Tuesday, April 9, 2013
I am a control freak. This is not a new phenomenon to me. In order for my world to be happy I must have some sort of authority over the things that are happening in my life. Thus, why I have not been happy. Knowing that you really have no control over what life brings to you and applying that knowledge are two VERY separate things. Of course I KNOW that I have no control over my life, but a girl likes to play dress up every once in a while and my favorite costume happens to be the boss of the whole entire world. My imaginary perfection consists of everything going exactly as I would like it to... and admittedly sometimes I allow my recreational play time to slip into my big girl real world time. Sometimes I just think I should rule the events going on in my life and when that doesn't happen then it's wrong. It's bad. It's the huge evil dragon that must be slayed while wearing a fabulous new pair of shoes that I have decided are an absolute need. But that's not always what God has for me. In fact, it's not what God has had for me in a very long time.
My Crohn's disease has always been a trial. A very, very hard trial. Not only is it a disease no one understands and is embarrassing to speak about as a young lady, it's going to be with me my whole life. Imagine having something you see as horrible never being resolved. Ever. That your problem will not go away until you do. That is a huge pill to swallow. In all honesty that pill never quite goes down. You tend to gag on it your whole life. When faced with that kind of trial at such a young age (I was diagnosed at 16) it is very easy to get depressed. And I did for a very long time. I still severely struggle with it. It really never leaves you. But being the control freak that I am I have one thing that I can control. Me. I can control my happy. My joy. Because I choose where that joy comes from.
I have never been a good sport. I do not lose gracefully. So when in this past year I lost my job, my apartment, my car, my income, my independence, my relationship, the ability to control my body, and even my hair I found myself in the least graceful place I had ever been in. Even now nothing seems to be going the way that I want it to. Or even the way that anyone would predict it should go. Today I went to the doctor and I was given news that was yet another paper on my back and I don't know how many more sheets it will take until I break. Mother Teresa said once that she knew God wouldn't give her more than she could handle but sometimes she wished he didn't trust her so much. I couldn't agree more with her at this time. The appointment was concerning the medi port that I had placed in my chest right around my clavicle last month. For those of you unfamiliar with what a medi port is, it is a catheter that is inserted into your chest surgically under the skin that connects to your arteries so that when you go in for treatments (usually cancer patients are prompted to have them placed) you no longer need to have an IV placed for every treatment session. They can also draw blood from the port as well which eliminates additional sticks for blood tests. For me this was supposed a God send. For years my veins have been unviable, meaning that we were lucky if the best IV nurses were able to start an IV after eight to ten attempts. But so far it has only cause more stress for me. First an un-qualified nurse didn't follow protocol for flushing out the port so the next time it was to be used it did not work. Then the following attempt to use it was unsuccessful because there was a small blood clot and the medicine used to dissolve blood clots is on national back order. Then today when seeing the doctor about the small incision that was made about five inches above the port that was made to thread in the tubes we discovered it was infected and may have reached the inside of the port. If this is so, then the port will need to be removed and I can no longer receive treatment through it. So as you can imagine my stress just shot through the roof.
In the face of all of this loss I am now seeing that I have a choice. I can either continue to stumble along with two left feet and haphazardly fall through this life I have been given, or I can go to the place where grace lives and let some of it rub off on me. I cannot control what the world gives me, but I can decide how I present what the world has given me back to you. For the last year, my choices have demonstrated that I would like the world to see me as someone that is second rate, not good enough, and lucky to have someone love me because of my illness. That is a very easy thing to believe. That you are unlovable because of your flaws. It doesn't just have to be illness. It can be because you don't have the job you want, or the money you want, or the body you want, or the intelligence you want, or the circumstance you want. That the thing you don't want in life makes you unwanted as well. How could someone want you in their life when you don't even want the life you have? I am here to tell you that the things you think will never change never actually will if you don't get up and get out of your own way. I have been presenting myself to the world as an old used shoe that didn't have a match and would just be lucky if someone at Goodwill took me home. But I am so much better than that. I have gone to the place where grace lives and remembered that I know how to dance. I know where my joy comes from. I am a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes sold in Neiman Marcus and there is a five year waiting list to take me home. Live your life in the now. Live your life in joy. Live you life where grace lives. The place where grace lives and breathes and loves and allows me to worship my God and let him pore out his plan on me. To me his plan may be mean or wrong or hurtful, but to him it is a beautiful ballet performed on the stage of the world. So I plan on staying where I can get my grace back, because if I'm ever going to fulfill my role, I need to remember to dance again. :)
Sunday, December 30, 2012
Merry late Christmas and Happy almost New Year!! I hope that everyone's holiday was spent with the ones you hold dear and was everything you hoped it would be. I know that mine was :)
To say the least, we were BUSY!!! It was kind of tough for me since I am sick and all (you don't know HOW MUCH I HATE SAYING THAT) having such a jammed schedule, but really I think this was the best Christmas I have ever had in my little adult life. This is the first Christmas I have experienced while in a serious relationship, so this was also the first year of figuring out who's family wins our presence and whom we have to duck out on early or whom we had to miss entirely. We both have HUGE families which I love, and they are all local which I usually also love, but two days and around ten Christmas events to make is pretty remarkable. But man, am I SO GLAD that we did it.
I no longer feel like Bobby and I have separate families, rather they are just extensions of our own. I have never felt more encouraged and accepted by both my family, and these new beautiful hearts that went above and beyond to show me that I am also my family. If any of you happen to be reading this, I just want to again say how sincerely thankful and blessed we are by you, not just on Christmas, but everyday. This has been one of the hardest years of my life, and to be welcomed into not only your homes but also your hearts when I myself feel the least worthy of that is just unexplainable. Because of your kindness, I now see the adult meaning of Christmas as it were... to simply accept, and to love through that acceptance.
With all the horrible things in the world that have gone on lately that I simply don't have the stomach to even talk about much less compose a post about, I had started to feel ashamed of myself. Even though my quality of life is somewhat diminished right now by this horrible illness I am dealing with right now, at least it is a life to be had. So I am facing all the fear and the hesitation within and am going to just start living. Because of the love and warmth that was this Christmas and I'm sure will be the New Year as well, I will simply start doing the things that I can do, and worrying about the rest later. You know, I shouldn't even worry about those things, for worry is not only such a grand waste of time, it depletes the energy I have for the good. So worry is out. But you know what I mean :)
SO even though I am exhausted beyond belief, not able to eat all that much for the next few days and basically chained to the bathroom, it was totally worth it. :) I hope everyone has a blessed and meaningful New Year full of love and acceptance!!!
Thursday, December 13, 2012
I read something today that finally pushed me over the edge and into action. I am a huge fan of glamour magazine and in an article; a female writer who had more truth to her righting than I am used to in mainstream media said this. "It is far braver to right about your experiences while you are experiencing them, then after you have processed them and have them tied up in a little box of advice. This should be the way we 'live outside the box'." So. I decided to stop being a little scardey cat and start talking again. While I am going through this. It will be more honest that way.
I keep saying that I want my story to help others that are dealing with their own life circumstances... but how can I be of any help if I don't start talking? I am a living contradiction. I want so badly for this truthfully crappy section of my life to mean something but yet I am so scared to move one way or the other that I can't even begin to talk about it. Yes, the last post I wrote was brave. But after that post I waited and waited and waited and essentially wasted months of potential time I was given to inspire. Instead I hid. Right now I feel like I am trying not only to hide from you out there, but from myself.
I don't sing anymore. And I don't mean simply professionally. We have been through this. But I don't sing at all anymore. Not in the car, the shower, nowhere. Not even when I am home by myself. At thanksgiving I was prodded by my friend-family to sing some songs because in the amount of time they have known me (over a year) have never heard my voice before. If someone would have told me just a few months ago that it would be months before a song would ever pass my lips I would have called you insane. But I guess stranger things have happened. I wish I could tell you why, but that is one of the questions that I don't have the answer to yet. Maybe because I find my freedom in song, and right now I just don't feel free. I also can't sing the way that I used to, so maybe part of it is that I would rather not only be remembered the way that I used to perform, but I also wish to remember myself that way. I know that I have changed dramatically, but some of those changes I am just not ready to accept yet. Maybe when I get closer to acceptance, I will be closer to finding my way back to the girl who lived her life in a song.
I used to think that I wanted to be inspiring. To be brave. But that is not where the impact lies. I want my story to be greater than anything I could ever be. I am seeing that I am not brave. I am not a graceful passenger to this disease. But even if I were brave, I cannot live forever. But maybe, just maybe, my story with Crohn's can live beyond anything I could live for myself. That is my hope. So I am going to try and expose this life the best that I can, and stop being selfish by standing in the way of that. It's not going to be easy, but I would like to hope that in the struggle it would lighten the load for someone else. The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all. I may not get to live an extraordinary life right now, but while I have my life, I want to at least live it.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
So I know that I have been off the grid for a while. At least as far as this goes. I still and will always frequent facebook because let's face it, who isn't ADDICTED to facebook??? But lately it has been easier for me to post a funny sentence about something I have seen on TV. or a snarky comment about my two puppies waking me up at 6am in the morning because they want to play with mommy. This is a horse of a different color. To me, this is sacred ground where I try and be honest and insightful or whatever I think the inspiring mood of that day is. And I haven't been willing to share this part of my life with you. Until now.
To start as usual things have OBVIOUSLY changed for me. They always do. Le sigh. But some of this change is really exciting and new to me. And it's permanent. GASP!
I've moved. AGAIN. I know this last time I said that it was the last time too. But this is REALLY the last time. Going against my usual pattern of movement I have not uprooted. I did not move across the country chasing another show, another paycheck, and another long lost dream. I simply moved across town. Why go to all the trouble you ask?? Let's just say, I've found a roomie that I would like to keep forever. (And yes, the afore mentioned puppies came with the roomie!!) I am walking on sunshine. Floating on cloud nine. Basically you can insert any mushy gushy makes you want to throw up your chocolate chip waffles that you ate for breakfast (true life) cliché about love here and I'll agree with you. I don't want to share too much, because hey, a girl has to keep a little mystery about her, but what I can say is this. What I have gained within the walls of my new home I didn't think existed. I am better for it. And I wouldn't change my decision for anything in this world.
So now that we have all the light and fluffy stuff out of the way, there have also been some not so great and not so planned events that have recently occurred. My health has taken a downward turn recently and I have had to change a lot of things in my life. Which at first was very difficult for me. I know that I have been very cryptic in many of my past posts about having some sort of ailment but have never voiced publically what I have. This is because until this point in my life I thought that if I told people what I was going through, that I would be punished for it. That it would hold me back. But now I see that the only thing holding me back is my own choices and the consequences that follow. So here goes nothing. Ladies and Gentlemen, I have an announcement to make....
Deep Breathe. Heart Racing. I think I want to puke!!!!!!
I have Crohn's Disease.
Wow. There it is. In black and white with my blinking little curser behind it. I'm not quite sure what this means now other than that if anyone other than my mom is reading this you now know something very vulnerable to me. And you know what. It feels kind of good. Really good actually. I haven't felt this good in years.
Why now? You may be asking yourselves this as you read this very sudden declaration of my inner most life. Well its because it's the only thing I have left in my way. Somewhere in the last few years I lost that girl that stood behind all of her brazen decisions due to the large amount of people yelling in my ears that I have and always will be wrong. This is the last thing that is standing between my freedom and me. I know it sounds very melodramatic, and maybe it is. But it's the only way I can describe it. I have taken this time away from my job, from you and from my life in a way to take care of some things that should have been dealt with long ago. Most is too private to go into detail but it was some very intimate things that I had to come to terms with in terms of my past. Mentally and physically. I have been working so hard at releasing the need for approval from you, that I was being choked by my own standards I had set forth for myself. I have been my worst enemy. In many ways I have subconsciously set the bar much too high for myself and then had the audacity to be ashamed of myself when it all fell apart. I am seeing now that I may not be able to work a 60-hour week. And that's ok. I may not be able to have the exact same position I once held at my company. But I can have one that is just as important that doesn't cause as much stress. I have even spoken about this to my boss. And she agrees. Because I admitted to myself that I do have limits, when I go back it seems I will have a better job than what I could have even thought up while I was pushing papers and dodging crisis after crisis in April.
The other reason is because I am taking a risk. I want to write about my Crohn's in the hopes that it will help someone either understand the disease or to be able to relate to someone on the other side of the screen that is going through what I am going through. In the last month I have been more open in my personal life about my diagnosis than I ever have been. And what I found is that there are increasingly more people that I am meeting that actually have it as well. Just a year ago I thought I was all-alone. But now in the last two months I have met or heard of at least half a dozen that share this same condition. And I want to help. I want to make a difference. Or else I just don't think I will come out to be the person I would like to be on the other side of this.
So my first step is this. If you have a few minutes, take a look at , or . So many people have this disease and are searching for cures but have no diagnosis to enable them to find treatment. I would not be surprised if you knew at least one person with this condition. (Besides me of course!!) The reason that so many people hide that they have this is because it's embarrassing. You lose so much control over your own digestive process that it is just too much to admit much less talk about. My second offer is this. If you have this, think you have it, or know someone who does and don't know what to do or how to talk about it... reach out to me. I would be more than happy to recommend a doctor if that’s what you are looking for. But even more than that I could help alleviate some of the emotional fall out that may occur within families and friends that so often occurs with such a final diagnosis. I've been just about everywhere in this country to get treatment and heard just about every prognosis that can be given. In order to trust me on this, I feel I need to validate my expertise. Which is exactly why I am writing a book about this. Really. Keep me accountable. I have lived with this condition since 2006 and plan to do so for a very very long time. Soon you will have my whole story. But for now take a chance on my story and me. I promise you won't regret it.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Much easier said then done... especially for someone who stands at a mere 5'2" on a "tall" day. However, it's something I have been told to do my whole life. When you are standing in line as a kindergartner learning how to "follow the leader" you are propositioned to "straighten up." When you are a teenager learning how to wear heels for the first time to a big even you are told to "stop hunching over." In college when you are making a huge presentation to the board of your division you are told to "Stop Slouching." When you are finally a big girl living in a big girl world doing the job of a very big girl you are told to "Stand tall. If you see yourself as small, so will everyone else." So here I stand, miniature and all, trying to figure out exactly how to make my munchkin self feel taller.
A lot can happen in a year. At least this is something that my boss reminds me of almost every single day. And every day I stop what I'm doing, reflect for a minute and silently agree with her. A lot can happen in a year. A lot DID happen in a year. I have made some decisions that I know have forever altered the course of my journey. At this moment I am not going to cast my vote as to whether I "made the right choice" or not... simply because I don't know yet. I have officially decided to step away from theatre for a bit. I don't know for how long, but I do know that it is something that must be done for myself. Don't get me wrong it will always have a special place in my heart, but sometimes when you grow up, your dreams change a little bit. And that is exactly what has happened to me. My dreams have changed, and I don't see anything wrong with that at all.
So in light of this profound movement in my life, I have had to make many many MANY adjustments. First I had to get a job. Which oddly enough was I think the easiest part. And even MORE odd is that I am so crazy in love with what I do. I work for a wonderful company owned by a very independent, very eccentric woman who one minute makes you want to cry, and the next minute has you wanting to be just like her. I am putting my servant's heart to good use as my main objective every single day is to find work for those who have trouble finding work for themselves. I deal with hundreds of people on a daily basis and simply have to remember that I am actually making a noticeable difference. My position is a little unique as I do a little bit of everything, and really kind of have my finger in every single aspect of the place. Because of this, I carry a lot of weight with the company. I am needed. I am necessary. I deal with people two to three times my age in the form of a supervisor. And that is terrifying to me. The little girl that lives inside of me is freaking out over this. I'm not sure if I am ready for this, but as life doesn't usually wait for you I've got to catch up. Stand up. Shoulders back and head held high.
Also since I am now a part of "corporate America" I now keep a normal person's schedule. I work during the day! I never thought it would happen lol. But because of this I have begun to be able to expand my horizons a little bit. I have been able to spend more much needed time with my family. I have been able to see my friend. I have also been able to date. And to fall in love. Yes ladies and gentlemen the impossible has occurred. I am no longer on the market. This cynical little brat has discovered that in fact chivalry isn't dead... it's just endangered. I have got myself a fella that just makes everything so much better. Honestly though, besides all the I love you's and they Oh my goodness they are so cute I want to puke moments, I have really learned something. I do have value. I am worth being loved. I can stand up straight because not only do I do something to be proud of, I AM someone to be proud of... and that is something entirely new for me.
Every morning I wake up and the first thing I do is walk to the bathroom counter and brush my teeth. For years I never looked in the mirror while I did this. I didn't want to see myself at least until after I had showered, but usually after my hair was blow dried. However, today when I was getting ready, I looked in the mirror. For the first time in my whole entire life I didn't shrink away from what I saw. I didn't think about how I need a hair cut or that I have a bad break out or that I'm fat or that I wish I were someone different. I looked in the mirror and actually thought that I was pretty. That I was worth something. And maybe, just maybe, I looked a little taller. Not by much, but just a little bit. This crazy life of mine has taken me to places I never dreamed I would go, and I can't say that I mind it. I am beyond blessed with a joy that I never had a year ago. Yes I have some flaws, but those flaws are what allow me to shine in other ways that I never thought I would be able to. So every day I am going to continue to wear my platform heels, but know in my heart that I can now and always feel six feet tall.
Monday, November 7, 2011
Once upon a time, in a not so far away land, there lived a little girl playing dress up in a grown woman's wardrobe. She wasn't a long lost princess, nor was she trapped in a tower. She was a long long lost believer trapped by the what ifs of life. Instead of singing songs and believing that her handsome prince would someday soon just show up simply because she believed he would, she got lost in the motions of life and long ago for went any premonition that a handsome prince even existed, much less would show up on her door step. The idea of needing to be saved was abhorred by this modern day girl, because she believed that she could save herself. So each day she awoke in her little home and got ready for a life that maybe in fact she really wasn't quite ready for to begin with. She put on her makeup, what little she wore with the dexterity of a woman, but somehow the eyes that she lined with ease were the opening to the soul of a little girl that so desperately wanted to believe that someday, just maybe, she would see that fairy tales really do come true.
Everyone says that when the big moments of life happen that "you just know." Well I think that this is the biggest pile of lies ever. You never "just know." anything. I think people say this because they in fact, don't know and are terrified to admit it. That when they lie awake at night and are left with too much time to think, that those little minions of doubt start to creep up and whisper in their ear. They serenade you with all the little notions you have dared never to think for fear they may actually point to the biggest truth of all. That you don't know without a shadow of a doubt that you made the right choice. Something that I am learning everyday is that not only is it OK not to know, I think it's the most honest thing that a person can admit. That they aren't sure of everything. That while they know they feel overwhelming love for another, that we never really knew what happily ever after entails.
I am still a little girl in every way shape or form when it comes to relationships. I am still searching for the correct shades of love and the proper sizes and shapes of the roles that others play in this life of mine. In all the fairy tales that I hold so near and dear to my little girl heart, there is one thing that never changes. The princess is in charge of her life. She never looks to another to live her life for her, she is simply looking for the right companion to live her life with. This is something that I think we ladies often forget. That we are not to look to the white night to come and save us, that we are simply looking to him to be the audience of one for this performance we call a life. I am the only person that is right for the role of the leading lady in my life. He should be my counter part, not my director. I am not one that is looking to be taken care of. If you know me then you know that I am capable of surviving on my own. But that's just the thing. I don't want to simply survive. I want to live.
Prince charmings are interesting characters if you think about it. There is no distinct look or prototype for one. The white night doesn't exactly have any specific criteria other than that he has some sort of noble steed with which he uses to take you off into the sunset towards the ever hovering happily ever after. Most of the time, prince charming is hiding within the hearts of a little boy, who is faces just as many struggles as the little girl that is housing the potential princess that matches that prince's heart. Without warning the little boy must learn how to become a man, for there is no in between. There rarely is ever a moment in his life where he levitates in the margin between child and grown up. Instantaneously he must know exactly how to provide, to protect, and to prove that he is worthy of the title he so longs for. But it is within that margin that most of life is lived, and he tried to much avail to navigate through it to find someone whom matches his soul.
So sometime, someday in some random place that you really don't want to be in, that same little girl meets a little boy and they begin to talk. And then maybe they find things in common. They don't immediately know anything monumental, but they know that maybe, just maybe they have found someone made of the same mold that they came from. Then eventually as they spend time together they individually begin to realize that they may in point of fact do need to be saved. They need to be saved from themselves. Suddenly the little girl starts to resemble that of royalty, and the little boy is starting to house the qualities of a well seasoned knight. Then maybe they start to see in each other, what they thought only existed in the pages of the books they were read as bed time stories years ago. It may not end it what the stories say is happily ever after, but I believe this is the shape of what the modern day fairytale could be. At least I hope so. Because as the little girl who is still searching for the heart of the little boy that matches hers, I can only hope that he won't give up looking for me. That even though this world turns us into unbelievers, that maybe there is still an ember of hope left in the heart that matches mine. And that one day my heart will be able to whisper "I know you, I walked with you once upon a dream." and I will actually believe it.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Today I have been totally lazy and I am not afraid to admit it. I am still in my pajamas from last night. I have only left my room to eat. Since my bathroom in in the master suite I have so lovely bestowed upon the name of the Courtney Cave, I didn't even have to leave for that. Even the USA network promoted my day of slothy behaviour by airing an all day "scare-a-thon" marathon of the best episodes of Law and Order SVU. So any hope of actually accomplishing anything was lost on me today. Especially when all of these factors were coupled with the fact that the cooler weather has made it much harder for me to get out from underneath my oasty toasty fresh laundry scented blankets. Hey, even the Lord deems Sunday as "the day of rest." So who am I to argue with that?
So while I was enjoying my day of absolute waste, I also was encountered by boundless time to think, which is I suppose is the trade off to being an absolute bum. I just began to think. And think. And think about every little possible thing that could possibly be thought about until I was suddenly lost in the recesses of my mind. I thought about silly things. Like why my favorite color is red. Because when I was younger every other little girl's favorite color was pink. Or purple. Or if they were like the anti little girl that hated pink then they liked black. But I was neither. I knew that I liked lady bugs. And cardinals. And roses. And Orchids that were such a dark purple they were almost red. So I decided that my favorite color was red and I stuck with it ever since. But I also thought about the important things. The things that I bury myself in work so that I don't have to think about them. About the tough times my family has been going through. About the things I am seeing now that I am older. About the things that I am now having to realize now that I'm a "grown up". About the lies that I've told. About the lies I have been told. About how selfishness runs this world, and not love like I thought it did. That no relationship is perfect, because how could it be when the people that comprise the relationship have no home of even seeing that kind of purity. That life, just like everyone always says is not easy and not fair. But it's one thing to say that, and an entirely different thing to actually accept it.
While I was lost in the vortex of these thoughts a commercial came on for a run of the mill cable drama that is trying to procure viewers for the upcoming season. A line that was used to draw in ratings in this commercials caught my attention, because it asked a question of all of the questions that seemed to be berating me. The sexy spy character of the thrilling CSI drama said to her superior, " I would just like to know how dirty I am going to get." Well life, I ask the same question of you. How dirty am I going to get?
If I have learned anything over the last few months it is that I am much too much of an eternal optimist. I see the potential in people, not what they are actually scheming of at the moment. I see the happy in relationships, because that's what I want to see. I see the best of every situation, because if I don't then there is the potential that I will fall apart, and if I fall apart, who will help me put myself back together again? I mean if all the kings horses and all the kings men couldn't fix Humpty Dumpty, then what hope do I have for myself? So I just saw what I chose to see. Until what I was choosing to see wasn't even there anymore. Selfish nature and hurtful intentions are all that was left, and while I may be a cock-eyed optimist I am no fool. If you splay disgust in front of me then that's exactly the same kind of filth that I am going to see. And you bet your bottom dollar that I will walk away from that.
Everyone has secrets. Everyone. I don't care who you are. Even the saints of this world have something hiding in the shadows. I have my secrets. So do you. The question is, will they change you? Will they turn you into this negative, horrible, selfish person in the end?. I have my secrets. And I plan to keep them, purely by the standard that I need to keep some portion of this life for myself and for the ones that are truly involved, not for the well meaning morons. Everyone also lies. All the time. About little things and about the most important things in the world. We lie about whether or not someone looks pretty in a dress or about whether or not we mean what we say when it comes to the moments when we aren't just talking face to face, but heart to heart. I will not throw the first stone because I know that I am not blameless. I have lied. But I hope that I have never lied so fiercely and without remorse that it has forever damaged the life of another. I want to know how dirty I am, and how much more dirty this life is going to get. I want to know if my rose colored glasses will ever have the same vibrant hughe they once had. Blatant viciousness is not uncommon. Silent viciousness is commonplace. Secrets are no fun.