Friday, April 30, 2010

Rest In This, Daughter, And Know You Are Loved

This last week has been a time of thought and contemplation for me.

It seems like so many things are tying themselves together from past conversations into a present learning experience, which is both incredibly cool and extremely difficult to accept at the same time.

Months ago I had a conversation with one of my best girlfriends about the human relationship with God. She had just come back from a retreat where she was surrounded by artists who wanted to figure out how their faith fit into their art, and what she had to share with me blew my mind, to the point where I don't think it's really been able to absorb the heart-knowledge until now, and even now it's only just starting.

What she said was this: that we relate to God as either slaves or orphans, or on a good day, as sons (or daughters).

Slaves feel that they need to earn their keep, their love, their place in God's eyes. It's all about work. The work will save you. Orphans have no sense of what family is. They feel that God is transient and they need to steal their way into His heart. They need to please him in order to belong; and even then there is the constant fear that He will abandon them just as everyone else has.

On the other hand, Sons don't do anything. They can't. You cannot earn or steal the title of Son. You have that title before you are born, before you exist. It isn't something you earn, or accept, or steal. It's what you are. Nobody can give it to you and nobody can take it away.

All you can do, as a Son, is rest in your place.

That still makes me tear up.

It clicks, doesn't it.

So why is it so hard for me to accept?

I don't know.

I haven't had a steady, permanent job yet this year. Over and over I've felt, in my heart of hearts, that this is where I am supposed to be, that this time is gift meant for me to practice my craft of writing and auditioning. That this is my time to create and to rest.

I haven't accepted this. Instead I've fought it tooth and nail, looking frantically for work, feeling like I'm mooching off the system by being on EI. I've conveniently ignored the fact that I've paid into that system my entire working life and so it's not mooching. Even when that's been pointed out to me by my parents and by S, I've rejected it. I've ignored the creativity within me, pushing it aside to write my resume and pursue jobs that kill me just thinking about them.

Simply put, I've done everything but rest.

I have trust issues, have I mentioned that before? I'm very much like a toddler, believing that how things are now are how they will be forever. In my head, I will never find another job, so I'd better take the first thing that is offered to me no matter what it does to my soul. I struggle on a daily basis - no, hourly...rather, by the minute and the second - with believing that God will provide for me. I ignore all the evidence to the contrary - that I am clothed, fed and housed, that I am not yet broke - and take counsel with fear. I consider selling my soul, my actual eternal soul, to the powers of Darkness in exchange for financial security.

And then I wonder why my dreams are dark.

God is very patient. That's all I can say.

And I am very confused, most of the time.

I've been reading The Chronicles of Narnia and it amazes me how those stories also bring me to tears, over and over, by their power and simplicity. To see Aslan taking such joy in those He loves - it makes me cry to write that down - alongside His incredible patience and sorrow when they fail, or turn aside, or put pettiness above following the nobility within them. How He cries with Caspian dies, an old man...He really does share our sorrows with us, even when He knows better than anyone how short lived that sorrow will be, and that brings me to tears that He would care enough to partake in that with us, so that we won't be alone. And that He cares enough to share our most transient joys, even if it's nothing more than the pleasure of a romp in fresh air in the springtime.

For some reason it is easier for me to see clearly when I am in Narnia with Aslan, than it is when I am here and now, with God.

I think - I hope - He's okay with that. After all, as He says to Edmund and Lucy at the end of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (coming to film sometime this year, hurrah!), "...There I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there."

It's an uphill journey and I fear I am much more like Jill Pole than like Lucy Pevensie. But I try. And I put down my burdens, and I pick them back up, and I put them back down, and I start again.

For now, that will have to be enough. See? See how even then, I take the perspective of a slave, that my struggle is the work I must do to be fit for love? See how I turn to God as an orphan and cry out that I'm trying, please don't turn aside, I will be better, I will, I will.

I would never have thought that resting would be so much work - and I know it only is because I keep making it that way.

Goddamn this fight, this struggle to accept that I am loved, end of sentence.

I hope I'll get it eventually. I hope that someday I'll even just see His shadow as He leads me. That I'll feel His warm Lion's breath on my forehead and know, just know, that I am enough. Until then I am blind, with tears and with humanity, overwhelmed with sorrow at my own frailties, with the disbelief at the gift I am being given, day after day after day, offered to me every second as I doubt and fight and struggle with myself.

And for now, that will have to be enough.

Not for Him; for me.

Until I learn how to open my arms, my heart, and accept.

End of sentence.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Well, That Answered That Question

I have a connective tissue disorder called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Type III. Genetics. Gotta love 'em.

Most of the time it has no impact on my life. No, let me reword that. Most of the time I forget that not everyone experiences pain on a regular basis when they're simply going about their daily routine. I injured my wrists by clapping at a performing arts summer school; the repetitive motion of clapping stretched out the connective tissue in my wrists and now the bones grind and pinch nerves. I usually feel it when I do things like lift a kettle full of water or even just when I carry a plate sometimes, but I tend to ignore it because I need to in order to function. You don't realize how much you need your wrists until they hurt all the time; so that's the main thing that reminds me that my DNA isn't completely on my side.

The geneticist told me that the same injury in my wrists could repeat in my other joints, specifically my ankles. He also said as I aged the natural tightening would help the bones stay in place, but that I'd likely have arthritis in them by then so they'd keep on hurting for other reasons. Oh joy.

Well, my ankles have been bothering me for the last 2 weeks. So, keeping in mind what the good doctor said, I have been wrapping them in tensor bandages whenever I've had to do a lot of walking (such as door to door sales) or high-impact movements (which I don't usually do but I've been doing a cardio exercise regime that includes jumping jacks because I don't want to have a heart attack when I'm 40. The good thing about hereditary ailments is that you can try to prevent some of them).

This morning, after I wrote my post about how unhappy I was with this new job opportunity, I walked to the bus. Rather, I got half-way to the bus and my ankle crapped out. I kept going. I'm very stubborn. But then I realized that if I ignored my body and continued walking, I would likely wreck my ankle the way I wrecked my wrist.

If your ankles don't work, you can't walk.

If you can't walk, you're kind of useless. For anything.

So I phoned my trainer and said I wouldn't be in today, turned around and limped slowly home. I've been home for a few hours, following the RICE thing for injuries, and it still hurts like a - like a painful thing.


I was going to say that God didn't have to hit me up the side of the head to answer my doubts about this job, but then I thought about it. Didn't I feel uneasy about doing this, and didn't I ignore my soul speaking and keep going?

I did.


Apparently I needed some pain to make me stop and listen.

I'd like to say lesson learned but I know that's probably not the case. All I can hope is that the learning curve won't always this painful.

Have You Switched to Shaw?

Hello! My name is Rebecca and I'm here on behalf of Shaw! I'm in the neighbourhood trying to save people money by bundling their services! What do you currently have with Shaw?

God. Shoot me now.

I just got offered a job working as a door to door salesperson. I've done one training day and I already hate it.

That's probably not a good sign.

The whole atmosphere in the office is that it's all about the dolla dolla bills, yo. I can't. I just can't. I faked interest and enthusiasm yesterday. I'm not sure I can fake it again.

It's a straight up sales job, all commission. The money can be great. My trainer pulled in $275.00 yesterday. She's very persistent.

She also doesn't listen well.

One gentleman told us that he's with Telus and he's not happy with the service, but he wants his word to be good; he signed a contract and he won't break it because he has to look at himself in the mirror every day and that's worth more to him than saving twenty bucks a month. My trainer told him she broke people out of contracts all the time. He responded that he didn't care. His word was his word and he wasn't going back on that. She repeated that she could save him money. Like saving money is what life is about.


I respect that man. His viewpoint is a rare one. He is a trustworthy gent, and that is honourable.

My trainer has no use for that honour. I got a semi-dirty look when I told the man I thought he was respectable. She never told me off for saying anything, but as we walked away she dismissed him as 'old school'.

And the thing is, if you don't sell you don't make any money.

So my question is, do I want to devote any more time to this?

And my dilemma is that I have no other job. I have no other prospects either. I feel guilty even thinking about turning down a potential opportunity in favour of sitting at home on EI. I should take this job because no-one else is interested in hiring me. Right?

At least until I find something.

But what if I never do?

Is this a test of faith, or is this an answer to prayer?

It sure doesn't feel like an answer. How can if be if I feel so strongly about this after one day? I can't buy into the mindset of sales. The game. The chase. The 'kill'. That's what they fucking call it. A sale is a kill. Like we're a 'wolf pack' and we bring down gazelles.

Not interested!

But also poor!


I also can't believe that I will find success and be able to follow my dreams if I pursue a high paying job for a couple of years.

I feel like I'm whoring out my soul.

I guess that's my answer right there, isn't it?

Monday, April 19, 2010

I'll Tell You What I Want, What I Really Really Want...

...just as soon as I figure it out.

What do I want out of life? I've been pondering that a lot lately.

I continually find that as far as the here and now goes, I haven't got a clue. Big picture? Oh yeah, I can tell you that. I want to die as an old lady who has never lost her independence or her love of life, surrounded by family and friends I love who love me back. I want to be remembered for more than one generation, for being an honest, strong, noble and friendly person, accepting and wise. I want my words to live on after me. I want my thoughts to spark thoughts in others; it really doesn't matter to me if I get paid for those thoughts as long as they live on without me.

And I don't think I'm there yet and that's okay.

But as for what I want right now? I don't know. I only know what I don't want right now and that isn't helping. (I recently watched Vicky Christina Barcelona and I almost disliked how much the character of Christina resonated with me. Watch it. It's worth spending 90 minutes on.)

Which just brings me back in circles. What do I want to do to pay my bills, for instance?

That question comes up blank. Which really isn't helping. Especially when I've got a job interview that could lead to a full time, long term thing, in an area that interests me but isn't directly involved in the area I trained in, and if they offer me a job what do I do? What do I do?

I need a paycheque.

And I need my soul to be fed.

Maybe having those two needs met in one place isn't realistic, considering what feeds my soul and what actually pays.

All of which is a moot point if they don't offer me a job. So I guess instead of freaking out before my eggs are hatched, I'll just sit tight and stop fretting.

For now.

Thursday, April 01, 2010


A week and a half later and I'm just breathing.

Man, what a rough weekend that was! On Friday I lost my temp job because they hired someone full time. It wasn't unexpected but I hate being unemployed. The days stretch on without an external force to govern them, no imposed schedule too often means no schedule at all for me.

But I had plans. I was going to focus all my time on the show. I was not only the playwright and an actor, but also Head of Marketing which was just about to kick into high gear.

And then it all got postponed indefinitely.

Now I have nothing to fill my days with. Nothing. NOTHING. Except to mull over and over what happened, what could I have done differently, what should I have said, what he said, what she did or didn't do...

Mulling can turn into brooding really easily.

Especially if you're a blue personality like I am.

I tried to shut it off, push it away and focus on other things, but every time I sat down to write that was all that came up. Anger. Frustration. Betrayal. Bitterness. Rage, and I was blocked, no words coming out except words of pain, my pain, not related to the work I was trying to do. I could journal until my fingers were numb but the second I turned to write something creative, whether it was something new or something I'd been working on for months and a giant rock settled itself in my brain and my soul and I was blocked entirely.

I'm working past it right now. Channeling all of my anger into angry stories. But it really felt like having one creative avenue shut down killed all of my desire to try again with something else.

Immature I know. But that's what it felt like.

So I put everything to the side, put my life on hold and ignored it all.

Until that didn't work anymore.

And then I began to sort, to think instead of brood, and I made myself sit my ass down in a chair and write even though I didn't feel like it. And what came out was angry, yes, but it was part of a story and I felt better afterwards. Like I had done something productive for the first time in days. Like I'd finally gotten out of bed and shown up for something instead of wallowing in self-pity and bitterness.

And I signed up for Script Frenzy, which may or may not have been an insane idea as I now have to write a 100 page script by April 30th but I suspect it'll force me to show up and move on every day, the external force I so desperately need right now.

We have an audition tomorrow. I hope it goes well - it could mean employment for the summer. Either way though, I will be imposing a schedule on myself. Waking up to an alarm. Going to bed on time. Eating when meals are supposed to happen and writing from this time to this time every day.

I think it's time I stopped drifting and made an island for myself instead of waiting to float into something. None of the things I've floated into this year have provided a lasting foundation.

It must be my job to create that for myself, with the help of God and the people in my life whom I trust to stick around and support me.

So here goes, and the whole while I'll just be here breathing.

We'll see what happens next.