Quarantine & Cake

Road to Relovery the podcast is BACK!

Octavia Reese Road to Relovery Podcast Tavinda Media

I was struggling with the vision for this show – rather, I had the vision, but the delivery wasn’t giving me that “this is right” gut feeling.

So I put a pin in it.

Since we’ve been instructed to practice social distancing and take self-isolation seriously, I’ve found great comfort in “going live” on my Facebook and Instagram feeds with a series simply called “Open Studio.” During this time, I would paint, play my cello, dance, do [adult] MadLibs – anything to keep things interesting and connected.

And then I decided, this feels good. This is that gut feeling I was looking for. It’s time to bring back Road to Relovery.

Today’s episode is called Quarantine & Cake and it began with me spiraling about my singleness. Long story short, I have been intentionally single and not-looking since 2017. I didn’t want to be bothered, distracted… or heartbroken anymore. So I gave it up!

And just when I decided to jump back in the ring, two things happened: someone I was finally interested in told me they weren’t ready to be in a relationship. Fine, I thought, we can just have fun. But when I checked in on them, hoping to plan some quality time together, they told me, “So… I’m seeing someone.”

Axe to my heart. Again.

But it was laughable really. And I decided to have fun with it. I wasn’t mad. I was definitely hurt and disappointed, but I wasn’t mad. All I want for everyone is their happiness. And if they met the person that can make them take the leap from “not being ready” to suddenly being “all-in,” then hell yeah! I’m celebrating their connection. This person and I still chat every now and then and I hope we continue to indulge a mutual enjoyment of each other’s company, with respect to, of course the new significant other.

Meanwhile, I’m still single. Groan.

And now there’s a Shelter In Place order, double groan, which eliminates all my bar-hopping, eyes-making contact with the public (only on my kid-free weekends).

And joking about it. I know. People find me attractive and impressive, but I’m still not datable. Maybe it’s because I’m too intimidating and I would take too much work, communication and planning. Maybe I’m just too difficult to date. Or maybe it’s the kids. Go back and listen to my first episode for my tirade on that one. Or maybe because I’m so comfortable with the people I’m interested in, my security may be mistaken for coldness – I don’t really do that false-intimacy infatuation thing. My jam consists of passionate flirting, open communication and emphatic reciprocation. Or maybe someone just doesn’t feel the magnetism I feel – which is perfectly acceptable, too. Whatever the reason, I’m laughing at my rejection to get through the misery.

And truly, it has been a blast.

Until I spiraled.

My friend asked a blanket question on social media checking in on the singles out there. I said, “Forgotten and neglected, but what else is new!”

Heh heh. Triple groan.

And then they said, “I don’t get it, it’s like no one wanting cake at a party.”

Quadruple groan. I’m lonely cake at the party of the century and no one wants to try me.

To hear the conclusion and resolution of my brief spiral, and my prayer for this global pandemic, listen to Episode 2: Quarantine & Cake on Tavinda Media.

And join me on my new Facebook and IG live recordings of the Road to Relovery podcast every Thursday night at 10pm CST.

Don’t Recover. Adapt.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok: @octaviaaivatco | @roadtorelovery

Xoxo, OR

This Thing

We recently had family night at my kids’ school. There were games and activities. The main event in the art room was a self portrait in the theme of Wonder. Draw a U shape for your face. Draw one eye. Two ears. Add some features. Your hair. Your mouth. Do you wear glasses? Do you have freckles? Then in the background, use words that describe yourself. Who are you?

I think I got more out of it than the kids…

I stopped to think about myself for a moment. Who I am. Who I tell myself I am. Who other people tell me I am.

I’ve had a very traumatic series of weeks. I want to talk about the triggering event, but I won’t. I laughed at first. Heartily. The whole thing is so silly, really. But then I got frustrated. And then I got confused. And then I got worried. I’ve been surrounded by gas-lighters my whole life. People that, whether they know it or not, blame me for things, challenge my sanity and keep me in a reduced state of presence. I believed them. I’ve done a lot of work to rise above that. But this thing. This big scary thing took me back there and tried to tell me I’m the villain.

I stopped to think about myself for a moment. Who I am. Who I tell myself I am. Who other people tell me I am.

And then I got depressed. I closed up. I wasn’t laughing. I wasn’t smiling. I wasn’t talking. I hadn’t sat in my delicious tub in so long it started to collect dust. I stopped responding to texts. Calls. I stopped writing. I hid. From others and myself. I stopped dreaming. I stopped recording podcasts. I started chain smoking. I gained 15lbs. I cried. A lot. I slept a lot. I avoided the world. My prayers became wordless sobs. Soul-wails of agony. WHY ME? Haven’t I been through enough?

I even told my kids, “Mommy’s brain is sick right now — if I don’t seem like myself, be patient with me, ok?”

“Ok, mama,” they said.

I started antidepressants for the first time in my life. Five days later, I stopped them — I was forgetting words mid-phrase. I forgot how to spell my children’s names. I felt like these pills were inducing dementia. I’d rather cope with my own chemistry than be thrown into a worse state.

But this painting… I saw myself. I looked into my own eyes and could finally say, “Octavia, you’re stronger than this.”

I am.

I’m a warrior. This thing that is happening to me is happening because I’m strong. It’s happening because I’m intimidating. It’s happening because I’m powerful enough to not just stand up but also to fight back. Sure, I had to feel the lows — and I’m grateful for that pain — but I don’t have to stay there.

Despite the days when I’ve had to pull over my car just to scream at the top of my lungs and let the tears flow; despite the hours I’ve buried my face in my pillow and wept myself to sleep; despite rolling over every morning and feeling as lonely as the last person on earth, I am surrounded by friends that straighten my crown and lift up my chin. I am protected by a Spirit that can’t be defeated. I have been graced with a team of soldiers I could never repay. I am loved by people that celebrate every win, no matter how minuscule.

If my battle protects others, bring it on. If this war I’m in brings peace and healing to future victims, I’m here for it. If this attack is the plot twist in my narrative, fine. I’m on a mission that can’t be stopped. I have a calling that can’t be blocked. I have a voice that will not be silenced. I’m back.

Let what is for me come to me. Let what is against me be removed from my path.

Let it be.

Catalyst

cat·a·lyst

ˈkad(ə)ləst/

noun

noun: catalyst; plural noun: catalysts

  1. a substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without itself undergoing any permanent chemical change.
    • a person or thing that precipitates an event.

 

“the governor’s speech acted as a catalyst for debate”

synonyms: stimulus, stimulation, spark, sparkplug, spur, incitement, impetus

“the governor’s speech was a catalyst for debate”

Last night after drafting this and getting eyeballs deep into editing, my 7-year-old Acer netbook crashed. The poor thing usually has a daily dance on the grave but this one was irreversible.

I was devastated. My files. My work. My empty bank account that can’t support its replacement. I was overwhelmed with grief. You can watch the snapchat version of my neurotic meltdown  that spanned 7:30-11:30pm below. Seriously. The anguish of a computer crash mid-edit for a writer is ugly. UGLY.


But once I finally gave up on it and gave in to a complete overhaul, the most incredible thing happened.

My old withering obsolete piece of technology came back stronger than ever. Programs I had long abandoned were 100% repaired, functional and even updated to 2016 standards! <<gasp>>

Sometimes the best thing is a gut-rehab. And oddly enough this is a life trend…

I have the pleasure of being part of a personal brand study by a phenomenal woman I recently met at a networking/mentorship event.

As I spoke freely in a catharsis sort of way about my passions and life and work experience, she uncovered several patterns; one of them being an agent of change.

She then flattered me with a comparison to Scandal’s Olivia Pope!

<<jaw drops, hits floor>>

Apparently my hidden talent is precipitating change and restructuring organizations. And looking back, I have a very successful and convincing track record. I love it when I learn a new cool thing about myself.

Now if I could just figure out how to market myself as an agent of change and have people pay me millions to HANDLE IT… and have an amazing wardrobe like Liv’s to match.

<<googly drooling heart eyes ninja unicorn face>>

~OR

its handled

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