Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Simple Love Story

My days have started to run together. Which isn't an entirely bad thing. In fact I'm not sure it's a bad thing at all. My days have become so full that even the sleep that breaks them up seems to disappear and I am just living in one giant day. In my case, this is a nice change of pace for me. Not only are my days full which makes me feel satisfied and accomplished, they are filled with exactly what I want them to be filled with. Work that I love, friends that I cherish, family I don't take for granted, and smiles that I treasure. I am loving where life is taking me, but just for a second, I wanted to take a time out and make sure that all this magical euphoria was real.

So I took a trip to my favorite place in the world. The Creek House. The Creek House is the name that my three year old self gave to my grandparent's house (my then house as well) when the lot of us all moved in. Now, like many of my "memories" from that time, I don't actually remember the origin of them since I was so small. All I know is, is that the name of the house is The Creek House, and I am credited for it. There is even a plaque by the front door proudly displaying the name. It's just where I know I can go and be me, whoever that may be at that moment, and not have to worry about who is watching me and telling me that I am wrong. I always know that I can go there and find a good old cup of sweet tea, some home cooking, lots of love and sometimes even a glimpse of who I want to be when I re-enter the real world.

The Creek House is about 40 ish minutes away from my house, but it might as well be a world away. In the relatively short drive it takes to get there, I go from a miniature metropolitan area to the cow fields that most people thought didn't exist anymore. The house is on four acres of land, and used to be a functioning orange grove... Tropicana used to come and take (and by take I mean buy) our oranges. But over the years the grove has grown over, but what is left is still as stunning. Trees everywhere, creating this beautiful canopy over the property that just shields it from the rest of the world. Of course there is a creek... I wasn't a stupid child... and that leads out to the river. I spent so many of my days as a kid taking boat rides down that creek and out to the river. But once I got out there I was just happy to turn around. I liked the character of the creek, not the impersonal nature if the big river. I'm pretty sure that if I were any kind of artist I could map out for you every nook and cranny of that creek... that's how often I was out there.

But what I love most about the Creek House are the people who live there. My Poppy and Geema hold a very special place in my heart. They have loved me like there own, and have imparted wisdom to me that I hope to never take for granted. Each trip that I make out there is uniquely different but all so familiar. We eat, talk, pray and laugh together, and then I go back to what most people would deem as reality. It's where I go to center myself again, and to make sure that I still have my head on straight, cause trust me, if it weren't my Pop's would set it straight for me. In love of course.

Speaking of love, my grandparents have basically written the book on the subject. They have been married for half a century and have never betrayed that loyalty. Never have they looked in another direction, and they have always demonstrated not only the happy fuzzy feeling of love, but the lifestyle that love has to become for marriage to work. You don't always have to like each other, but you must always maintain respect for one another. Their story is one that Nicholas Sparks himself couldn't have written better. Geema was the only girl Poppy ever dated, and same with Geema. They fell in love, and stayed together while Poppy went away to architectural school for five years. As soon as he graduated, they eloped, and have been together ever since.

Well it was recently my Geema's birthday and we of course celebrated it with her all in our own way. While I was over at their house I saw the various cards that her kids had sent and the little gifts that we had given her, but there was one card that I did not recognize. So being the nosey little baby of the family that I sometimes am I went over, snatched it up and began to read it. It was from my Poppy. To his sweetheart. It touched me so much that it actually made me cry, and that is a feat. I even had to write it down so that I could write about it on here. Here is what the card said:

To my wife with all my love. Even when I first met you, I knew that somehow you would be the love of my life, and that's exactly what you are. No matter how many years go by, I'll still think of you as the person I want to share everything with. The person I most want to make happy. The one without whom life would never be the same. You are my world, my life, my everything. I love you with all my heart and I always will.

RIGHT?! And if that weren't enough, in Poppy's perfect, architectural block letter handwriting at the very bottom of the card were the words: Love you always and forever, Gene.

The lesson here is simple. Love is exactly what you make it to be. It can be small and pathetic, but if you let it, it can be that Nicholas Sparks, Disney Princess, love for the ages kind of fairytale but in real life. But even in its grander, it can be just as simple as a birthday card to your sweetheart, fifty years after you took your vows, and actually meant them.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I Will Be Loved Tonight

People are infinantly shocking. I know that I shouldn't be shocked by outlandish actions anymore, but my sometime naive, innocent childlike mind usually fails to compute some of the out there actions people think they can get away with. But people are crazy. And if you are one of the people sitting there reading this and thinking that this doesn't apply to you, you just might be the crazies of us all. You know what they say, it's always the quiet ones :)

Today I was introduced once again to the species of human that does not think before they act, or before they speak for that matter. I know that everyone has the capability and sometimes even the occasion to exercise this talent, and this fellow may very well be a stand up guy. But to me he will always be a giant green hulk of a man that tried to bang down my door and made me want to crawl under my desk.

Yes ladies and gentlemen. A scene was caused today. Whilst I was at work, a very angry and large man decided that he was going to come into my office, and that the very lovely and sturdy plexiglass front door was not going to stop him. He was unaware of whether or not anyone was actually in the office thank God, so when his polite knocks were refused, and his childishly loud ones were not chided, he decided that the best course of action was to scream through the mail slot. Luckly I was in the back where I couldn't be seen and I just prayed that the big scary monster would go away. Finally all out of steam he stomped away, and even later my heart rate returned to normal. It was a pretty scary moment, and I wasn't sure how to go back to work from that.

So I took to facebook for a moment. I posted a calm and witty, yet explanitory post of the prior moments of terror and then tried to bounce back to work. I immediatly got a call from my mom. All she said when I answered was "Are you OK?" Followed by a quick "I love you" then a "I'm gonna buy you some mace today." She talked to me for a few minutes to make sure I was truely OK, then left me to finish my work. Then I saw I had a post from Spencer. Not too long after that I had one from Shannon. Both were concerned. Then I got a call from Chris, who was ready to come to where I was and make sure I was OK. Even though it warmed my heart I declined, but he made sure that I knew I could call him at any time. Even one of the dear women I look up to from church made a comment expressing that she would pray for me and that she was just thankful that I was safe. I thought my heart was going to burst.

From this outpooring of concern you would have thought the jolly green giant had actually broken in and caused me harm. But that's not what happened. I am not glad that I had a moment of terror, but I appreciate the silver lining that it brought to me. It showed me once again that I am loved. I am loved not in a "I feel obligated to care about you way" but in a "I have chosen to care for you, and I want you to always know that I am here for you and on your side." It is such a comfort to know that the people I am sharing my life with, both old and new, are bold enough to tell me that I am loved, even if it's by their actions. And I have been told anyhow that actions speak louder than words. So now that I have the night to call my own, I will be spending it with the ones that I hold dear, and that return that embrace. I will be loved tonight.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Getting To Know You

Since moving back to Florida, I have been meeting quite a few people. I find this ironic, as I am currently living in my hometown where I was not only born, but bread. All of my family is here, however the life that I had here moved with me, and I feel as if I am literally starting over.

I am no stranger to meeting new people. I am a professional stranger of sorts, moving from place to place, taking job after job, and looking for those kindred spirits that you can not only have a working professional relationship with, but can also find some comfort in outside the job. But this kind of unfamiliarity rings familiar. I am used to making survival relationships to last me the duration of a show, or during a business function. Friendships with expiration dates. You fulfill the void of being alone, but you also know that you have control of absolutely everything that this person sees in you. You choose what to tell them and what to keep to yourself because hey, they aren't going to be around forever so why show them something that isn't sparkly. It's kind of like when you give a guest a tour of your home as opposed to showing the house to someone that's going to live there with you. Your guest has no right to look in the attic or rustle through your closet where you have thrown your dirty laundry. But if someone is looking to stay, eventually they are going to want to know what's behind that door you keep locked all the time, or why you won't allow them to look in your medicine cabinet. Sooner or later they are going to want to see everything, and you have no where to hide.

These are the kind of relationships I find myself creating. The kind where I know sooner or later something is going to fall out of my medicine cabinet, and someone is going to wonder what exactly I am keeping in there. At some point they are going to hear the skeletons in my closet and want to know why I have kept them there for so long. It has been a very long time since I have seen anything as permanent. I change my address as much as some women change their hair color, but I'm trying to turn over a new leaf. I am trying to spread some roots, and maybe even grow a few.

I find it ironic that most of the friends I am making have already passed through my life at some point. The people that I loved when I was so young have found me again, and are constantly telling me that I am exactly the same, but in such a different way. I am so blessed to be able to pick up where we left off, but at the same time there is a lot that has been missed... and I know that at some point I am going to have to fill in some blanks.

Some of the people I am allowing to put their foot through my door I can honestly say that that I wouldn't mind them poking around in my pantry and linen closets, but I'm worried about the day when they get to under my bed. I am forming relationships that I actually want to keep and I think knowing that is a really good first step. I haven't had butterflies over something new in a very long time. Tonight I felt them. I got goosebumps on my arms and a smile on my face that I couldn't wipe off even if I tried. And I like it. A lot. I am taking one day at a time like I normally do, but for the first time I am not stressed about how tomorrow will turn out, and I'm even trying to release the need of having to control the reactions to each of my actions. I am absorbing each moment for what it is, instead of wasting it wondering what the next one will hold. As I walked through the door after a really nice night tonight with a very nice someone I found myself singing under my breath the classic tune "getting to know you, getting to know all about you. Getting to like you, getting to hope you like me." And that's exactly what I'm doing. Getting to know you. Getting to know all about you. And hopefully you will want to get to know all about me too. All I can say is that I am very blessed by the ones that are making their entrances into my crazy story of a life, and I really hope that you stay for a while. "Getting to know you, getting to be free and breezy. When I am with you getting to know what to say. Haven't you noticed Suddenly I'm bright and breezy? Because of all the beautiful and new things I'm learning about you. Day by Day."

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I've Got The Joy

So last night after spilling my proverbial guts out onto this blog in the most thoughtful way I know how, I felt a peace that has eluded me for quite some time. I am really a huge fan of peace, in really every setting that it can make an appearance. I like peaceful nights at home alone, I like peaceful conversations, I like peaceful politics and peaceful hearts. However, I think often time that peace can be confused with contentment, and contentment is often misconstrude as complacent. I never want to make such a vital mistake. To be content in the sense that I see it, is to give up and almost quit. I never want to feel that I have it all and can slow up. That's the day I know that I need to start over.

So I felt this peace. And of course it wasn't enough to just feel the peace, I had to understand it. So I took out my stethescope and blood pressure cuff and began taking the vital signs of my emotional state. As I began asking questions I shocked myself with several of the answers I found. I began to realize just how deep this river has flown.

I have been uneasy for quite some time about several of my major life choices. There comes a time in each and every one of our lives when we find ourselves getting ready to tackle a day in this life that we created and we catch ourselves looking at our reflection a second too long. We see a shadow fall across our eyes that the florecent beams in the bathroom could not have created, and we entertain the fleetin thought of "is what I'm doing enough?" I often wonder this. Am I doing enough? And then I do the worst possible thing I could do. I compare. But the best part is I don't compare myself to someone else. I compare myself to myself. I begin to think "am I as valuable as I was when I was at school or when I lived out of town? Have a settled by coming back here? Am I enough?" And then I throw a metaphorical martini in my face to jump back to reality and keep going with my day.

I know this is a jump but it will come full circle. I am a facebook junkie. I think my favorite part of it is getting tagged in pictures. Well I have been getting tagged in bountiful images recently due to Beehive and now that it's over, it is so comforting to see the images that were taken in the moment. In each frame without fail, I have been shocked by my apperance. My smile is so real in every single picture. Every single one. This goes from promotional pictures for the press, to the silly picture of Megan and I in our wig caps before the show. And it's not just happy. It's joy. And I have always been told by my wise mother that happy is a feeling. Joy is a lifestyle. I have found joy again.

So as I was taking count of my new discoveries I began to smile at myself. I have been living what I have been preaching to so many of my friends that are also watching themselves shape shift in the mirror. Everything I have done until this moment has made me who I am. And not a moment too soon. Now is always on time, and I am precicely on time to be who I am destined to be. And this goes for everything. From my day job, to my show schedules, to my family, to my car situation, to the possibility of moving out, to whom I choose to go on dates with, to who chooses to ask me out on more than one date. It's all fine. I am not in control, even though I want so desperatly to be. The first step is admitting the problem, and letting go. The second is grabbing onto something else. Well I have a grip on joy. I've got the Joy joy joy joy down in my heart. Down in my heart. Down in my heart to stay.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Silly Goose

When I was a little girl... and I mean actually a little girl in age not just in mindset, I had (and still do) a really special relationship with my uncle. From what I am told, (I was too little to actually know this for myself) my Bubby was going through a hard time in his life; one of those times where no matter how happy you want to be, your heart just won't let you because someone did you wrong. So here he was is this trench of broken promises and hurtful actions and a little chubby baby comes along that hasn't had the pleasure of knowing what mends a broken heart. Unknown to me, I carried the medicine for times such as these in my brand new little soul, and I helped usher him back into happy. He is and always will be my bubs, my special uncle/father figure/brother hybrid that I will always love and respect. But to get the point, in this very special and fun relationship he formed with me, I became his little protege. Most everything he did was silly. So everything I did in return was also silly. At every turn he would tell me I was such a "silly goose" And when that became to laborious to say it was shortened to "you are such a goose." Thus a legacy was born. I was crowned a goose.

Fast forward about two decades and you will find this same girl being the same silly goose as she was back then. I have been watching myself shape shift like I was a super hero in training, and I can almost say I have become a spectator to my own life. Things have been happening so very fast. And not just in one area of my life. It seems as if someone pressed fast forward on all of the story lines going on in my life and I didn't wear my running shoes to set. Instead I am wearing a stylish yet completely cumbersome pair of fancy stilettos and if someone doesn't help me slow down I'm going to sprain my ankle... (which funny as it is I have actually just recently done this in real life. I had to do the entire run of Beehive on a very sprained ankle... but I did it)

To further elaborate and hopefully help you actually understand this nonsense I am speaking of, I will regale you of what my life has been as of late. My world began to run away from me about a month ago when I took a sensible weekend vacation to North Carolina with my family. The trip was lovely, the wedding we attended was stunning, but everything that happened was so out of my control. When we slept. When we ate. When I got home. Nothing had any fingerprints on mine on it anywhere. Then I began the rehearsal period for Beehive. Which is great. And fast. And by fast I mean head spinning. Before I knew it we had opened. I had completely switched gears from corporate hot shot (I had just received a promotion to assistant and branch manager before I left for rehearsal) to hair tossing leg kicking note belting diva.. well not diva but you know what I mean. My showgirl counter part arose and arose very quickly. I now was living a totally different life, with totally different people. Don't get me wrong I loved EVERY second of it because this is really my heart, but it was just such a fast shift. I was even letting some into my personal life... and that is a real rarity. I spent a lot of time with a few people, tore down some walls and let them see the meat and potatoes of what miss Courtney Whittamore was all about.

And then before I knew it the show was over. It came and went so fast that I thought I had dreamed the whole thing up. Everything about it was so positive. The people I worked with, the creative process I went through, the person I allowed myself to become, the feedback I received. Not a bad word could be said about any of it. But then I started to watch myself stomp all over all of it. And in the back of my mind I could hear my Bubs say "you are being such a silly goose, what do you think you are doing little one?" What do I think I am doing? I am putting pressure on things that were just fine without any of my "help" and now it may be ruined. I am criticising a performance that has already been given and thinking that in hind sight it wasn't what it should be, when I KNOW that it touched so many people in a positive way. I am constantly worried that now I'm not wearing the right hat at the right time, and that someone will see "the wrong part of me" and walk away from me, thinking that they made a mistake in taking the time to "get to know me." I am teetering between the line of "who I am" and "who I want you to see." And this whole time I am watching myself, hearing my wise Bubs say "goose... calm down. Everything is going to be fine little one."

So as I sit here typing out my short comings, I am shaking my head and scoffing at myself. No matter how old I get, or how successful I become, I will always be this silly little goose that slips up and worries too much and drives herself and everyone around her crazy because of this insane need to understand EVERYTHING. The thing I need to come to grips with, is not changing who I am, but allowing myself to find someone who is just as much of a silly goose as I am. I will always be the Little One with flinstone feet and chubby cheeks and drinks all the sweet tea at family functions and adores chocolate milk and must have everything as plain as possible and feels the most secure when she is with those who love her. And I'm starting to see just how amazing that privilege really is. This incessant need to know what others see in me is so futile... I'm a silly goose running around like a chicken with her head cut off, and you can't be a chicken and a goose at the same time. So I'm going to choose to stay this silly little goose that I have always been, and just hope that when you turn around, you see someone that is worth looking further into.