There is a quote,
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure."
I think about this saying a lot. I remember when I was working on my first Fringe production called MinorityLand, and whenever I would be given credit or great praise, I would shrink away from it. I would brush it off, and dismiss any compliments I got. This wasn't because I didn't think my work was good. i was proud of what I had accomplished, but I think as women especially, we are taught to be very dismissive of our own talents and to accepts a compliment would make you look stuck up or self centered. It took my friend and partner in the theatre company Gabby to finally convince me to take ownership for my talents.
"Girl! You better introduce yourself as the playwright!" she would say. It seems strange to me now that there was a time when I didn't accept that as a title for myself. I'm glad that's changed, and I accept that version of myself more readily.
I heard somewhere once that planning a vacation can cause many of the feel good hormones as taking the vacation itself. So recently, I've been doing just that. Planning imaginary vacations. Now, I say imaginary because they aren't happening just yet, but they will happen someday. I think the feeling of expecting the vacation to actually take place at some point is important to the whole 'feel-good' thing.
I have dreamed since before I can remember of traveling to Paris. I started learning French in 8th grade, so maybe that is when the obsession began. I continued throughout high school, and my teacher Mademoiselle Shollenberger was truly excellent. My wanderlust was very Paris specific. Ever since my life took such a drastic turn for the worst. A drastic turn towards sitting around in my mom's house watching episode after episode of Orange is the New Black (which btw is really fantastic, but season three was a bit of a filler season let down). Being in such a non nomadic state for so long has made my wanderlust grow exponentially. I spend many hours a week researching,
"How to Backpack through Europe"
"How much does it cost to travel to Paris"
"When is the best time to travel to Paris"
"What is it like to live in Norway?"
Norway is also an obsession of mine because it is usually number 1 or 2 of the happiest countries in the world. Those people must be doing something right, and I wouldn't mind visiting a place where so much happiness was pumping through the air.
There is certainly one noticeable benefit to getting as sick as I did, and having to stop my life. Now I have the choice of how to restart it. When I AM back on my feet again, I'll have to choose whether to just go back to my old life (which wasn't bad of course) or to start anew, something completely different. That's the revelation I've had to make recently. I have the rest of my life to work steadily, have a spouse and children.. right now.. I can't shake the overwhelming need to travel the world. Even the idea of traveling alone feels right. Fill my brain with the sights, sounds, and tastes of other worlds. I've always said I wanted to travel, but certainly not in the same way that it has been burning in my soul the last few months.
So, my plan is after I recover from my next surgery, which should be happening sometime in the fall. I'm outta here. I don't know exactly how it's going to happen, logistically, and financially there is a lot to figure out, but something in me just feels unstoppable. The world tried to knock me down with Crohn's disease, but I'm laughing. I'll come out on top, all the way to the top of Eiffel tower.
Look out, this blog will soon become a travel blog! Among other things.
In the meantime, I'll keep practicing my French on Duolingo. I recommend Duo to everyone. Free easy language learning app right on your smart phone. It took me about a year to finish Spanish, I'm fluent, but after Duolingo, I feel so much more comfortable with it, especially reading and writing. So, I'm brushing up my French right now and it is really exciting. I'll also keep listening to popular French music on Pandora, and finding ways to hustle and save money.
The best time to travel to Paris is in the Spring. So Spring 2016, Bonjour!
Ca va tres bien!
There is a Chinese proverb that says, "The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials."
I'm a quotes person. Whenever I'm going through anything, good or bad.. whenever I need just a little bit of extra motivation, I look up quotes. I could read uplifting quotes for hours if the mood strikes me. It is like a meditation, and whenever you get that one quote that just fits to your situation perfectly your heart does a little flutter.. you feel connected. Someone out there.. whether they are yet alive or not relates to your struggle. I believe human beings crave connection above all things, and when we are going through difficult times, that is when we feel most alone.
Thankfully, I don't feel that way anymore. Most of the time. If you have a moment, I would recommend now reading the About Me section of this little site to get a sense of my back story here. If not, I'll do my best not to lose you. When I first got sick, the outpouring of support from my friends, family, and theatre community was tremendous. I remember thinking, well.. this is Horrific.. I hate that I'm sick.. but at least I know there would be a lot of people at my funeral. Morbid, but it weirdly made me feel better. My being sick though, was an anomaly.. Most people including myself assumed that it would be over and done with soon enough.. couple of weeks time, and I would be back to my life soon.
My first hospital room for my first hospital stay was clothed in balloons, teddy bears, flowers, cards, and gifts. My 7th hospital room for my 7th hospital stay was desolate. This isn't to say that gifts or balloons really do anything, or that people only show their love that way. In fact, sometimes I hate receiving flowers just to watch them die. However, it was a metaphor in my tired and depressed mind for my self worth. There was a time when I looked around and saw the 1 balloon that my mom would always buy me no matter how many times I'd been admitted and think equally horrific, and revelatory thoughts.
1. The one person who will never leave my side is my mommy.
2. No one cares anymore.. When I first got sick it was interesting and now it is just sad, no one likes sad.
3. You are being ridiculous. You spend all day ignoring calls from people asking you how you are.
4. I don't matter anymore.
5. Did I ever matter?
6. Shut up, you matter.
I'll stop at 6. Because it is my favorite number. But you can see.. My thought process was highly unhelpful most of the time. And this is when I would pull out my phone.. ignore the countless messages and voice-mails, and read quotes.
"Prosperity is a great teacher; adversity is greater. Possession pampers the mind, privation trains and strengthens it."
"It is only in our darkest hours that we may discover the true strength of brilliant light within ourselves that can never, ever, be dimmed."
"Tough times never last, but tough people do."
I went through a time were my pain and struggle were something to escape from. I would dream of the future when I'd be out of this hospital bed! When I'd be back to my life! When I could put this whole horrible thing behind me. But my study of the sayings of people much wiser than myself made me realize, and truly understand. This episode in my life is not something to sleep through, to hope to be over. It could be my greatest lesson. How sad if I should squander it.
And so, while I wait for my body to match up with my plans for my life, I'll write. I'll promise to write on the good days, as well as the bad. I'll write about the things I've learned, and the things I have yet to understand. I'll try my hardest to be honest, to be real, cause otherwise what's the point?
And as wrap up my first blog entry, the first page in what I hope will be a good story, a story that means something, to someone, I'll leave you with one of my favorites:
"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to Dance in the rain."