Winter Storm Octavia (pt I)

So I took a few days off. Actually, several weeks. I had a huge weight on my heart. No, maybe weight is the wrong word. Weight sounds too negative. More like a burden. Wait, that sounds negative too, but burden is more appropriate than weight. So burden as in duty; a job you know you need to do but you kind of put it off. Kinda like laundry. But more earth-shattering and time-bending.

(Disclaimer: all this rambling is a glimpse into my churning thoughts. I obviously haven’t weeded through all the overgrowth yet, but believe it or not, this is clearer than the weight had been back in January.)

Ok, so back to this non-negative burden: it was like a balloon that was filled too full. It is like a balloon. A growing storm inside. Yeah that’s right. And it materialized.

winter storm octavia

(No, really. There is a winter storm named Octavia that is shaking up the nation. And yes, I feel like Elsa from Frozen. [commence possibly obnoxious “Let it Go” references])

The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside. Couldn’t keep it in, heaven knows I tried.

I’m just finally facing it. Embracing it. Going into it, fearful, but yes, willing to face it.

What is it?

It is a story. Yes, another one. But not a fantasy novel where I am the superhero I always wanted to be. It is a real story. The story of a girl that was – dare I say it—emotionally warped. A girl that never felt her own value or worth and continued to cling to people that fed the self-depreciation. My own truth is incredibly terrifying for me to own.

While I received very clear instructions from God-Universe-Energy-of-the-World that this story needs to be told, I retreated. I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want to expose myself.

Conceal, don’t feel. Don’t let them know.

I didn’t want to feel the wrath of people that will undoubtedly be offended. I needed silence. I continued to pray, meditate and ask for clarity.

A kingdom of isolation, and it looks like I’m the queen.

Why? Because I was certain the story wasn’t the answer. I knew I was just hearing it wrong. I ignored the calling. I asked for even more clarity.

“Dear Universe, please clarify…because I know you don’t really want me to do what I know you just told me to do, so I must have misunderstood you. Try again.”

That was stupid.

Because I got the reality check of a lifetime. I made a bad decision. One giant awful life-smacking decision. I once again let another person into my circle that would not treat me the way I should have been treated.

Sigh. Sometimes I feel like I need logical, commonsensical outside-me to tell me-me when we-we are being stupid. But hindsight is 20/20 and this is the last time I accept the role of The Fool.

So my life got temporarily wrecked. Again.

As I was stubbornly ignoring the nagging on my heart, (which I’ve been ignoring for several years… I’ll get to that part later. Don’t let me forget about The Ladies Sent By God) I decided to reconnect with friend from my past.

This guy – we’ll call him The Wreck (he’s a professional musician and while I’d like to call him The Singer, I don’t want to confuse him with the other singers I’ve gone on dates with that might appear on this Road, –what I have a thing for musicians! ((swoon)) — so for disambiguation, this musician shall be known as The Wreck) – is NEVER free on weekends. But the one weekend he was free happened to be the weekend of a very big party that I badly wanted a date for.

Sidebar – I LOVE parties. I LOVE having dates to parties. I’m sure this is another lingering symptom of being a wallflower all my life, so when I have a chance to bring a date and not go stag to anything, I jump on it. I thought marriage would have solved that, but I went stag to as many events during my marriage as I did single – again, another nother story.

So I say, great! – I’ll bring my long-lost friend to this party, and we shall reconnect and it shall be grand. Well there were numerous red flags along the way that I chose to ignore. Why? DENIAL. With a hint of naivety.

While I’m expecting a fun weekend with an old friend, The Wreck had other plans. I will spare the details for both his dignity and my own. Nothing criminal happened, but long story short, it was the closest I’ve ever felt to being violated in many ways. One violation is more than enough. But this was jarring on many planes of energy.

Yes, I kicked him out. No, I haven’t spoken to him since. And no I haven’t slept in my bedroom since I sang “To the Left, to the Left.” There is an aftertaste in my room that I will deal with…later… until then, I’m blessed to have a very comfortable couch.

But!

I can name my illness now. Denial.

I have been in denial about myself for…ever… Denial about my intelligence. Denial about my strength. Denial about my dancing ability. Denial about my musical talent. Denial about my worth. Denial about my beauty. Denial about my purpose. Denial that a guy from my past really wants to visit to “catch up.”

Denial about my everything. I never felt worthy. I always settled. Not only have I never felt successful, I never felt success was for me. I felt goosepimply fairytale love was not for me. So made exceptions. I felt like I should just take whatever I can get because why should I want or expect better. I’m black. I’m ugly. I have a fat ass. I’m short. I’m not the smartest. Or the prettiest. Or the funniest. Or the most artistic. Or the most disciplined. And I have weird name.  A name that is now, so fittingly, a storm.

Black Elsa

…to be continued…

~OR

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happy new year from R2R. here’s a book…

I really threw myself for a loop last week when I reflected on how much had changed since last Christmas. My life doesn’t really know how to do “slow” so looking back on last New Year’s Eve was equally jarring. Let’s do it:


NYE 2013: I had been talking frequently to the same guy that took me to see DJ Cajmere on Christmas, which I wrote about last time here. Let’s call him…The Hobbit…which has nothing to do with his height, accent, life view, nor the amount of hair on his feet. He does indeed wear shoes – as a matter of fact, his taste in shoes is quite refined and his collection of them rivals any woman’s, including an impressive selection of watches—and he does not live in a hole (ok, great, now I’m reciting Tolkein’s description of a hobbit hole in my head. Cue theme song from the Rankin-Bass animated movie from the 70s, while we’re at it THE GREEATEST ADVENTUUUUUURE IS WHAAAAT LIES AHEEEEEEAD).

But I ramble. Let’s bring it home…

Yes, last NYE I was convinced The Hobbit wanted to celebrate with me. He told me several times he wasn’t sure what he was doing, but he would let me know and we would have a great time. Well, he vanished, as the fickle ones seem to do, just in time for me to panic about what the heck I was going to do for NYE. And I had to do something. HAD. TO. I love NYE. I was raised to party on this holiday. Not that it had to be big and drunken, but it had to be big and loud. Growing up, pretty much every holiday was go big or go home—then again, home had it going on too. It was a time to break out the spinney tin noisemakers, the paper toot-toot things, the bobbley headband antennae, the top hats, the oversized sparkly year-number sunglasses, and of course the champagne (or sparkling grape juice) in stemware (even if it were the plastic disposable kind) and a New Year’s kiss, even if it was for your mother on her cheek. It all had to be done. Go. Big.

For the duration of my marriage, I tried to recreate this tradition in our family. I tried to be somewhere or at least turn the party up at home. But the celebration usually ended up being a party of one. Or just in my head. And I ended up sighing heavily at midnight wondering when the magic was ever going to kick in.

Well in 2013-14, I sure as heck wasn’t going to be caught dead under the same roof as my almost-ex-husband, doing the same lame game that had become our routine. I was going out dammit. And I wanted to have a good time.

But The Hobbit stood me up. I wasn’t hurt. I was annoyed. Mostly with myself. I had forgotten what it was like to date and forgotten that when people aren’t married or in an “official” relationship, there is no obligation to be together on a holiday. I’m not one that is easily defeated (heh, AMIRIGHT), so I says to meself,

even if I go to some bar completely alone, I’m goin out. HEAR ME, WORLD? I’M! GOING! OUT!

Luckily, I wasn’t quite THAT desperate. I still knew people that weren’t connected to my ex. I mean, it might have only been like…two… but I knew people! I got a text earlier that day from an actor friend of mine that was hosting the NYE show at a comedy club. By the time I was certain I’d never hear from The Hobbit for several days, if ever, I responded.

Hey, still have tickets for tonight? I’m coming!

You bet – how many?

Just one.

Who goes to NYE parties alone? This girl. The same girl that will go see Pan’s Labyrinth alone in a deserted $1 cinema – ok, that decision, might have been a mistake because I had nightmares of the thing with the eyes in its hands for WEEKS and barely made it through the whole movie without running away from the empty theater—but this NYE was not a mistake. In fact, in hindsight, it was all part of the plan. You know, that Divine Plan. So I threw up my deuces, took a bathroom selfie, and hit the street.

nye2013
I was DONE with 2013.
#andshewillflourish

So off I go to ring in the New Year. It was a great show. I laughed. I laughed hard. I laughed fake sometimes and snuffed some tears. And sometimes I just smiled to keep the baddies at bay. And through my obnoxious grin, I was really saying

<<God, help me. How did this become my life – that I have no cash, no credit, no savings, no nearby relatives, no nearby close friends, no relevant work history, no completed graduate degrees, no job, no friends outside The Good Pastor’s network, no one but my own children that care whether I’m in my bed (and by in my bed, I actually meant on my couch) in the morning or have completely fallen off the face of the earth, no one to kiss at midnight, barely anything to call my own – SWEET JESUS, YOU BETTER BE ABOUT TO GIVE MY HEART’S DESIRES BECAUSE THIS HAND YOU’VE GIVEN ME CURRENTLY BLOWS BIG FAT CHUNKS.

That’s the most upset I’ve ever felt towards God, btw. And it wasn’t even anger. I rarely get angry. It was more like confusion. Like, really? This is what you have planned for me? Aight. I’ll just roll with it and know you will provide.

And provide God did. After the show, and after I toasted myself to 2014, I met my friend out front and awkwardly lingered as I told him I’m getting a divorce and moving out as soon as I can find a job to support me and the boys. He was like,

Oh. Well, hey, cheers to 2014 and cheers to divorce!

I laughed. And I meant it. Cheers to that, indeed. It was only upward from there, anyway, right? (I’m still telling myself this, don’t burst my bubble).

The incapable-of-standing-still-when-there’s-music-playing dancer that I am, I started grooving. There were only two other moving bodies near me, so I worked it over to them. Luckily, the two ladies were also guests of my comedian friend.

We introduced ourselves while dancing. One of the ladies’ birthdays is Jan 1, so we toasted to that, too. I was honestly enjoying myself. This going out alone on a whim thing, was actually turning out pretty daggone fantastic. Towards the end of the evening, we talked about dancing and how much I love it and miss it and never have enough of it in my life.

The birthday girl told me about her dance company – a dance fitness club that actually has a choreography-based component, for dancers like ourselves that have no outlet as adults outside of (not) going professional or translating our skills over to something like ballroom. I was sold. There was an open house coming up, but I was already in. I needed it. I was there. I was already committed. Thanks, God, I said. This is why I’m here. This is why The Hobbit ditched me. This is why I have a comedian friend that texted me earlier. This is why I knew I couldn’t stay back in the burbs that night. I needed to meet this woman to reintroduce me to dance.


NYE2014: I’m on the arm of a fantastic man. The kind of man that pretty much has it all goin on: great job, several letters after his name, solid values, positive disposition, a gorgeous face…and (tattooed) body <<insert my anime googley heart eyes face>>…and beautiful hair… let’s call him The Professor. The Professor and I met several months ago while I was traveling for work. It was one of those I-can’t-believe-this-is-how-we-met stories, but it was a good one.

…It was a Thursday night. The draft was on. I overhear him say “I love Dix” and I’m all, “I love dicks too” (I know. I know. WHAT. WHAT. WHAT ON GODS GOOD EARTH was I thinking?! I often have the sense of humor of a twelve year old boy and sometimes, I embarrass myself before I know what’s happening.) but the rest is history. We hit it off. We were all about it. All about each other. All about our future. We tried to date long distance but eventually that fizzled after about two months. I mean, honestly, we’re several states and a day’s drive apart, so we amicably simmered down to penpals and left it at that.

Well, The Professor surprised me with a spontaneous decision to get on a plane and come ring in the New Year with me. I was ecstatic. Although I knew our time together was temporary, I was flattered and thrilled that somehow, I meant enough to this amazing man to be worth it.

So, here we are, a year later; I’ve danced continuously with my new company, in various venues and festivals around Chicago, and made new and enriching friendships. I’ve found so many pieces of my soul on the stage, and danced myself in to wholeness – or at least closer to it – with every rehearsal and performance.

I finally had one of those NYE experiences that people rave about – the party, the company, the swank and glam of it all. And even though at 32 and 37-years old, The Professor and I sometimes felt more like prom chaperones than party guests at The Drake that night, and we came back home and ate Giordano’s deep dish leftovers and crashed to The Walking Dead marathon, the night – and the year-long journey to it – was more magical than I could have imagined.

…and talk about magic; I didn’t even tell you what the NYE psychic said to me yet! Oh lawd!!

To be continued…

Happy New Year

#andshewillflourish

~OR

you probly think this blog is about you…

Holy WTF?!

(Ahem, pardon my language. I work with a lot of men in a very masculine industry. And by the time I leave the locker room, I feel like the sailors I work with. And by sailors, I mean the handsome, hilarious, manly, kind, professional, hard-working, and genuinely AWESOME people that I’m so blessed and happy to call my teammates. I LOVE my job. And the people make it spectacular. Freal. Go team!)  

But back to my expletive. WTH

After publicizing my pilot webisode on my Facebook page, I suddenly received a barrage of texts from gentlemen-callers.

*Cue Carly Simon ~ You’re So Vain

((If you haven’t noticed, my life has a movie score in my  head. Every moment needs a song!))

“Wow, is that about me?”

“So when do you blog about me?”

“Am I going to make an appearance on your blog?”

So, while I had NONE of you in mind, I do now. Consider yourselves blogged.

🙂 <cheese>

You’re welcome.

I have to give an honorable mention to one guy that assumed my first post was about him and profusely apologized. That was very sweet. POINTS! But no, not you ^_^

So here’s the thing. I’m not out here to humiliate anyone. I’m out here to be honest about my own journey of losing love and meeting new people, laugh about the plethora of ridiculous mistakes we all make, and God-willing, inspire others. I’ll always keep it anonymous. I’ll never — take that back — rarely — exploit images.

 

~OR

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