Sunday, December 30, 2012

Make New Friends But Keep The Old, For One Is Silver, The Other Gold.

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

The Brave May Not Live Forever...

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

Take a Chance on Me: My First Post on Crohn's Disease.

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

Stand a Little Taller

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.