Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Fireworks and Follow Through

Starting a new project is exciting. Your mind lights up with fireworks of sparkling potentials. Somewhere along the process of walking through each step from idea to actual achievement the lights may fade or other ideas may explode. You find yourself lost in distractions or realizing time has slipped by and that you have to work harder and faster to move along towards your goals.
Writing goals and grocery lists may help, or you may find them later hidden in a random page in a mostly empty notebook like a child waiting at a bus stop for a bus that will never come.
Focus comes with practice. Life is juggling goals with needs and wants. How do you stay focused? Are you working toward something, anything? If you do it halfway, does it count or does it just end up an awkward memory?
Life is change. Part of growing is letting go of the excuses and barriers we carry around and block ourselves with. Where do you want to go? What do you want to see yourself doing and how do you want to feel about yourself? Who do you choose to put around you? Do you choose people who encourage problem solving or drama wallowing? Do you choose friends who are just the people closest to you who are just waiting, doing time in a routine, waiting for their expiration? Do you choose people who are genuine and caring? What do you offer them?
Change is life. This has been a year of change. I've let go of my car. It's now heading to San Diego with a young man starting his education and basketball career. He's a serious young man who has studied hard in school and I'm cheering for him.
I don't need this proverbial safety blanket. We bought a van, together. It is our van, our home. The first home I've ever bought. Good change.
I'm entertaining on a stage. Working hard to spread word and draw crowds. Working on getting a sound amplification wireless set up so I can still use nuances in storytelling that get lost when you have to shout the stories. Problem, research and network, then solutions. Emotions have their place in preparing for or doing a stage show, they don't belong second guessing the crowd or taking things personally. They belong as emphasis, as an accent on your garb. On stage I become a cartoon when I am the Painted Lady. Change is life. It is a relief to no longer feel like a cartoon in my real life. It is a relief to solidly be myself rather than a collection of characteristics loosely labelled human.
What are you doing to stay abreast of time? Are you moving forward in your life or are you investing all your energy into someone else's agenda? Where are you going? Where do you want to go? Who do you put around you?
I'm working on communication, planning ahead, and preparing. It feels great to look away from the fireworks and to take time to build my future. To be ready for more change and more life.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Words Have Power

Each of us has words we associate with experiences and feelings. Rain can bring rainbows or thick mud and brown days. The scent of an Apple pie cooking can be soothing. The sound of peepers at sunset singing for rain may lull you to sleep.

I've lived with words I avoid. Words who bring dark boxes I've put in locked corners of my mind back to the forefront. Like venomous snakes slithering somehow through cracks back out along the edge of perception until an unknowing person innocently drops one like a grenade into the conversation. I physically wince like ice cream hit a nerve in a broken tooth.

The word Joy. It means happiness, exuberance. It was my mother's name. She had a wonderful public mask she strived to be believed as being. She still does. She chased and earned the adoration of the community and my siblings. I was the unwanted child. She had wanted a divorce and an abortion. Face and public opinion were more important. I paid. Those who got close enough saw through her and were there for me. When her bipolar symptoms went unmedicated and she used child protective services as my childhood boogyman, it was my great grandmothers who intervened. She screamed in an empty house as I cried outside hugging reluctant kittens and wondering why life was like this. Joy. Joy screaming. Joy hostile hitting where it would not leave a bruise. Joy threatening to kick me out, so I'd live in a barn or have to pay rent at my own home as a teen. Joy screaming threats when I was asked out by a boy at age 16. Joy intensely telling me how stupid and worthless almost daily for most of my childhood. Joy that my siblings were wanted and oblivious and my father was spineless. I was alone in an unreal reality. No matter how much I achieved I couldn't become valued. The word Love was a weapon wielded just before an emotional net would be dropped and tormenting psychological games would ensue. I learned to hide. I learned to survive. I learned psychology. I learned avoidance. I learned to strive. I learned to ensure. I learned I wanted more than to exist in a world with that kind of Joy. 

That is what Joy was. 

Not anymore. I disowned my parents years ago. I ran. I've crossed the country dropping baggage at each beautiful place and with each achievement. The shadow of the past always had a feeling of dread. These horrible unhealthy people would force their way back into my head. Then I realized they cannot. I pick who is in my heart and in my head. I'm not running anymore. Their baggage is gone. There's no feeling left. Joy doesn't hurt anymore. 

Joy is a beautiful day with friends. Joy is a feeling of happiness after a great achievement. Joy is a purring kitten held close, the sound of bluebird on a sunny day, the shared shenanigans of silly side jokes. Joy is what I make it. Its my choice.

I'm digging through the old boxes, I'm releasing the snakes out of my head. They were not anything to be afraid of.
The part of me that gave them power was and it's long past time for me to own that.

What do you have locked in your head? Have you taken the time to look again and reassess? Take the power out of the larger than life villains, see how pathetic they become in the light of grown up life.
Leave the baggage in the past and see where tomorrow takes you.