FOWO- Fear Of Working Out

So I’ve been in a show since November. Both were musicals which meant there were dance numbers. I was also eating fairly healthy. So I lost about 22 pounds. Now that my shows are over though, I need to find some way to continue losing the weight.

I signed up for a pass to VASA on Sunday. I haven’t gone yet.

The reason I chose VASA was for Zumba. I remember liking that a few years back and it is a fun form of cardio. But this week I’ve been painfully aware of my physical state.

See, being in a show means adrenaline. The desire to make your director and choreographer happy, to not stand out as the bad dancer in the cast, wanting the audience to clap for you… it is all gone now. Now there is just me, and I am weak.

I have bad knees. I have one weak ankle. I have asthma. I am basically 50% body fat. Stairs are hard, I walk slow, sometimes getting up from the couch is a struggle.

So, where do I start with working out? I can’t just jump into Zumba in my current state. If I push myself too hard I won’t go back to the gym for the rest of the week. So I need to find a good way to start. Slowly. Get used to working out and not performing.

This is gonna be really hard.

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Moonstone

I have a magical necklace…

Ok, not really. I have a necklace that I’ve had for years. It is a moonstone and it holds special meaning for me. I got the necklace on a trip to Delta (when my family lived in California). When we got home my cat had been hurt somehow and we had to put her down, which meant I was in charge of the baby she left behind. So, in a way I wear the necklace to remember that cat. Mitzy. She was my baby.

My mother bought me the necklace. It was in the hotel gift shop and it was between the moonstone and a giant piece of amber. I probably wouldn’t still have the amber necklace if I had chosen it. It was gaudy, especially when compared to the moonstone.

I wanted a stone because I was a little bit into magic back then. I wasn’t a full on Goth or Wiccan, but I grew up watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Charmed, so I liked the idea of magic.

A moonstone is supposed to promote healing and be a symbol of sensuality and feminine power. I had none of these. I liked to pretend that the necklace made me a difference person, but I’ve worn it since 8th grade and I still went through all the craziness of my teen years. I only gained a sense of normalcy recently and it wasn’t because of my necklace.

My nieces love the moonstone. If you stare at it, it can look white, silver, blue, or purple. They like to play with it and often ask why I always wear it. I do like looking at other necklaces, but I’d never trade in my moonstone. It is a part of me now, and the only time I take it off is when I am doing a show. And I hate that. If I ever lost it I don’t know what I’d do. I love it. It is probably the greatest object I own.

 

Pep Talk

My philosophy on life? F@*! it.

Who cares what others think? Who cares about their expectations. The only person you really have to make happy is yourself.

Yes, it is still a good idea to be polite and abide by the laws of the land, but apart from that the world is yours. The only person standing in the way of your dreams is yourself.

I used to be a brown nosing people-pleaser. I was quiet and mostly kept to myself. The interactions I had with people were not actually genuine. I was afraid to be who I really wanted because I didn’t want to be judged or lose friends.

I’ve come into myself over the past couple of years. I have my own goals and dreams and I won’t get there by holding myself back. And neither will you.

Go out and have fun.

Do something that scares you,

Set a goal and accomplish it.

You make the rules and you can break them. Live your life to the fullest and things will come your way.

Who cares what anyone else thinks? You are awesome and you can do anything.

Burden

I think some people are obligated to love me.

Family; they love you no matter what. Or so they say. I am not to pleased with some family members right now and I don’t really think I love them.

But I feel like my family feels they NEED to love me. They need to tell me or show me whenever they can in case I relapse and start thinking about killing myself again.

My brother Nik said that after my attempts he needed to be the reason I stayed alive, so we have grown closer.

I wonder, do my friends feel the same?

I am on this blog in order to be honest with myself and others, and that is a fear I have. That people are nice to me and love me so they can keep me from doing something stupid.

I don’t want pity love. I want real love. People who love me for me, flaws and all. Friends, family, romantic love, it doesn’t matter. I don’t crave the love, but it sure makes life a little brighter if it is genuine.

I know I’m weird. I know I’m complicated. But I have grown to love myself, warts and all. Can you all do the same?

Because, I love you. I may not know everything about you and you may not know everything about me, but I love you just the same. Thank you for being in my life, even if you feel obligated to.

Friends, Love and Family

Sometimes I think I am impaired in some way; emotionally and mentally.

I mean, I know that I have been changed by what happened to me as a kid, but I think that affects the relationships I have with other people.

Friendships are hard for me. I get too emotionally attached to people and I go out of my way, even if it harms me, to help my friends and to get people to like me. I’m not saying that I am not honest when I am trying to be friends with people, I am just very capable of looking over the bad things that people do. I put my friends on a pedestal and it takes a lot for me to bring them down, especially when I keep building them up. I just want people to know how special they are, how talented they are, that they are loved. Perhaps because I do not remind myself of these things.

Romantic relationships are nonexistent, possibly because of this and what happened as a kid. I get crushes on people, the same as every one else, but I do not often pursue that relationship. Why? Possibly because I don’t want to admit that the person I like isn’t perfect. I recognize that the person I crush on is different from who exactly they are. Everyone has sides, sometime sides that they do not show others. I have one secret that I refuse to divulge, which may seem surprising since I am honest about everything else on this blog. But learning peoples’ secrets takes them off of that pedestal and brings them back down to earth. It means that the expectations I put on others cannot always be met and if I do have a romantic relationship I’ll have to learn to deal with the baggage other people have on top of my own.

I think the best relationships I have are with my family. They are the people who know basically everything about you and yet are a constant in your life. At least, kind of. There is one brother I have basically disowned right now and two of them I hardly speak to. My sisters and my brother Nik are those that I am closest with, followed by my parents and my friends.

I try to be as honest as I can. This means that people may not want to be around me, but at least if they do they know what they are getting into. I’d rather not hide the fact that I was molested, that I was suicidal, that I have depression. I want to be as upfront as possible so, if some one decides to develop a relationship with me, romantic or otherwise, that they are prepared for the shit storm that is my life.

Because honesty is the best policy, right? And honesty in relationships helps them to be stronger and helps them to last. And I want that in life. More than anything.

Passions

I have had quite a few amazing weeks. First I got to see Pasek and Paul and then last week I got to see Alan Menken. I got to perform Hunchback six times last week and rehearse for Sister Act twice. I submitted a couple chapters of my book to an old professor who wants to help me flourish and work shopped a creative nonfiction piece in one of my classes. AND I have an audition coming up on Saturday.

I am insanely busy, but things are going SO well. One thing that helped me the past couple weeks was the book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love. I think I saw this book on an Instagram story of a friend and I bought it on a whim. It was FANTASTIC. I highly recommend reading it if you are creative in anyway. She talked about writing a lot, which appealed to me, but she also talked about acting and painting; really anything creative. It was eye opening and inspiring.

One point in the book that stuck with me was not forcing things to come of your creativity. Don’t put the added pressure on yourself that you have to earn a living with your art. Yes, it would be nice to support yourself doing something you love, but chances are slim that that will happen, so why stress yourself out? Working a normal job is just fine if you can still find time to work on your own stuff and then you don’t feel the added weight of needed to earn a butt load of money from your art. Yes, I want to be a successful author, but even Gilbert didn’t quit her day job until she’d published three books.

Acting. I know I am not going to earn a living there. It is nice to get paid for it some times, but I do it because I love it. I do it for the rush it gives me, the opportunity to sing my heart out on stage, and the people I get to meet and entertain. I should feel the same about writing. I want to have a best seller, but I should be writing for me. I should write because I have a story I like and I need to put on paper. Get to the root of your desires and you’ll find that you have no choice but to work towards them.

These past two creative weeks have been great for me. I feel like I am living my best life when it comes to creativity and I couldn’t be happier. Find you passion and help it thrive. You’ll thank yourself for it later.

Pasek and Paul

Benj Pasek and Justin Paul came to Utah Valley University last night and I was lucky enough to be able to attend. For those who don’t know them, they are the musical geniuses behind Dear Evan Hansen, La la Land, Dogfight, and The Greatest Showman. They came as part of a lecture series at my school and gave some words of wisdom and sang some songs.

I about died a few times. One thing that killed me was the children’s choir that sang a couple songs at the beginning and the end. The last song they sang was This is Me and I actually started crying. Not, my eyes welling up crying, but full on tears. Why? Because these kids get to grow up with messages like This is Me and You’re not Alone. I am happy for them and also jealous. I wish I had those messages when I was growing up; those messages that acknowledge and rejoice in our flaws. The messages that everyone is different but no one is better than anyone else. Such a positive way to look at life, and I am happy that I can still learn those lessons and internalize those messages, even in my old age. (29 feels old, okay?)

The men were so inspiring. Even if acting isn’t my chosen career and even if my writing doesn’t take me to where I want to go, just the act of creating something is enough. Building a character for myself to act on stage or write on the page is an amazing experience. I am lucky to be talented enough to enjoy my hobbies like acting, singing, and writing, and maybe one day I can support myself with one of those gifts. Until then I just have to keep trying. Because maybe seeing me on stage will inspire another young black girl to go for her dreams. Maybe my writing will make people think about life and themselves in a whole new light. I want to change the world…I realized that last night. And I’ve got to get to it. I may be starting a little late, but it is better than not starting at all.

The Countdown

38

51

95

Only 38 days left until Hunchback closes. It feels so short when you look at it that way. We’ve worked on this show since December and closing night draws ever nearer. 4 shows a week telling the most beautiful story. I’m trying to stay excited about every night so that I don’t fall into a routine and get too comfortable. That show deserves more.

51 days until Sister Act opens. CRAZY! We just started rehearsals last week and we have 51 days left to put it all together. It is amazing that you can put a show together in such a short amount of time. It is a lot of hard work, but so worth it to bring a message to people and bring entertainment into their lives. I’d like to lose weight before then. 20-30 pounds would be nice. Having a countdown makes it more real. I even put it on my phone.

95 days until my New York trip. I’m going with two sisters and a niece and I am so excited I cant’t stand it. I’m going to see 4 or 5 shows and just love the city again. I haven’t been back since I left my mission and I miss it. I wanted to lose weight for this as well, because it will suck to walk around New York with all the extra weight I am carrying. So I hope to lose 30 -40 pounds before then.

My life may seem like it is all about weight loss sometimes, and it is a major focus of mine. It will help me get healthy, feel better, look better, and get cast more. Most of my life is great right now, which is why I can focus on one large flaw. And I’m trying to focus on it as much as I can. I started taking kickboxing 2-3 times a week, I do a show 4 times a week, and I am trying to eat healthier. I have large goals but that is because I am a large person. I can lose a bunch of weight quickly if I try hard enough. But I do have to remind myself that it was easier to lose weight when I was 21 and I am 8 years older now and my body is different.

But for now I will look at my countdowns and try to keep my goals in mind. Here’s to looking towards the future!

Scars and Other Annoying Things

-The blood was mesmerizing. Eventually it became the sight of my own blood that I found appealing. Something on the inside that was suddenly freed. Bright red against brown skin. Light scratches and cuts, hoping the scars wouldn’t show, but cutting where it wouldn’t be noticeable. I wasn’t trying to kill myself, at least not by cutting. Slicing your wrists sounded messy and painful. I could never force myself to cut that deep. But light cuts on the arms, that was something else. Cutting close to the wrist, flirting with the idea of death.

I started cutting after read Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects. The main character cut words into her arms. It was how I started. I took a razor, in a moment of weakness and wrote HELL into my own skin. My nieces asked about it once and I lied. “The cat scratched me. Funny that it looks like hell.” The girls still say my cat can write. I may tell them the truth when they are older. So, maybe I romanticized the idea of cutting at first and then I realized how “good” it felt.

I first cut to release pressure. I had so many emotions that I couldn’t let out for fear that people would judge me or get angry. So, to let something out, I let out the blood. I also cut when I was numb. As a girl with depression, I had numb moments. The world was seen through a fog and I just wouldn’t feel anything at all. So small cuts, moments of pain, reminded me that I was human. Even if I didn’t feel like it, here was proof that I was alive.

I knew cutting was bad. No one would say otherwise. And I couldn’t have arms covered in scars without explaining myself. The next step were tattoos. Tattoos became my new obsession. They were that pain I sought, but something beautiful was left afterwards. I started with Live and Love on each forearm. The a heart and rose on my wrists. A semicolon and a quill behind each ear. A treble clef and a star in my ears. A deathly hallows on my ankle. “I create myself” on my wrist. These beautiful reminders of what I love and who I am, keep me from messing them up with my own cuts. Artful scars instead of jagged line.-

The posts I write that involve negative things get more hits that my normal day ones. I mean, I am not really complaining. It is nice to have people actually read my stuff. And I pride myself on being honest with what I have been through in my life. And I get that people like to read about bad things. It is like looking at a car crash as you drive by. You don’t want to see a dead body but you want to peak at what is going on. 

So, when my life is happy I don’t quite know what to write about. So I revisit old things like cutting, my suicide attempts, mental hospital stays, and my molestation. I mean, I don’t care about bringing them up multiple times. Even when I am living a happy life those things have some hold on me. But I am doing very well right now. 

It is my last semester of school, I got published in the lit journal last semester, but the little piece I included above didn’t get accepted this round. No biggie. 

I am in an amazing show and just started rehearsals to play Deloris again in Sister Act.

I am SLOWLY losing weight and am enjoying my new kick boxing class. 

I have the funds for my New York trip at the end of May with my sisters and one niece.  

Work is..work. I don’t suck at it though.

Family life is fine, but always a little crazy.

To be honest, I do miss my High School friends. I don’t see them often. But I am excited about the new friends I make during shows.

Overall, I am doing okay though. So I’m not sure what to write for you all. Any suggestions? Anything you have questions about or want to hear more of? I’m an open book!

Race, Growth, and Education

In my History of the English Language class we talked about the slave trade.

Being the only black girl in class, you’d think I’d be used to the stares. Quick glances from my fellow students. Teachers looking at me with some sort of pity and sometimes even asking my thoughts on it all.

I do shows where I am a slave, more often than not, and that is as close to any emotions I have on the subject. I don’t know my background. I don’t know my biological family. But I am sure I come from slaves. But history is just not interesting to me. Probably because I know that my ancestors went through hell and I don’t want to feel like I am failing them in some way.

I did one of my ‘slave shows’ and an older black woman lectured me on not knowing certain things like my history. She’d get annoyed if I didn’t do my head wrap correctly, if I didn’t put on enough lotion, and that my contacts were blue. She felt I was disrespectful of my people. I’m just being me. Does being black have to influence every part of my life?

In my creative nonfiction class I am working on some stories to submit to the school literary journals. I am completely honest, just like I am on the blog, and people are surprised that I talk about my struggles so openly. But someone has to. I wrote about my first suicide attempt and the story I am working on is my experience with cutting. These ‘stories’ may be helpful to people who have gone through or are experiencing these same things. If I can help others then why should I be shy about what I have gone through?

It sucks that I have to be defined by my race. It was a big part of my depression. I thought I was less because I was black. No one would ever love me because I was black. I remember I was in love with someone just out of high school, lets call him Ted,  and Ted told me that his brother said he’d kill himself if Ted married a black woman. That has haunted me for years. That people still think like that. They look at me with disgust and judgement before they get to know me.

So, yes, there have been moments where I wished I was white. Sitting in class while talking about slaves, watching a cop car driving behind me, meeting a guy I like or his parents, even while writing my blog or my stories. But I have come to accept who I am, I have to. It isn’t like I can change my race. So, I’ll change the things I can and love the things I can’t.