6 seasons of Sex in the City and a hand full of job applications later . . .
It’s October and I’m in between the in between career
change. Six months late to be exact. It’s taken me some time to understand that
a full-time job with benefits does not define me. Neither should a part-time or
independent work do the same. But somehow, it still affects my emotions.
I feel undervalued to my counterparts with happy homes and babies. But before throwing in the towel and giving up on building an empire, I’m pushing some last-minute strings to make it happen. Watching Sex in the City surprisingly enough has reminded me of my independent personality and drive to do my own thing as I see fit.
Yeah it’s a fake show. But there’s some truth to it.
Like the pressure as a woman to be a certain way just
because she is X amount old. Or being in a relationship that then leads to the question
where’s the ring? And how long have you been together? Only to disappoint them
with the short not yet response so that they move on to another more hopefully
Aside from that, I’ve come to the acceptance that some dreams require more effort than others. The rest of this year will be dedicated to rebooting my physical health, re-centering my inner being and rejuvenating my partner to his fullest potential.
Because in the end, we are the only constants in our life daily.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Writing new songs.
Building more clients for T.I.
A blueprint for MMA.
Some REAL contact with humans (enough of this closed American
And a whole lot of berry shots and coffee cups in the Morning.
That’s what the Sex in the City gal in me wants to feel proud to be.
Blogs don’t write themselves. Here’s the thing, I’m not a planner. There’s a plus and minus to it. Spontaneity can be exciting, but it can also cause some unexpected hurdles. This time it fell through the cracks.
I envisioned my summer to be full of mixed martial arts
training, creative writing, freelance work and travel. Mostly training to
compete this year. I thought I was ready and couldn’t wait for it.
And then I got injured.
Not a specific injury like I initially thought. It was more like a physical body shut down in its entirety type of injury.
Timing is just the weirdest thing. Why Now?! And what does
Nothing most likely. It just means that I pushed too hard
and didn’t recover after each session the right way.
So now I’m stuck without my addiction and get to suffer for it. Pretty dramatic. But it has been the only activity that allows me to breathe and clear my mind daily. Without it, I’ve reverted to an unhappy self.
I’m indecisive and negative. There’s “cant’s” and “won’t” in my daily vocabulary again. I’m in dislike with my own presence.
Usually I run away when it gets this bad. Like a teenager who
wants attention and storms out of a room.
Sometimes I think that if I were to just have children, I would be forced to suck it up and tend to them. They would be my world and worth the sacrifice to nurture and love. Remember love? Like my boyfriend, he is love.
But wait. You need to be mentally capable and financially stable in order to raise a human being.
So, what’s left is this lingering self-hatred that just needs to evaporate already. Shut up. Stop with the why me tyranny. And perhaps you might find something worth living for. Like the universe.
The vast amount of empty space is more than just room for thought. What if it’s there to keep your mind open and clear? And the stars and galaxies are daily achievable milestones you can reach every second of every day that you decide to be okay.
Forwards or backwards. No matter what. When you realize that the minute you look up at the sky directly above you. Especially at night. You realize there is always a star directly above you. No matter how far or close it is. It shines directly onto you no matter where you stand.
Suddenly, your problems aren’t as heavy as you thought they were. You wake up to your child’s laughter and smile. Drive patiently to your meeting and drink your coffee. Stand outside your home for a minute just to take a breather. Tune your guitar, pick up the damn thing, and play. All because you can, and you will. The universe said so.
Sunday nights use to drain me the most. Knowing that I was
going to face yet another week of desk work while my heart deteriorated.
So, what’s the excuse this time? I’ve been fighting long and
hard to create the world I want to be in. This weekend was a reminder of what I
will never have control over.
Like my parents visiting on separate days because they will
never be able to be in the same room with each other.
Like the fact that I depend on training physically in order to be free of my internal emotional aches.
Like getting numb is a part of my life forever and everything that I do from here on out is just finding ways to alleviate it.
I also began to think about how artists are perceived by the
public. As if they are these selfish creatures thinking of nothing but
themselves. Complaining about everything and “feeling” too much. If you have a fucked-up
life than you’re the ideal candidate for creativity, right?
The truth? I hate being in the public eye and tried my best to stay out of it. I liked being a ghost because nothing mattered to me. I smiled every day and would invite friends out so that they could mingle. I liked seeing others happy. It made me feel like I was a part of something. My fucked-up life may have given me a tool for creativity. But it doesn’t define me as an artist. I did this because I know pain is universal. I can’t think of a single human who hasn’t suffered. It’s the musicians, the singers, the painters the graphic designers, the writers, etc.… that know how to channel an emotion and create something visual or audible for you to relate to.
At least for myself, that’s why I finally decided to pursue
this. Why box up feelings? Why pretend to smile when you’re having a shitty
day? Why do we commit our children to be educated and ready for a career but fail
to teach emotional management?
I don’t know. Maybe some of you already know this. Maybe
some of you do not agree.
At the end of each day when you’re getting ready to sleep, you take your demons with you. I can tell you from experience that letting them out throughout the day can give you a more peaceful night’s sleep.
And for now, I’ll continue to write. For peace of mind and to hold your hand and say, let’s keep going.
“Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – a condition of
persistent mental and emotional stress occurring as a result of injury or
severe psychological shock, typically involving disturbance of sleep and
constant vivid recall of the experience, with dulled responses to others and to
the outside world.”
I came home one night ready to work on some songs when it
happened. Just another episode.
The trigger caused an intense overwhelming sensation of heartbreak and fear. I started crying profusely and crawled into a ball. My thoughts ran faster than my mind could keep up with. I started listing every human being in the planet I’ve interacted with and how they’ve hurt me. I plotted how NOT to let anyone get near me again. I wanted to run away like a curious child who’s trying to explore new grounds. Except I wasn’t curious or exploring. I just needed to hide. I couldn’t stop feeling like someone was attacking me. I was in danger and helpless. That fear was penetrating through my pores and I couldn’t shrink more than I already had. A grown woman curled up into a ball alone in her apartment.
I wasn’t being attacked. No one was threatening my existence
but myself. But this happens from time to time. I’ve learned to understand it. Sometimes
it lasts for a few hours. Other days it can last up to a week. No matter how
long it lasts, I’ve learned that there will always be an end to it. I’ll
eventually find tranquility in myself and carry on.
The recovery after an episode isn’t always the same either. Sometimes
its drastic. I go to an MMA class and immediately after I’m high on adrenaline again.
I’m not afraid anymore and life continues. Other days it takes more effort to snap out of
it. I become numb afterward and have trouble expressing happiness or excitement.
I don’t feel love; for others or myself. My heart is boxed up with such a
strong wall the if Trump were to find out about it, he’d manage to steal it from
Wow – first joke I’ve made since it happened so that’s a
Blogging is therapeutic. Although not for everyone, it helps put your mind at ease when you release it onto a page. And if I haven’t said it before, I’ll say it again. Awareness is KEY. Its essential. It’s life. Its living. It transforms and helps you become the strongest version of yourself. Awareness means I am not PTSD. I am me.
I’m aware of the circumstances I’ve been dealt with. I think that if you or someone you know has similar issues, you can help in many ways. There’s this idea out there that bugs me to my core. The “good vibes only” and “surround yourself with positivity only” type of mentality. I think that’s great to an extent. If you yourself are having issues with negative surroundings, I think it is good to surround yourself with people who will enrich your light. However, I think it’s a mistake to shun those who are dealing with negativity. It means you don’t understand what that person is going through, and you rather secure your well-being than there’s. It means being selfish before lending a hand. It means contributing to an increase in suicides and violence. All because we as a society think that negative thoughts are poison and should be ignored or fought against instead of understood. For some situations, that may in fact be the case. But expressing hurt and pain almost always has nothing to do with the receiving end. There’s deeper entail in that process that people need to pay attention to. It’s all around us. In political affairs, international diplomacy, medicine and technology, warfare, education, on the streets etc… our children are growing up in that same pool of diversity.
Awareness in yourself is the first step and the “end game” is having awareness around you. Understanding what a stranger or friend might be going through and helping in any way you know how. It can be as simple as showing support for the person who lost their first soccer game. You can call a friend and express interest on how they are doing. Help a stranger in line at the supermarket instead of giving them a nasty look for holding up the line. Pull up a chair for the elderly. Stop the gossip. Don’t just hear but listen. Little acts of kindness bring us closer together, the damaged and the non. That’s all most of us want anyway. To be understood and be heard. Making a difference doesn’t have to be largescale. It’s a positive twist to the domino effect and eventually the more we know each other, the better relationships we’ll have.
After an incredible jazz fusion set, the group made its way to the bar area where I was downing Corona’s by the hour. By then, I had met a few of the regulars in prior shows and talked to Chad several times about how awesome I felt he was. This distinctive night was life-altering. I was always confident in what I was doing from a very young age. Truly it was just a mask of deception. But back then? Nah, I knew it all.
Chad knew though. He knew before I knew what I was living. Some new guys showed up and I was surrounded by regulars and irregulars. I observed they’re behavior and knew it was time for me to go. While I waited for my tab, they mumbled some garbage I could not make out. Chad turned and said, “Her? No. Back off. She’s cool, she’s not like that. She has an old soul. I can tell from her eyes.” I locked eyes intently with him and yelled, “what happened!?” he continued, “You know that right? You have an old soul. Hey listen. I’m outta here but watch out for these guys right here.” He gave me a hug and took off.
This was not the first time he stuck out his neck to make sure I was okay. But it was the first time he mentioned the soul thing. What does that even mean?
Looking back now, it’s obvious my blind confidence had me in the most dangerous situations for an under-age teenager roaming around alone as if she owned the streets. I didn’t. And Chad knew me well enough to not mistake me for the parade of groupies that followed them around all the time.
The Baked Potato has been a hideout of mine for over a decade and for good reason. They have incredible jazz music, delicious fatty food and the most intimate setting you can think of creating long lasting memories and a vibrant ambience.
One of my good friends, Mark Daniel introduced me to this place knowing how fanatic I was about the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It became a sanctuary of mine when Mark passed away and little did I know it was going to become a safe zone for artistic motivation.
And that statement? “You have an old soul”. God! That stuck with me for so long and I couldn’t understand why he thought that of me. Until now.
My reality today: I am symptomatic of PTSD, depression, anxiety, and most recently discovered, adult-child syndrome. The last two years have been dedicated to puzzling this together. As to why I am the way that I am. I went from being this friendly lone wolf rebellious know-it-all to having withdrawals, trust issues, lack of self-worth, numbness, and overall feelings of being judged all the time (plus more). It all snuck its way into my life as I got older and had no idea that I wasn’t this confident awesome cool kid. No. That old soul that Chad saw was the result of skipping my childhood and going straight to adulting by the tender age of 8.
So, if in fact, that is the case, and I have an old soul, I’m not about to call it quits and victimize myself to the public. This isn’t why I decided to share this story. It’s also not the reason why I’ve decided to share tidbits of my personal life through song and writing. I understand these topics can be taboo. I understand what privacy means to people and why many stay quiet and deal with problems on their own. I truly admire people fighting the silent battle. I also praise everyone who can talk about it with friends and family for support and communication. That has been one of the hardest things for me. To talk about it. For this old soul of mine, when I listen to it, it tells me to write about it instead. It tells me to sing about it. It tells me I can help one person or many if I allow it. It tells me my story can in fact potentially make another soul NOT feel alone.
So, thank you Chad Smith. Not just for being a look out when I needed it. But, for helping me find my voice and realizing that this old soul is worth being heard.