Monday, October 29, 2007



All summer long I listened backstage to my friend and cast-mate talk about it, listened as he shared news about common friends who were members, resisted his encouragements to join. In September I even went so far as to join a ‘I Will Not Join Facebook’ club; members, 3. It is a very elite club.

Its membership is down to 2 these days. I have succumbed.

I have good reasons. My entire immediate family is on there, and while my youngest brother won’t check his email he does check his Facebook network, meaning I can now keep up with his life a little better. Almost everyone I know from this town is on there too, although since I see them every day it seems a moot point. I have extended family on there, as well as people I haven’t seen in ages, since childhood, since leaving home…and I’ll admit that I’ve liked catching up with people I otherwise probably would never have spoken to again.

I’ll also admit to enjoying the applications. Hatching Eggs is a lot of fun. So is 10-Second Interview; I love reading other people’s answers. Being able to electronically fight people, play Scrabble, or cast magical spells on people before zombie-biting their necks is also entertaining. I find sharing my favourite books and music to be a pleasant way to express myself. I can even share my mood, complete with a little emoticon to visually convey my inner self.

My moods, on Facebook, have been remarkably stable. I’ve been ‘loved’, ‘in love’, ‘content’. I have felt those things in the last couple weeks, so the happy little yellow ball with a kiss on it’s cheek hasn’t been lying. Exactly.

But then I realized that I was telling my brother that I was ‘fine’ when in fact I was feeling like shit.

For the majority of my time in these last few weeks I have not felt happy, positive emotions. Words like ‘lost’, ‘confused’, ‘extremely uncertain’ have been more accurate. Not that it shows much. It’s not just on Facebook that I present a happier front, although it’s easier to be cheery when you’re writing on walls and sending electronic messages. People can’t see the physical truth then; the jaw that hasn’t been able to relax since the beginning of October, the tension in my face, the hair-trigger emotions. Although even when they can see it people tend to be too wrapped up in their own world to notice, so I get away with my isolation coping mechanism.

I might have still been in denial about my emotional falseness if it hadn’t been for that note to my brother. If I can’t tell my brother what I really feel, then who can I tell? So I deleted my dishonest, chipper words and wrote something else. I don’t remember what, but it was truthful.

It still took me a while to be more honest with my Facebook page…but I am now a little, lonely looking blue hover-ball who is ‘confused because my life is just that way right now’.

Yesterday when someone asked me how I was I told them that I was having a dark tea-time of the soul.

I don’t know why, but being honest about that with people makes it seem more bearable.

Date of Origin: October 25th, 2007.

Friday, October 26, 2007


Yesterday I went for walk and railed at God for immersing me in darkness and misery and hopelessness.

I just want some hope, and you aren’t going to give me any, are you, I cried.

I woke up this morning from a dream I cannot describe – not because I don’t remember it but because it is too close to my heart to share right now.

He gave me hope.

I am such a fool! And such a childish soul! I feel very humbled and comforted all in one breath.

I asked without faith for hope, and He gave to me abundantly.

Date of Origin: October 25, 2007

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Yes, I know...Shit-tastic Isn't A Word

Well, it figures that I write a great post about how wonderfully confident I see myself, an adult all grown-up and secure, and then I have a shit-tastic day right away after.

I live next to an art gallery, a beautiful old building converted into a place to hang beautiful pictures. It has an alarm system – those pictures need protecting, even in a town so small that anyone who knows the pictures exist has a code to disarm the system anyway. That alarm, when it does go off, sounds like a giant alarm clock from Hell.

Especially when it goes off at 1 in the morning.

And again at 5.

Which it has done for the last two nights.

The explanation is that mice (of which the building, being old, has quite a few) run around and set off the motion sensors. And then it takes ten to fifteen minutes for the maintenance man to get out of his nice warm bed and turn off the alarm. And another ten or fifteen minutes for me to get back to sleep. Which adds up to at least half an hour off of my much needed REM sleep.

If I had a key I’d just run over and turn it off myself, but since I don’t I lie in my bed and bitch and moan about the ‘fucking alarm system’ and the useless nature of said system. After the second alert last night I rolled over and said “Don’t fucking set it again!” If I had a key, I’d probably go over there around 10 at night and disarm it, just to get a good night’s sleep, and then alarm it again in the morning.

Anyway, because of the giant alarm clock from Hell I woke up grumpy. Very grumpy. Try as I might I couldn’t really shake it. I’m playing a very chipper woman – the City Lady who gives presents to little poor children – in the Christmas show, and first thing this morning (of course) we worked that scene. Every time we stopped and the director gave me notes I had to bite down on my resentment and anger, my ‘unteachable spirit’ and my bad attitude. By the time we left for lunch I was in a right pissy mood.

I spent the first forty minutes of my lunch break crying. Everything from pity-party tears to sobs that rise out of you, crunching your body in the process. My eyes looked like I’d just taken a huge hit of pot, they were so red, and my nose was thoroughly plugged, but I did feel better. It’s hard to acknowledge and accept myself when I’m having a bad day. It’s easier to beat myself up for not being at 100%, which just makes me feel worse in the long run.

After the good cry and an equally good (though not as soggy) lunch, I repeated a mantra to myself. A positive rant, as I call it. “I am having a bad day. That’s okay. I am still a good person. I can’t be as big and open as P.F. wants, and that’s okay because I am still doing the best I can do for where I am at today. And that isn’t failure. I’m not failing, I’m not pathetic, and it’s okay to be weak. I am okay. I am still a good person...”, over to myself until I began, a little, to believe it.

As I stepped out the door to return to rehearsal P.F. himself was driving by and he gave me a ride. He asked me how I was doing and I said, on the verge of tears again (I feel very emotionally unstable today), that I was having a bad day. He was very understanding, and told me that it was okay if I wasn’t ‘finished’ today – ‘rehearsal is a process’, he told me. ‘We don’t open tonight, or even next week.’ And he told me he wasn’t concerned because he is confident that I know what he wants and I will get there before the show goes up.

Actually, everyone who saw me before my eyes returned to normal was very comforting and understanding, which goes to show me that my assumption that isolation is the best coping mechanism is quite flawed. It also helped me to actually believe that having a bad day is okay. Others accepted me where I was at, and that helped me to accept where I was at, and then I felt a whole lot better.

And so, though the day started out pretty shitty, it has turned into a not-so-bad day after all.

Date of Origin: October 17, 2007

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Little Woman (in my head)

I have always had a distinct mental image of myself. It’s literally a little version of me who stands in the centre of the blackness of my mind, suspended in the empty space behind my eyes, reflecting my impression of my physical and metaphysical self.

This image has changed throughout my life. The first memory of my mental self comes from my childhood. I was innocent in outlook and physicality, looking out into the world with wide open eyes, a shy yet curious gaze through a fringe of unruly hair. Unaware of any judgement that might come from my physical appearance. I think this is from my preteen years, when I was 10 or 11.

In my next image I’m older, 16, shy and gangly and awkward. In my mind I’m awkwardly tall and hunching over to hide that height, my face hidden behind unattractive glasses, my hair plain, too long, held back simply in a low ponytail. I’m wearing a t-shirt that hides my figure, high-waisted jeans practical for chores and outside work that reveal nothing of my femininity. Shy, with no confidence, wanting to make friends but too uncertain to leave the edges of the social settings I find myself in. At home only with animals and the outdoors, a girl who experiences nothing but confusion when it comes to her own species. A dreamer who reads and creates marvellous adventures in her head but can’t interact with the reality around her.

The teenage awkwardness abated as I grew used to my body, and my mental image changed. My inner height changed to match my physical height and I no longer saw myself too tall and hunched over. I saw my figure begin to assert itself in my head, although my clothes still hid most of my femininity away under the guise of modesty. My eyes reappeared in my face. I was still perplexed when it came to interacting with people my own age, but now was of an age where the adults above me began to treat me like a peer, listening and being friendly with me. Because most of that change happened at work, my adult self wore my work uniform, and my at home self was blurry and extremely confusing.

The change to what I see now was a gradual and painful one. Figuring out who I am and who I want to be; learning that I am an adult and not a child, and what that looks like in real life; figuring out how to interact with a peer set made up of people my own age…change is always chaotic but with something so integral to my mental image of my self the chaos seemed more integral to my life as well. I slipped between different mental images, particularly with my family, and it was confusing to both myself and them. It caused fights and outbursts of anger as I jumped between mental images ranging from mature independent adult to toddler in the span of five minutes. Last Christmas in particular was a time of flux that resulted in some nasty interactions with my mother, painful inflictions that thankfully haven’t left permanent damage.

And who do I see now?

A woman. Standing straight and emanating confidence as I look at the world around me. Beautiful, attractive and secure in that knowledge, feminine and strong. Capable and talented, with a strong passion for life. Alone or with people, growing comfortable with my emotions and what I want. Whatever I’m wearing, however my hair is, whether I’m wearing makeup or not, I look beautiful to myself. My appearance doesn’t depend on my externals anymore. I am a powerful, sensual, feminine adult and I know it.

Even when I am full of uncertainty my inner image doesn’t revert to the images from my uncertain times of life. I may look like a woman who doesn’t know where she’s going or why, and I may be sitting down, head in my hands, drooping or kicking and screaming and throwing a tantrum, but I am still a woman.

Yeah. I am content. Confident. Secure. Adult. Feminine. Powerful. Unthreatened.


Date of Origin - October 16th 2007

Rehearsals Again

...which means my posts will come in clumps with dates of origin on them.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Like Mother, Like Daughter

My mother is a writer.

All of my life she has called herself a writer. I must admit that during most of my growing up she only wrote in her journal. Before she began her blog I actually didn’t see much concrete evidence of her writer status. However, she has always been a writer and I never doubted that.

I didn’t have a title until I went to acting school. After a few years I felt comfortable calling myself an actor. Well, actress – I don’t like the whole politically correct thing of everyone being actors now. I had my own title, I had my own life, things were good.

Then about a year ago I took a playwriting class.

God forbid I ever call myself a writer. I have always written, but it was more of a hobby. An interest, nothing more. I kept a diary from the age of 6, on and off, wrote several skits with my brothers, wrote a children’s novel in my teens that I never did anything with and I have at least half a dozen unfinished stories in my head and in my filing cabinet, but I was not a writer. It was an interest, an acceptable interest for an actress. Supplemental income and all that rot. So I took the class.

Within two months I began to wrestle with my titles. My teacher was calling me a writer. My classmates were calling me a writer. The other instructors in the school were calling me a writer.

I refused to accept it. Even though I was writing and nothing had ever felt so perfectly natural to me, I rejected the title with all the strength and stubborn willpower in my body.

I struggled and procrastinated like I had never done before in my entire life. The things I would do instead of writing! I suddenly found a passion for my annotated bibliography, the most pointless course I take here; I don’t think my room has ever been so clean and orderly. I vacuumed. I hate vacuuming. I washed other people’s dishes. Anything so that I could avoid writing my play.

I put an astounding amount of energy into avoiding writing. My ideas would come, my spirit would whisper to my muse, and I would evade eye contact. “If I can’t see you, then you aren’t reeeallll,” right?

I can only live in denial for so long, but it took a lot of wrestling before I broke down and called myself a writer. It did break me, even though I was alone that first time.

I go for walks when my thoughts get too jumbled up to the cemetery up on the hill, an old cemetery full of old graves of long forgotten people. I walked around the dead, watching my feet swish through the grass, scaring the grasshoppers into their rain-pattering flight. I was railing against God. Against my play. My idea, the only one I’d been given, was too big. Too dangerous. Too painful. It wasn’t fair, and I told God so.

I crumpled to the ground and with tears falling down my face I looked up to the sky and said, “I’m a fucking writer. Okay? I’m a writer. And I hate it.”

I uttered the phrase with a mouth full of resentment and bitterness. It wasn’t fair, I was an actress, I was not my mother, I refused to become my mother, and I knew this was the first step down a long and impossible backslidden slope.

Months later I finally said the words to someone else. I think my passion for writing equals my passion to act. It was strange to hear those words coming out of my mouth. The strangest part was that my resentment had disappeared. It was suddenly okay for me to admit that I could, perhaps, be a writer.

I’ve spent way too much time trying to figure out why I had such a strong negative reaction to being called a writer. I’m no closer to an answer, and no closer to knowing why it became okay. But I can call myself a writer now.

It scares me, but there is a peace in the fear along with an excitement as I explore this newly forgiven aspect of myself. The world seems like an open book, my oyster chock-full of pearls just waiting for me to come along and pick them up.

Like mother. Like daughter.

I’m okay with that now.

Saturday, October 06, 2007


It’s easier to be sceptical than successful.

It’s easier to question than to conquer.

It’s easier to rationalize your disappointments than to realize your dreams.

I don’t want the easy life anymore.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Rose Coloured Shards of Glass

Once upon a time I was told that cynicism is really disillusioned romanticism.

That explanation clicked somewhere deep within me and stuck. When I feel cynical I remember that phrase.

Sometimes I have the awareness to look around and see what ideals have just been smashed into the ground.

I hate having my ideals broken.

Seeing reality doesn’t feel worth the clarity and understanding it brings.

I am disillusioned with Rosebud.

What am I supposed to do when my ideals get broken up? I don’t want to be a cynical, jaded person. I don’t want to see the world through black glass.

Feelings seem to come in layers, emotion under emotion under emotion. The foundation of my cynicism is a deep pool of pain and sadness, rooted in grief and loss.

Would I rather feel those ‘negative’ feelings than sink into the truly negative view that I’ve been experiencing?

It hurts. It sucks. I have cried, flailed about lost and confused, been angry and deeply still.

This must be what it was like when I was three, experiencing that first betrayal.

Can I deal with the pain and learn from it without erecting blocks and fortresses to protect my spirit?

The ideals that were broken shouldn’t have been illusions. They were honourable. Realistic. Even in a fallen world, they should have held true.

I should be able to trust people.

The authorities in my life should be on my side. They should champion my cause; help me complete my training without blocking my path to success. There should be no room, no toleration, for manipulation and bullying.

People should be able to say no and be listened to.

I should have an advocate on my side when I have a conflict or misunderstanding with the school or theatre.

Authority figures shouldn’t let ego and pride shouldn’t get in the way of what is best for those beneath their power.

Adults should take responsibility for their choices. They should accept the consequences of their actions instead of pointing fingers and putting the penalties on those without power.

My friends shouldn’t lie to my face.

The corners of masks are being lifted and those behind them don’t see it happen. Darker layers of humanity are being exposed, denied and lied about. I am losing my ability to trust and I don’t know how to get it back.

I don’t want to be cynical.

I don’t want to be blind.

I don’t want to be guarded.

I don’t want to be foolishly vulnerable.

I want to find the balance, where I can be open as far as I trust, where I can respect myself and avoid unsafe situations, where I can see the faults and yet still like the people.

I want to be able to choose to trust.

Do I wish I had never seen the curtain rise and that I still believed that this place was a little part of Heaven without faults or problems?

It would have been easier if there had been time between the masks’ revelation.

Now I ask:

How do I learn to protect myself righteously instead of being defensive without due cause?

And how do I get my rose-coloured glasses back?