Sunday, April 28, 2013

Shake It Off

Apologies for taking so long to write. It's been almost a month of neglect.

This is why I don't have a pet. If you readers were a goldfish, you'd be dead.

But I have had a bad case of block of the writer. And I haven't had to time to sit down most nights.

Here's the short summary of the month of April:

School, school, school, school. Car trouble, walk to school, walk home, walk to school, cry, fix car, school, school, sleep, sew, design, school, school, eat, hot glue feathers to shirt, school, school, show, concert, school, school, eat, sleep.

Add a dash of stress and a cup of self pity and you have a recipe for a crazy month.

I think most of my conversations with friends consisted of rants about fabric, drama, and movie quotes. My brain was operating on overdrive and, to tell the truth, I think I burned myself out a little bit. 

It's easy to get dragged down by drama. When you feel like nothing is going right and your back is against the wall, it is really easy to just give up and sit there, going through the motions.

And then something reminds you that you have to keep moving. I think for me it might have been the evening when  I had a sobbing phone call about money and a nasty cast member with my mom, then a rehearsal with my wonderful pianist that ended with crying and throwing up in his bathroom for hours because I was so overwhelmed.

Something reminds you that stress keeps you from worlds of things that are beautiful and loud and incredible. Like the people who hold your hand and comfort you even when you are a bumbling, whining, overwhelmed mess.

Then I decided that I really wasn't done. The stakes and pressure were high, but not high enough for me to hang up my character shoes and go home. No. Just enough for me to work my butt off and go the extra mile - even with little thanks or recognition.

And that show felt good. It felt good to be onstage. It felt good to perform my heart out, to see the costumes I designed come to life, and to see the scene I helped to direct shine.

And that helped center me. And helped me remember why I am here, earning this crazy, catty degree. Because stage lights and applause are some of the best antidepressants. 

There is a song by Florence + The Machine called Shake It Out. It's one of my new power songs, along with Girl on Fire and I'm A Star.

It's about being so overwhelmed and burdened by an addiction that you just decide to "shake it out"; become free and start fresh, knowing that it's going to be hard and will hurt but realizing that that space is where beauty grows out of.  A seed has to grow through dirt before it can become a flower.

Life is a process and you just have to shake off the negativity bit by bit.
"It's always darkest before the dawn"- it takes lots of internal painful struggle against the beautiful memories and lovely moments that are to be ceased. This gray time is the darkest and most torturing. The dawn is supposed to be the moment when you make up your mind to get over with it and let it go. 

I know I write a lot about "finding yourself" and "overcoming negativity" and all this sentimental stuff, but it's really big in my life right now. 

So I am back, after a month relapse into doubt and self pity and insecurity.

And I am a little dusty and wrinkled and shaky.

But I'm good.




Friday, April 5, 2013

Are You Sure? I'm Positive. No, you're Batty.

The semester is drawing to a close and I am getting to those 3 months that I have no idea what is going to happen. I am going to run out of money in May, and I am still unemployed and have a looming $120 car repair.

And there is nothing I can do about that right now. At this very moment. As much as I would like to. At this moment, I have pretty much done each thing I can, and all I have to just sit tight and start handing out resumes.

And that kind of sucks.

I think we as a species kind of like to plan things out - at least, I am going to tell myself that it is not just me. And it's my blog, so there.

College students obsess over registration and schedules and life plans for weeks. And then our advisers ask us, "Are you sure?"

Um. I hope so. I've poured 1000s of dollars into this so far. But I'm not sure.

Fern Gully is one of my favorite animated movies ever - this is going somewhere, I swear.

It takes place in an Australian rain forest. Within the titular magical land, the wise Magi Lune is currently teaching her young protege, Crysta, the secrets of the forest. The fairies believe that humans are extinct, having been last seen fleeing an attack by the spirit of destruction, Hexxus. But venturing outside Fern Gully, Crysta accidentally discovers a human logging operation. After meeting an insane fruit bat named Batty Koda and accidentally shrinking one of the humans, Zak, down to her size, Crysta has to face the accidentally released Hexxus, who lives off pollution and threatens to destroy the forest. In the end, Hexxus gets eaten by a tree, Zak learns a life lesson, and everyone is happy.

Batty, voiced by the irrepressible Robin Williams, always has a good one-liner or a rap or some witty banter.

Potato In A Jacket
Lines like:
**Bonus Points if you read these is Robin Williams' voice

"Price check on prune juice, Bob, price check on prune juice."
"Catches on quick, doesn't he?"
"Human tails? Humans don't have tails. They have big, big bottoms that they wear with bad shorts. They walk around saying "hi, Helen!"
"Hail, Caesar! Emperor of Rome! ZAP Well all right, Gunny! We're goin' to war!" 
"Awesome use of the language, dude."
"I have but one claw, but beware!"
"Oh, sonic interference, what a nightmare... I thought I saw a human... AH! HUMAN! Yes! Yes! Kill it! Restrain it! Medicate it! Something! Puff up! Puff up! They hate that!"

And then there is this little exchange between he and Zak:
"Are you sure?"
"I'm positive."
"Only fools are positive."
"Are you sure?"
"I'm positive! AH I fell for it! I should have known!"

Only fools are positive. Oh. Surprisingly deep and insightful of our animated bat-friend.

Nothing in life is predictable and we really cannot plan it out as much as our nature would like.

Being positive and unwavering and expectant really messes you up. Because 9 times out of 10, your plan is not God's plan. And when you can roll with the punches, the reality check hurts a little less.

“Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes. You must look into that storm and shout as you did in Rome. Do your worst, for I will do mine! Then the fates will know you as we know you: as Albert Mondego, the man!”

 That is not a challenge to Life to do it's worst. This is a reminder that Life is unpredictable. I can't be positive about what is going to happen each day, what role I will get cast as, what illness I'll get, or even what my hair will do on any given day.

But I can do my best to accept that. Because only fools are positive.