Sunday, October 30, 2011

On Weeping

I moved to Chicago with the intention of starting over. Wiping off the cliched slate and attempting to move forward instead of in circles - it's a hell of a lot harder than I originally envisioned. I naively thought the move itself would remove my past, quell my defenses, and generally make me better. And while I know I am in a better place, feeling safer than I ever have; I realize I still have to deal with this shit. Distance is not my savior. Performing again on a regular basis does not redeem my personality. Finding a new home does not make every last nightmare evaporate. But I am dealing with my life. Finally. When you leave your home, leave your family, your best friends -you are forced to sit with yourself and cope.

Admittedly, I'm not one who cries. But I've wept more since I've arrived in Chicago than I have in years. And we're talking straight up wailing, heaving on the floor style weeping. And for awhile, I thought this meant I was weak and still stagnant. But then the realization trickled over the course of technical rehearsal week and opening night at the theatre - it's not weakness, it's just living. And I have been numb for a very, very long time. I'm no longer somewhere where someone can swoop in and pick me up off the floor. I have to find the strength in my hands again, push my pale face away from the cool of the linoleum and keep going.

The fatigue of fighting to gain self-confidence and being okay with what I see in the mirror is wearing, but I am not lost anymore. I am honestly coming to grips with how incredibly lucky I have been. I am starting to see what I have instead of what was taken from me. It's looking at the possibilities that is starting to keep me sane.

So I am starting over knowing that I still have work to do. But I am finding strength in what lies ahead of me, instead of trying to garner my courage from the fight of my past. At some point it will all become moot and I will only be myself in the present. And that's all anyone needs.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Boobs and Birds

It's getting close to the opening night of Temple of Boobs. I have done many a show that I've loved. But Temple of Boobs has become a show that I am both proud of and grateful for it's personal impact. Aside from being my first Chicago gig, it has started to give me a level of confidence I wasn't expecting. I have always had a wretched sense of self-esteem and skewed vision of my capabilities. Growing up as I did, developing and surviving with multiple addictive behaviors, and hitting a mental concrete floor on numerous occasions - I became abrasive, inexcusably blunt, and ugly. My past was my excuse for my behavior - I deserved to be an asshole and I deserved to do whatever I pleased with my own body.

Now, at almost thirty years of age I am learning how to be okay. Being with Geek Girl Burlesque is the first time I've had to be okay with my body; since I get down to only the essentials while I dance. Sure, it's a physical hurdle my formerly anorexic self is proud to have surpassed. But it has really become more about letting go of the bullshit I've clung to for all these years. I don't have to be afraid to the point where I am on a constant defensive; and I have a reminder that I never have to be in a place that I can't leave.

Coming to Chicago, being in Temple of Boobs - has begun stripping me of how unattractive I have felt since I was a little girl. It's not gone by any means, but the facade is cracking somewhat. I'm encouraged by the strength of my fellow Geeks, and determined to find my place while becoming the kind of person I want to be around.

My grandfather once had a sermon about always burying dead birds. And my affinity for sparrows grew out of retaining that lesson. I don't even remember why we were supposed to bury them, I just knew that even the tiniest bird deserved that much respect. And to be a bit trite, I've always felt as if I was that small, insignificant sparrow. And I'm content with that thought because they can fly. And you can see me fly (and dance) starting October 28 at Gorilla Tango.