Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Finding Who I Aren't

You have to make mistakes to find out who you aren't

As Anne Lamott writes in her article for Oprah magazine; “When I was a young writer, I was talking to an old painter one day about how he came to paint his canvases. He said that he never knew what the completed picture would look like, but he could usually see one quadrant. So he'd make a stab at capturing what he saw on the canvas of his mind, and when it turned out not to be even remotely what he'd imagined, he'd paint it over with white. And each time he figured out what the painting wasn't, he was one step closer to finding out what it was."

I am on a quest. My journey involves one destination and that destination is me.  Not the “end of the road, not final resting place, but a town or village as you will, called ME. I struggle. I struggle with wanting to be a unique individual, full of never before seen talents and quips, glamorously laughing, eyes sparkling, glasses clinking at awards ceremonies, delicate quiet moments with what I feel will be the best definition of me, a child. I want to be the best wife I can be with the best husband I can find, I want to live a life full of giving back, sharing my talents and quips, glamorously laughing, eyes sparkling, glasses clinking at awards ceremonies, delicate quiet moments with the husband and the baby which I am on track for, but for today it's about allowing.

So with all of this  desire and almost deer in the headlights panic at not being able to accomplish this all in “this incarnation” I have notice I stagnate. I settle, I don’t speak up, I am not true to myself, my needs, my wants, my hopes, fears and dreams.

I work so hard to pleasing, to be pleasing, to derive pleasure from serving others. I truly do and while I have no regrets, realize just how important having my own Safe Place To  Land is.

Since my sister’s death, which I am working at coming to terms with, I have had the pure blessing of being open to having the most wonderful people in my life. It all began when I started swimming at Aspen Hill Club.

One of my now dearest friends was up there, either kickboarding for her probable second hour of the day, teaching lessons, offering a stable safe, serious yet kind training to little kids with dreams of everything from the Olympics to being coming in first in races at the pool, to just being able to swim at their pool, their friends pools without fear of drowning

Terry invited me to come out on a Monday night and see her brother’s band for Acoustic Karaoke. (half way there!)

Acoustic Karaoke at Growler’s in Gaithersburg.. and utterly alliterative little bunch of words that deliciously dance out of one’s mouth. This little gathering helped me get back to doing something that caused me great pain to do. It was through this little 3 hour gathering that I was brought back to, and pushed forward through who I was before, during and who I am growing and changing into. My tribe. My kindreds, my firesisters, my not related family. A family that I feel we have all been divinely brought together to know, learn from and unconditionally love. A family that I love and who loves me. A family of people who also feel as  I do. Like we are not only divinely guided to be in each other’s lives, but people who we instantly feel as if we have always known.  A family that supports me as I return home, to “the business”.

I stopped performing while my sister dealt so bravely with cancer. I don’t want to go into detail here, mostly because it is still so gut wrenchingly sore that the mere thought of that time, the cellular memory causes truly a chasm of ache so deep it is still unfathomable. My sister was diagnosed amidst a bunch of things going on in my live, and it was a crossroads that I do not regret, as I definitely feel that I “turned RIGHT” instead of taking the other path.

I stopped what I was doing and before I knew it I blinked and a year had passed. 2, 5, then 6… during this time I did do approximately one musical a year, one gig. I did a corporate gig at the huge and impressive Strathmore Mansion, centered around diversity.  We did sing a song or two, but we did vignettes and short improvisational based “offerings” that either gave them an “oral itinerary of the events of the day” or were based on the “assumptions” that people have about people from another ethnic background, religion, geographic area. (do not even say race, I have an almost Vaudevillian response when someone says stuff like “ever date outside of your race” as I have most certainly not ever dated a canine or bovine or even equine. I have dated a few men that turned out to be apes and a few that were not infact beautiful stallions, but they were asses.)

I stopped feeling to a certain degree. I compartmentalized and put everything neatly where it needed to go, only dealing with certain things on an as needed and as they arouse basis. Not to get all “cancery” on you again, but when someone is dealing with the big C, one that isn’t just that pesky little skin tag, removed and forgotten, or even tumor cut, excised, sanitized and cured, but the insidiously, heinous, cruel on a Holocaustic level, that is the only way to survive.

You can't think about tomorrow. Fuck sometimes you can’t even think about 20 minutes from now. Just in the moment. So you make the moments as decadent as possible. You inhale a little deeper, you look a little longer, you gaze a little harder, trying to imprint in to you soul that moment, that feeling those smells and tastes, with the unsaid knowledge that time is truly like an hour glass filled with sand and while some peoples hour glasses might be made from the most ornate of designs theirs has intrinsically less sand that you do.

My sister and I never had those deep, Hallmark, Brian’s Song, Term’s of Endearment, Love Story moments. My sister never spoke about her death in anything other than short little sound bites, that upon reflection I am tormented with. Was she preparing us? Was she looking for the magic that would save her? I know she wanted to live. She told me two days before she died she wasn’t ready to “exit” yet.
But she did.

And so with this, I realize, first of all although I say I don’t want to talk about her/it/life, I realize that this is part of who I am  I am ingrained with change,  swaddled in deep pain and compassion. I am full of patience and anger. 

I realized that everything you do, everything you say, everything you or I are, somewhere is being “captured” by someone. Someone who desperately wants to stop time, make that moment their desktop, screenshot that feeling for their cell phones and etch that feeling in their hearts.


  1. sorry for the typos... and grammatErrors... I am new at this. I will get better.