not have been able to recreate what they liked in the audition/callback anyway…”

Then, my life felt orderly again. I wasn’t sure how to cope with booking a commercial. I was like- “Whose life is this? Not my life”. In my life, I audition and never book it. In my life, casting directors don’t want me for things. In my life… good things don’t happen. (That’s meant to be funny, not pathetic and ungrateful).

                                         meh.ro10891-455x419

But now, things are back to the way that makes sense to me. I’m back from planet Almost-Succeeding-at-Things and happy to report, I feel like myself.

There is a predictability again. Or the illusion of it, anyways.

I know just how to handle everything on my plate– work, school, the odd audition  while maintaing my sense of self.

I was not sure how to manage that commercial. The possibility of it alone changed me– mostly meaning… it made me arrogant. I must not know how to take a compliment because it didn’t take much to get me over thinking it all and congratulating myself on being awesome.

This scared me.

I didn’t realize how delicate humility is.

I wanted to feel the same way I always do, but I depend on suffering to give me my earthy charm 😉

I can see how this dependency on suffering could run me ragged and I intend to learn to accept successes… But I do find it surprising (and concerning) how little it took for my ego to flare up and numb out my humanity (A gross, gross feeling),

But somehow not getting that commercial brought me back to myself… I mean… Everything I do is ‘myself,’ but the self that feels true.

So what have we discovered this time? I have an ego ready to race out of the gates as soon as opportunity presents itself.

Charming. Don’t ya think?

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From 0 to 60 in 500 Words/ It’s a Long One

Preface: its long, it starts as one thing, and becomes something totally different.


Oops I said I wasn’t going to complain but that’s all I want to do! I am so tired, but sleep won’t help because I have so much to do every day all the time. And I’m blogging? I’m blogging because my work for the day is done. I have things to do, but they’re not school or work so they don’t count. I’m so fucking miserable I am tired and i don’t even want toget up and pee right now. there is hair all over my sweater because i’ve been pulling it out for hours and i don’t even want to make punctuation or capitalize my i’s because it’s too much work. i’m laying back and not even looking at the screen as i write this. why don’t i’s automatically capitalize like on my phone. am i making typos? i don’t care. i am so tired and i want to sleep and i wish i didnt have anything to do at alll wah wah wah

why don’t i want to move?

why do i want to be dead? dead sounds good. dead sounds perfect. dead is stillness. it is rest. it is peace. it’s blackness or whiteness. it’s nothing but its everything i want.

am i depressed? probably yes my therapist told me that but i don’t like to call myself that. i just want to be dead that’s all. who wouldn’t? it sounds great.

i’m gonna complain but i’m not gonna post this on facebook. i’m just gonna post it and pretend it didnt happen but i need to share how i really feel which is tired.

i’m frustrated because i’m not happy either way. not busy or lazy. with lazy there’s still worry, there’s still anxiety and desire. with busy there is those things, too. with death there is not. i don’t think so anyway. not the kind of death i want.

i’m not gonna kill myself. its not like that, but if i could just slip away i would. if i could fade into nothing, i would.

one time i was so low and so tired that i wished i didn’t have to breathe because it took too much energy.

this is probably the most vulnerable thing i could share because what’s likely to follow is concern and judgment and advice from other people but i don’t want any of those things. i want to be honest- that i would rather not live than live and i’ve felt like this for years.

since that fucking car accident. that anniversary is this month. is it because trauma like that ages a person? is it because i have unresolved issues from the accident that are draining my energy day and night? maybe i was supposed to die that day and some part of me wishes i would have. why don’t things just go away?

the second part of my life started that day and i felt like i had to rush to get over it. my friends at the time didn’t understand. i felt like they were sick of hearing about it, they never could comprehend what that must have been like, i watched one zone out when i described it and eventually it created a wedge in our relationships. i didn’t feel understood. i couldn’t be my new self around them. i felt like they wanted me to hurry up and be the way i was. but i couldn’t. and if that’s true- fuck you guys because you didn’t understand. i got hit by a tow truck on the freeway. the car i was sitting in with my mom, sister and grandma flipped and rolled over and over again. i didn’t know when it would stop.

my body still hurts. my anxiety still spikes in the car. my sisters back still hurts. how dare anyone suggest i move on sooner than what’s natural. i can be honest about it now. i’m not over that shit. i don’t even think i’ve begun to understand the significance of it. it changed my life in the biggest way and i have never had the courage to look at it. i’ve been too busy trying to suppress it for the sake of being able to keep my friends. the unavoidable truth was, i wasn’t like them anymore. i’d had something happen to me they hadn’t. in a day, i aged. in a day, i learned about the uncertainty of life. i learned that no one is exempt from the unexpected. no one is entitled to not suffer. no one is entitled to a safe drive home. no one is entitled to another day of life as it is. i learned i am no different. i learned shit happens and it happens to me, too. i learned i am not special. i learned that compassion and gentleness is gods greatest gift. i

never have i been more vulnerable than in the two minutes or so when that car was flipping. i didn’t know what was happening. i didn’t know if it was really happening- “am i dreaming? is this really happening? this wasnt part of the plan today.”

this is another important place of reference for me in understanding myself. without that accident there’s no way i would be who i am today. i will dedicate more time to sharing about this. i think it will really make a difference for me.

and its interesting, as i started writing about the accident, i started getting some energy back in my body. maybe it has been draining on me more than i realize.

Coffee is the Answer. I Get it Now.

I spent the last two hours shoving rash cream up a four year olds ass. What do you do for money?

I’m overworked and underslept. I’m too busy to buy toothpaste. I ate frozen grapes and two spoonfuls of peanut butter for dinner. But oh I am not complaining. This is what I wanted. I was a lady of leisure two months ago. No job. (I now have two). No auditions (I now do). No required brain activity (Now a college student). No mandatory waking hours (5:30 am alarm clock). No real fun (Improv class).

But here’s why I won’t complain about it. (Whining in my head or to my mom doesn’t count). I was wasting away in my parents house. (Still there just not quite wasting away).  I didn’t want to be anywhere but dead bed. Bed is still my happy place. I lay down and literally smile. Except now when I get into bed- I earned that shit. I’m not saying my life is better. It’s so not.  Busy-ness is not purpose or fulfillment- it’s just busy.

The surprising thing, though, is that I can do it. That I can survive when I haven’t slept for ten hours. That I can have several consecutive late night to early mornings and not die.  That I never thought coffee worked, but my last few mornings have taught me it does. I didn’t know I could consider 8am sleeping in, or 10pm too late to be getting home. In weeks my life has been flipped upside down punched in the face, kicked to the floor and cried for its mommy.

While busy-ness is not magical, it is manageable and I didn’t think it would be. And it beats that slow dying but not dying feeling that comes from not having anywhere to be.

Now I just have minor nervous breakdowns every eight hours.

How could one argue which life is better? You can’t because they both blow.

But I know from experience having nothing to do is not the key to peace. I also know that being busy is not the key to fulfillment and that’s why I won’t complain about my new circumstances. I created this busy-ness when I was a lady of leisure because I didn’t want to spend my life wishing away activity. I wanted to learn how to cope with leaving my bed. So here I am. Every day. Getting out of bed and staying out of bed for many hours. Kudos to me. And coffee.

I Don’t Care, I Love it

Feeling thrown off center today. Over and over again.
First class discussion. Did I talk too much? Did I say anything smart or worthwhile? My classmates will never like me. I’m a goodie goodie.

Volunteering. I told my patient I loved her. She didn’t say it back this time. Just thanked me. I wasn’t enough today. Not worth loving back today. “Try to be okay with that, try to love alone,” I tell myself.

Another audition. Third this week. Another skinny girl. More inferior feelings.
I was told to look young, pale and dull. I got there looking and feeling like all those things. Everyone else looked put together and vibrant.
I felt myself shrink into nothing and expand to twice my size again. Again, I was the fattest and least desirable. Im worthless, again.
The audition felt long and how it was received, impossible to gage. Was I good? Was I terrible? Were you fooled? Could you tell I didn’t fully comprehend the concept at hand?

I walked out and put it all behind me. So what if I wasn’t good? I can’t always be good. So what if I’m not what they’re looking for? I can only be what I am. Am I wrong to be so flippant about this? Should I be trying harder to be what I’m not? Should I be feeling worse that I wasn’t perfect?
No.
Why? Because there is a place for my strengths. There are roles for my abilities. Everything else does not belong to me.

I know this, but I struggle with not being meant for everything. It’s hard to not be perfect, but today I was better at not trying to be, pretending to be or needing others to see me as such.

“I yam that I yam and that’s all that I yam.”
And for some roles, some people that is not enough. For some, I’m exactly what they’re looking for.

I think of our friend Jessica Lange. “I’ve never been a sunny personality,” she says. But her depth, complexity and tendency to be withdrawn is the perfect storm making her work what it is. Groundbreaking.

I’m not saying I’m Jessica Lange. I’m saying, there’s use for all of our imperfections.

So what I may be discovering is– not being enough to everyone may be one of our greatest gifts.
It means when we know who we are, we know who we belong to and who we do not.

That’s what I think about it today, anyway.

Enough? Not Enough?

I was faced with my fear yesterday at a meet and greet with a local casting director. I stood waiting with dozens of actors for our moment with her. I walked in feeling good, then I started over thinking it. “I wasn’t expecting there to be people in the room with us. Keep cool. You know who you are. Be charming, yet chill. Don’t try too hard, but do something bold so you stand out… Talk to your fellow actors. Be sociable. No, I don’t want to. That will seem in genuine. Also I’m the fattest one here. Does my hair look okay? Walk to the mirror like you’re a cool person. Is that guy checking me out? Be yourself when you get up to meet her. Don’t be stupid. Don’t be fake or needy of approval.”

It went on like this until the root of this noise surfaced, silencing everything. One clear thought. “What if I am not good enough for her?”

I felt raw.

Like someone peeled away a layer of my chest.

What if I am not enough?

What. if. I. am. not. enough. ?.

But I can’t be anything more. If that isn’t enough… I… I have nothing more.

It’s the question that sits in my gut all the time. If I ever let myself sit raw in that question, I would never stop weeping.

What if I am not enough? I can’t move on from the question. What if I am not enough?

In face of any person, I ask. In any audition, I ask. Before I take action, I ask. Alone, I ask.

I wanted to put the protective layer back over my chest and pretend I hadn’t heard the question.

My moment with her came. I answered her questions without looking her in the eyes. I pretended to be myself and left knowing I was just one of a hundred passing faces she saw today. It was over in two minutes, but my question sits.

Here, I begin. In the tootsie roll center of the most vulnerable question I hold.

Desperately Seeking Feedback

I’m always looking for feedback.

Feedback on how I’m doing as a person. Was that thing I just did good? Was it bad? Did you hate it? Do you love me? Do you still love me? How about now? What about now?…. Now?

When I don’t get feedback I. Freak. Out. My anxiety takes over and I make up feedback. “He didn’t check me out because I’m fat and ugly. I’m doing terrible at my new job. She thought I was awkward and high when really I’m just awkward and allergic to my eyeliner. My new classmates don’t like me because think I’m the dumbest and wish I would shut up.”

Totally dependent on feedback whether I have to make it up or not. I will. have. order. feedback. (Harry Potter ϟ reference! Anyone?)

My sense of self depends on feedback. Can I blame school for this? Maybe.

I can think back on some home videos and see how in my pre-teens I started to become real awkward unsure of myself. I started to become aware of my body and how it wasn’t like my friends. My hair was weird and did things my friends’ hair didn’t do. It was frizzy and I couldn’t brush or crimp it like my friends could. Yes I was devastated I couldn’t partake in 90’s crimping. I had to wear a swim cap in the pool (traumatizing) if I wanted to keep my hair straight. I was fatter than them, too. Fat little gluten and lactose belly.

To cope, I tried to be like my friends anyway. I tried to not be different. I wore the same crop tops (Lord forgive my sins), I shopped at the same stores, bought the same shoes and danced to the same music. I pretended hard that I was white. Everyone else was. It was the only thing around me that existed. There was no one like me. I was it and that was… confusing and really really hard.

I’ve always hated myself for my differences. Even now I’ll be feelin’ alright about myself and a white girl with the long blonde hair and itty bitty body will enter the space and in a second I implode. I’m worthless. I feel my hair puffing out to five times its size. I feel my eyes bulge out of my head, my double chin dropping to my chest and I’m taking up extra space with my fat body. I expand and at the same time, shrink into nothing. All because I can never be white, blonde or skinny. Something that feels mandatory to be wanted in this country. Let me take a pause and remind myself that I was the cats meow, the bees knees, the Kate Upton of Paris. Men “ooh la la”ed me, stared me down and asked me to dinner. I was only there three days and that was enough to decide, “I’m moving here.”

In Minnesota, its different. It seems different, anyways. I’m sure there are a few men ’round these parts who’d like some of this caramel skinned lady snack. Wow. What did I just call myself? If a man called me that I would be so offended. Whatever. I’m leaving it.

Everyone started dating in middle school. Not I, said the overweight mixed girl. Middle school was rough. Middle school in general is rough and I spent mine in a white, conservative farm town. Not great timing, mom and dad.

While I don’t remember ever being made fun of for being black I was not getting great feedback from my peers. I was not understood there. I wasn’t like anyone there, either. The girls I wanted to be like did not think I was cool. The boys didn’t acknowledge my existence unless it was to pull down my pants while I shot a basketball in gym. Yep that happened.

All this feedback made me pretend harder that I was something else. I shopped at Hollister and started cutting myself. I listened to Hawthorne Heights and Panic! At the Disco. I was not me. Obviously. I mean, that was the point.

By high school my feedback changed. I was talented, now and funny. That was a nice shift.

The thing about feedback is that… I was always the same person. I mean I pretended to be different people, but in the center of the bullshit I’ve always been me. The girl who watched The Sound of Music over and over and over again. Who listens to Disney music on her iPod (happened today.) The girl who would rather stay in, watch a movie and eat food than go out. The girl who hates being high (Yeah that’s right. I fucking hate being high.) The girl who was sad when all her friends started dating because I was still enjoying that good lyfe.

I said earlier ‘my sense of self depends on feedback’ but the truth is– feedback or none, good or bad, I know who I am. It hasn’t changed in all these years. I’m still me in all of my frizzy haired, dateless, weed hating glory.

Always have been. Always will be. Well hopefully not dateless… Hopefully.

 

Well… I’m inspired to do this now… Does that make me a follower?

There’s something grounding about saying all the things. And reading someone else say all the things is a relief. I can take a breath and say, “Okay. It’s okay to stop pretending, now. Thank God.”

I woke up this morning anxious and did not want to get out of bed. This is not unusual for me, by the way. Every thing on my to-do list today, I don’t want to do. Didn’t want to do. But I slept a full nine hours and couldn’t go back to sleep. Mind too busy. “I want to stay in bed. I can’t be impressive today. It’s just going to be me pretending I wouldn’t rather lay in bed and fade into blackness all day… I have obligations every day this week. When will I ever get to sleep in again? I want nothing to do. Poor me” etc etc etc. 

Not able to sleep, I rolled over, grabbed my computer and knocked one thing of my to-do list (literally a google search). Then hopped on Facebook, clicked on my friends blog and read her latest post. My anxiety released. She was real and from her realness I remembered mine. 

So… What do I have to say that’s real? Especially now since I feel like I have to be profound because I’m like “Oh hey. My friend is on this really honest journey and she’s blogging about it. I’m gonna try to do that too…?” 

Why would I do this? Why would start to share the corners of myself with the internet abyss? Not just to be like my friend, right? That would be adolescent. Which I’m not…. (Questionable). 

No- I’m doing this because I hide a lot. My friends don’t know what’s going on with me. I don’t tell people anything unless they ask. And if they don’t ask I get mad and tell myself they don’t care about me. “They’re not interested in me or my life. They just talk about themselves.” (Poor me.) It’s a test to see if people care. I do that a lot. And mostly… I gather evidence they don’t.  

But I’m thinking about connection and how it changes things. It turns a stupid world kind of beautiful. It turns isolation into love. It turns fear into gratitude. In order for anyone to connect with me, I would have to show them me. And me is something I spend a lot of time trying to hide. ‘Me’ is too vulnerable. I don’t know what ‘me’ will do. How ‘me’ will react. But amidst the hopeless effort of making her disappear ‘me’ sits screaming in my gut. I can feel it. I’m exhausted. I just want to let my freak flag fly, you know? 

But I’m real scared. Because like… Pretending is what I do, now and I do it well. 

I am hoping that the more I share from the safety that is this computer screen, the more acquainted I’ll get with what’s true for me. And maybe everyone will leave me once they read this. Maybe you will judge me and maybe someone will read this that I wished hadn’t because I want to protect myself. Because it’s safe to have everyone not know. Maybe I will stop this in a day because it will get too confronting or I’ll get busy. Maybe I’ll delete this and pretend to myself that it never happened and no one saw. 

But I think of the people who have died in my life and the ones I have regrets about are ones I didn’t know. Ones who didn’t share with me and were a mystery to me. I wished I could have seen every corner of their mind and soul because they mattered to me. I loved them. I would have listened and learned and still loved them no matter what they showed me.

I’m thinking even if there is no one who feels this way about me (which I’m thinking not, but also hoping so and testing it out again. Oops). That at least I won’t have friends under false pretenses and maybe I won’t be so tired all the time because I won’t be trying to pretend so hard. And maybe I’ll find that it was really okay this whole time to be myself because people still love me. 

I’ll leave it at that. Maybe, maybe this will be okay. Maybe it will also be the worst. I don’t know. 

Thanks Hope. I’ll look I do look to you for inspiration.