3 Year Anniversary with California

 

Exactly a year ago, I was in rehearsals for Cabrillo Music Theatre’s production of Annie. I was playing Grace Farrell, my first lead in California. I got to work with Norman Large and Sally Struthers. It was one of the most memorable show experiences I had had at the time and felt so blessed to be apart of it! Sally Struthers playing Miss Hannigan and me

Playing Grace Farrell led me to my first agent, Steven Dry, with Connor Ankrum & Associates. He started me out on my first run of auditions. The first one sucked. I completely screwed it up. It was my first audition where I actually knew that when I turned and exited through the door, I wanted to shoot myself and bury myself in a hole. It was stupid-dumb-bad. And to make matters worse for myself, it was the first audition I had that my agent scheduled me for. I wanted to cry.

I redeemed myself, not right away, but eventually. As the months passed, the auditions were few and far between. It was a slow season for the theater world. Equity houses were closing down without hope of reopening. Union actors were leaving the union just so they could get more work. It wasn’t looking good for California theater. It still isn’t…

Nonetheless, the shows must go on…I don’t know how, but they will.

A few months more went by and I finally signed with my first commercial agency, Brady Brannon and Rich. So I experienced my first round of commercial auditions and callbacks. Let me tell you!!! They are SOOOOO easy. You don’t have to prepare ANYTHING. Just show up and look right. Such a change compared to all my theater auditions, where you have to prepare 16-32 bars of an up-tempo and ballad, bring dance clothes, dance shoes, and whatever else they may want you to do.

I didn’t land a commercial yet, but had mostly callbacks, so I thought that wasn’t too shabby.

Around winter time, I had finally made a good group of awesome friends. I hadn’t really made any since I had moved; I got close to some, but didn’t find anyone I could trust yet. So I finally found some people I could love AND trust. At the same time, I also lost contact with my friend and ex The Terminator. The confusing relationship finally reached its end since I had moved out to California.

During this time, I had met William Shatner. I actually got to hang out with him ON SET, Bill and mebeing apart of the crew. My life was complete at that point. If I had died the next day, I wouldn’t have cared. I also got asked out by four different crew guys that same day. Overwhelmed would definitely be the word for THAT.

For a while there, I wasn’t landing any shows. I was getting callbacks, but nothing after that. It was a serious dry spell. But a part of me was grateful for it. I had time for other things in my life that I normally wouldn’t have if I were in a show. The show-life takes up MOST of your time. Eventually, I was invited to audition for The Movie Guys, a comedy webisode about movies ‘n such. I got in and was able to become SAG-eligible, something I had been thinking pretty close to impossible considering I wasn’t really doing any union related stuff until then.the movie guys

I was ecstatic that I had the ability to call up SAG and say, “I wanna sign up and pay my dues!” I couldn’t believe that doing New Media was a way in.

And then, just to mess with me, my “dark side” decided to come out and be a pain, and I started cutting again. I hadn’t sliced up my leg since I was in college, so it was a serious wake-up call when it happened again at 26 years old. I finally accepted the fact that I was born with something I had no control of. I wasn’t allowed to take any more birth control, according to the nurses, because of the severe depression I was feeling again. They took me off it, and then put me on Prozac again. I hadn’t been on it for a while, but after my bad cutting experience (taking a butter knife at work and going at it on my right leg), I decided it was best to stay on the Prozac indefinitely.

Once I accepted my “craziness,” (as I like to call it), I felt a sense of equilibrium. And, funny enough, things started making sense and being good again. I got cast in The Music Man, playing Marian Paroo, which was one of my dream roles. A friend of mine told me to Lida Roseaudition, and I got it. It really is about WHO you know. I wouldn’t have known about the audition if my friend hadn’t told me about it. Needless to say, I was thrilled when I got the part.

From there, I got another lead in a show, Abigail Adams in Cabrillo Music Theatre’s production of 1776 the Musical. I COULDN’T believe it! I wanted to play her so badly, I was beyond shocked and thrilled that I actually got cast.1776

I began a working-out life style I thought I’d never have. I started Cardio Barre with my roommate. I started running, something I used to HATE all my life, and now love it! I FINALLY achieved my Victoria’s Secret stomach goal, which I had been wanting to reach since I was 14 years old. Took living with a stunt woman with rock-hard abs to actually push me.

And on top of all this, my romance life became interesting after nearly a year of zilch. Sure, I had been meeting people like The Bartender from Bogie’s, and the crew guys from Shatner’s shoot, but no one I actually felt like spending time with.

But then came Mr. Big (MY version, not Sex and the City’s version). And then Mr. Spock. And then Blue Shirt (aka, possibly Skywalker). All of which I have very unusual relationships with. Two of them are close friends, one of them closer in a more physical way, and the third is one I’m technically dating (as in a date once a week kinda thing). ALL wonderful!!!! I’ve become sort of a Queen Bee, giving my love to all my little worker bees…although I’m really not sure what I’m doing at all. In all honesty, at this time in my life, I admit I have a serious problem with monogamous relationships. But we all go through this at one point or another, right? I panic at the idea of being tied down to just one person right now. And not one guy in my life that I’ve been with seriously has deserved my loyalty, so why try to be loyal at all? I guess I’m answering myself with this one…the one who does deserve it will be the one to marry. WELL I’m not even CLOSE to that, so game on! Time to really live out my loving side. I might as well be a futuristic hippy.

Last night was a perfect ending to my 3 year anniversary with California: a whim on the beach that only happens in your dreams. I had a found a secret entrance to a private beach in Malibu, and a small group of friends and I ventured out into the dark of the night, stripped down to our skimpies and played in the ocean, all the while, of course, wondering if Jaws was laying in wait. It was the whim of the year!

And so the adventures continue! By the way, Cali, did I ever tell you that I love you? Well, I do. Happy 3 years and may the fourth one be ever in my favor!

Flygirl

 

Flygirl

The air was cold and cutting up here, ripping past my face and through my hair, tangling knots that I would never forget. Stirring up, lifting up, until I thought I couldn’t go any farther. But I didn’t stop. It was exhilarating and addicting. Every moment was filled with fear, but I never fell. The air was pure up here, tasting like ice crystals from a fresh fall of snow, and I inhaled it slowly so as not to freeze up my lungs. My skin prickled everywhere in the thrill of the speed. I pushed ever so slightly, pushing forward, going faster. I hovered horizontal, then shot vertical, and horizontal again, pulling farther and farther from the ground. You can’t have me, I said. I’m too far from you now.

“You’ll fly someday,” she said, “but not today.”

I vaguely remember her. She had long black silk hair, sharp features, wide black eyes, and was very tall. At least it seemed that way from a child of six years. She would wake me at six in the morning sometimes. This was not easy for a six year old girl who was born a night person.

“We’ll get donuts,” she said to me as I grumbled in bed. “And then we’ll walk to school.”

That did it. That always does it for a child. Sugar. Well, why the hell not! I’ll get up. I didn’t even hear the school part. She’d brush my long golden hair with slow and gentle strokes. She was always careful with me, as if she was afraid she’d snag a knot somewhere and force a cry of pain from me. Then we’d walk to the donut shop a few blocks away from home. The donut shop was through the tall green trees and across the busy street. I was never allowed to cross the street by myself. But Gretchen was with me. It was okay this time.

She held my hand tight as we crossed, her long fingers wrapped around my tiny hand. Her fingers, long and thin. I would look up at her, her hair flowing long and black and straight. She was always so pretty, I thought.

We walked into the donut shop and ordered a box of donuts, some cake, frosted, crème-filled, bearclaws, and my favorite, glazed rope twist. We sat down on a bench near a park by my school and she handed me my glazed rope twist. I finished it in seconds. I was about to reach in for another donut—I had my eye on the chocolate frosted one—but she held me back.

“These are for everyone else,” she said. “You have to share.”

I pulled my hand back silently. I was tempted to say that nobody else eats donuts, but I couldn’t help but feel a sense of guilt. I could have eaten the entire box, and the idea of sharing was so frustrating.

I looked up at my aunt. She didn’t have a donut. She never ate, not that I saw. She sat quietly, with one arm around my shoulders, staring across the park. The park was empty, which was something I rarely saw. Normally it was filled with kids running, playing tag, with bouncing backpacks on their backs. There was nobody out this early. This’ll be my first day not late for class, I thought vaguely. My father usually took me to school. I always got up too late and we always arrived too late…or barely on time. I’d always be the last to walk in.

Not this time! I thought happily. But it would be my last time.

“You know something?” Gretchen said, breaking the silence. I almost forgot she was next to me.

“What?” I responded.

“We are very special,” she said, but she didn’t look at me. “You know why?”

I shook my head no.

“We are flyers,” she said. “You fly sometimes.”

I opened my mouth to say something, to say how did you know?, but shut my mouth. I always felt like I could fly, and that I did sometimes, but never told anyone. How did my aunt know that I could? But she said she could too.

“I’ll be flying again soon,” she continued, still staring across the empty park. “But I won’t be coming back.”

“Where are you going?” I asked curiously, looking up at her. Her face was pale, always pale and colorless.

She didn’t answer. Her black eyes glazed over and I didn’t understand.

I followed her gaze, across the thick green grass, the soft brown dirt outlining a child’s baseball field, the silver metal swings, but saw nothing out of the ordinary. My aunt continued to stare, however.

“I want to fly there too,” I said absently, if for no other reason but that I didn’t know what to say.

“No,” she said, turning to look at me finally. But her body remained still and cold. Her arm around my shoulders never felt soft, but boney and hard. “You can’t go there. Not yet.”

“How come you’re going then?” I said.

“Because it’s my turn,” she said. “I don’t belong here. Neither do you, but that’s okay. I just can’t stay anymore. You’ll understand, someday.”

“But where are you going?” I pushed. I hated never having all the answers.

“Far away,” she said. “Just for a little while.” But that last comment seemed like an after thought, as if she was saying it just for me.

A blew out a puff of air in frustration. Bad enough I couldn’t eat another donut, but now my aunt wasn’t giving me straight answers. Adults always did that. And I hated it. I crossed my arms in defiance.

She laughed and pulled me close then. “It’s okay, hunny,” she said. “You’ll fly someday. But not today.”

Later, not long after, she died. Shot herself. At least that was what I had heard. A part of me imagined she wasn’t really dead, that she had flown off like she said she would, and that the body in the coffin was just her doppelganger or something.

She flew away to the other side, wherever that may be.

At six, I decided I’d try to follow. It was windy out, so that would help lift me, I thought. The trees’ branches swayed and brushed against the roof of the house. I stood on my bed, leaning out the open window. The wind, warmed by the summer sun, gently played with my long golden curls. My blue-green eyes widened in anticipation. I stepped out the window, my bare feet gripping the rubbery black-blue shingles, and jumped.

I didn’t need a running start, like I thought I would. I hovered a few inches above the roof of my house. I felt heavy, like the ground was trying to pull me back down, but I pushed away with my hands and lifted higher. I pushed again and again until I was a good distance above my house and the trees. I averted my gaze from the ground to the sky, overcast in grey-white clouds, as was typical of Chicago. The sun glowed brightly behind them.

That’s where I was heading. The sun. I pushed hard this time with my arms and flew straight up. The air instantly cooled around me, tugging at my hair, clothes, stinging my eyes as I flew faster. I was aware that I had stopped breathing and couldn’t catch my breath as I continued farther up. I didn’t care. I didn’t need to breathe. I had the air lifting me instead. I pushed through the clouds. Cold moisture immediately layered my body, prickling my skin. The clouds slowed my progress, so I pushed even harder until I broke through the grey and into the bright gold light of the sun’s rays.

Warmth engulfed my body, drying my wet skin and hair. The air was barely a whisper up here just a few feet above the roiling clouds. I stared at the sun.

“You can’t come here,” she said. “Go back.”

“But I can fly there and fly back,” I said.

“No,” her voice echoed from somewhere all around. “It’s not your turn.”

“But I don’t belong here either!” I shouted to the sky. “I want to leave and go where you are!”

“It’s not your turn. Not today.”

“I can’t stay here! I can’t stand it! I’ll fly far, I will!” My feet brushed the tops of the clouds as I said this, briefly catching moisture on my toes. That’s when I realized I was sinking. The pull was strong on my ankles, and then it reached my knees and soon I was waist deep in the grey clouds.

“No! Don’t take it from me,” I cried helplessly, trying to push away from the deep of the clouds, flailing as I was falling through. “I want to go too, I want to go too!”

“You’ll fly someday…but not today…”

And I dropped. I fell backwards, watching the sun vanish behind the roiling grey-white clouds, watching as the puffy moisture swirled as I cut a path through its travels, watching as I broke through only to see a darkening layer of rain cloud forming above me. I reached out as if to grab a hand, but there was nothing there to grab. I continued my fall, my hair clinging and whipping my face as if it were desperately trying to reach out to the sky as well. The air was colder now, cutting through me like icicles. And then I finally landed, flat on my back, in the cushion of green grass. I laid motionless for what felt like forever.

Then a little droplet of water fell into my eye, strangely warm and soothing. I blinked it away and propped myself on my elbows. I was in the park near my school. And it was starting to rain.

But I didn’t care. My wings were gone.

The rain came hard then, soaking my gold hair to dark, sticking my clothes to my skin. And I sat there in the green-brown grass, letting the rain flood my eyes, staring up into the sky, waiting for the day when I could fly again. Someday.

Romantic Prelude

Romantic Prelude

I was at Bogie’s tonight.

This place held a special memory in my heart, considering I had met an extraordinary man there, whom I ended up falling in love with throughout the months we dated. (Yes, yes, I know it’s the place where cougars and divorced—or not-so divorced—men try to, ahem, “hook up.”) In any case, when that relationship disappeared into distant memory, I continued to Bogie’s to prove to myself I could go there without “the man” in mind, and to also prove to myself that I liked the place after all. I created Girls’ Nights and occasions to attend the casual Westlake lounge.

There was a bartender, charming and generous. He treated us girls with affection and unlimited alcoholic beverages. I liked him. Not because of the free drinks in a place where a martini would cost 14 dollars. I liked him because of the sparkle in his eyes; because of the slow, scoundrel-like smile that spread across his Italian, yet baby-face expression; because of how relaxed I could feel around him when he closed his arms around me in a warm, soft embrace and then the gentle kiss on my cheek, and the murmur he would say to me, “Please come back and I’ll buy you dinner.”

I liked him.

But I would never go there alone. The idea seemed embarrassing, even though I had in the past gone out to dinner by myself. But this was purely to see a man, FOR a man, to attract a man. Every time I imagined showing up to the bar by myself to see the handsome and charming bartender, I foresaw other beautiful girls sitting by themselves all waiting for the attention of the same young, Italian, baby-faced man. And, every time, I would convince myself that this man would never want me out of all the other beautiful options.

After all, I am a nerd. I am not the typical woman. I spend my off times either reading, writing Star Wars, or watching Star Trek episodes in order (or any science-fiction in that respect). I am an obsessive person. I discover things I like, or dislike, and obsess over them until there is nothing left to obsess about.

For approximately eight months, I have had random acquaintance with this enchanting young bartender. Sometimes at his work, sometimes at mine, and he even had the off-chance of meeting my father, spurring a BMW conversation while Dad was waiting for me to finish one of my shows. How one interacts with my parents is HUGE to me, and apparently the young bartender did reasonably well at the time, enough to be logged into my father’s memory. That’s a good bartender, Dad must’ve thought.

And as much as my crush compelled me to want him, I did not pursue. In the past, I had experienced negative results anytime I had pursued a man. They always disappeared. So I was tentative and rather discouraged to even show this young man that I was even interested in him.

Then, came the whimming itch. My whimming itch usually occurs when I feel ultimately down in life, discouraged in everything I do, and the feeling of “nothing to lose” comes to play.

I had been feeling this way for the past month, since the start of the new year. Somehow, my positive streak had dived down into negative, and I went sour. I worked non-stop and auditioned with no luck. Everything felt like crap. Then, one day at work, after months of not seeing The Bartender, or even thinking of him, he appeared. He had wrapped his arms around me and said, “Did you ever get my message? I had called your work to find you. To tell you not to come in when I had asked you to because I wouldn’t have been there. They switched my days. Did you ever get it?”

“I did,” I said, “and I texted you to say that it was okay, but I never got a response. I assumed it was the wrong number.”

And it was, just barely by a single misplaced numeral. About a month ago, I had remembered him asking me to come see him and that he would treat me dinner. Later, I had gotten the “cancel” message from work and was given the wrong number. But I had let it go, figuring this wasn’t meant to be in the first place.

And there he was again. At MY work, telling me he was sorry the shifts changed, that he’d hoped I got his message and that he wanted me to come in again THIS week.

Why would a person, as charming, vibrant, handsome and AVAILABLE as he be so persistent? I always imagined him surrounded by beautiful girls so that he would never need to persist.

And I know guys. A guy doesn’t go out of his way to find a girl without some sort of mission, however simple that mission may be.

So, when the time came, I almost didn’t go out. I knew that if I went to Bogie’s alone that I would be accosted by numerous, unrelenting old divorced (or MARRIED) men. I knew that I wouldn’t really be able to spend any time with The Bartender because he would be busy working.

Then I decided, what the hell. I’ve got to do something mysterious and exciting in my life, or else I’ll go nuts.

I dressed myself in sheer black stockings dotted with tiny hearts, a thin cream-pink shirt-dress with a black lace back, and black suede stiletto pumps. I have all these great clothes and never get the chance to wear them. So I did tonight.

When I showed up at Bogie’s around eight, the place was already full. I sat near a fire pit and waited for The Bartender to see me. He did and he smiled. He was very busy, though, as I knew he would be. Nonetheless, he was able to come over and say hello. He brought me a French martini, one of those pink vanilla flavored ones, and I ordered the Ahi Tuna Tartar. I sat by the fire pit enjoying my drink, trying to look busy on my phone, but all the while watching him work. There were three older men that night that tried to get my attention.

The first: Ken Something from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

“Are you really sitting here by yourself, alone?” he asked.

I said, “I’m actually here by invitation.” And I gestured to The Bartender.

“The Bartender?!” he exclaimed. Then he went on to say something about helping me out, or that he was looking for someone new because he and his girlfriend might be breaking up at some point, and that he’ll let The Bartender know that I like him, etc. I didn’t care what happened. The man had obviously plenty to drink. He continued to stress about how I might recognize him, which I didn’t. And not that it would have mattered anyhow. I had my eyes on The Bartender.

The second: Something Something married man. I didn’t bother to remember his name.

“Please tell me you’re not really here to watch the basketball game, right?” he said, gesturing to the game I was distracted by.

“No, you’re right. I’m actually here for The Bartender. He invited me to come out to see him tonight,” I said, as I sipped on my second drink, a smooth Pinot Noir.

“The Bartender?!” he bellowed. Then he went on to talk about himself, and how he wished he had a redhead to buy tomato soup for (I was currently nursing a tomato bisque at the time). I listened patiently, but not really paying any attention. My ears were picking up another conversation to my right from a couple deeply intrigued with each other.

It was obvious they had met that night, and the man was trying his very hardest to be agreeable, mysterious, troubled, smart, and a “good guy” all at the same time. There were a few times I couldn’t contain my laughter every time he proclaimed something only a woman would WANT to hear from a guy, proclamations undoubtedly quoted from all the other women he’d picked up in the past: “I’ve been bad before, but I truly believe in really knowing a person before sharing something as intimate as sex with them…as much as I enjoy it…I have been bad before, but I strive to be good…” The man might as well be saying, “Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit,” and the woman probably would still be interested.

Then I was brought back to my unfortunate conversation with Something Something, when suddenly The Bartender met my gaze. He looked at me as if to ask if I was okay. A gave him a smile to assure him that I could handle it and to not worry about me.

Something Something eventually left (although he had come back for a second try until realizing I wasn’t cracking).

Finally The Bartender came over to me, as the lounge began to wither to only a few.

Leaning over the bar and grasping my hands in his, he said, “This place is too dangerous for you. Next time you should bring a wingman.”

But I hadn’t wanted to bring anyone else with me. I only wanted to see him and wanted his attention only on me, not on another beautiful wingman. Besides, he had asked for ME to come, not me “and my friends.”

“I’m sorry I’ve been so busy,” he said, his voice silky and sweet, always drawing a smile from me.

“It’s okay,” I said. “I’ve been fairly amused by the people around me. Besides, I needed to come out and relax a little.”

“Let me make it up to you,” he said, still grasping my hands in his. “A real dinner where I’m not working. And we’ll do something fun.”

“That sounds great,” I said, my smile brightening. Boy, had I been waiting for him to ask, from the first day I saw him. So we swapped numbers and then, before I knew it, he was swept back up into work.

That’s when man number 3 came into play.

He was married just like man 2, but this one was much more harmless. He began asking me questions about what it was like to be an only-child, that he had a daughter he was worried about not growing up happy because she, too, was an only-child. That marriage was so hard, especially when he travelled so much. And he just wanted to know what it was like for me.

I told him I’d always been happy, and, though my parents were always away throughout my growing up years, I never questioned their love for me. That they were honest with me, which helped me to trust them as I grew older. And I was completely aware of my parents’ difficult marriage.

“I guess one of the most important keys in marriage is to always strive to be kind to one another, no matter how stressed out you are, how hurt or angry you are. It’s always easier to attack the person closest to you. So striving to show kindness regardless of the situation can very well keep a marriage safe.” I said this, although I wasn’t sure where all that came from, and watched the expression on this man’s face go from worried to an almost bewildered yet peaceful countenance.

“You are wise beyond your years,” he murmured, shaking his head, as if surprising himself that he said it at all.

“No I’m not,” I said. “It’s just something my mother taught me. I have yet to experience what marriage is like.”

“Thank you, anyway,” he said. “I feel better talking to you. I have to leave now. Have a goodnight. And thank you.”

And man number 3 left, just like that.

And I was alone at the bar. The Bartender was busying himself with closing tabs. There were two other men at the far end of the bar that tried to invite me to join them, but I firmly told them I was here WITH The Bartender.

“I’ve been using you as an excuse,” I later told him.

He smiled. “Good. Thank you so much for coming in anyway. I hope it was somewhat enjoyable.”

“It was,” I said. “Thank you for treating me. I hope we can do something outside of Bogie’s next time.”

“Me too.”

I got up to leave and he gave me a big hug and a quick kiss on the mouth. I found it interesting how relaxed and natural I felt in his arms. There didn’t seem to be any awkwardness that usually accompanies two people who barely knew each other.

When I arrived home, I received a text from The Bartender saying, “Thank you beautiful for coming in tonight! Xoxo!”

I smiled as I climbed into bed. Whether or not he ever decides to call me, it didn’t matter. It felt good to feel attractive again. It felt good that I made myself whim again. It felt good that the unknown was out there again. He had my number now. Who knows if he’ll use it. But it’s fun to know it’s out there. And never knowing what might happen is the beauty of a whim, and a possible prelude to a romance.

The Five Stages of Death

Broken Heart Emo…as my friend Sarah calls it. I call it something else, but hers sounds cooler, so I’m borrowing it. They go as follows:

1. Depression

2. Denial

3. Anger

4. Acceptance

5. Happiness

These are the things you go through after a broken heart.Aw...

I like to break down my healing process in these simple steps. As I go through each one, I get really excited when I get closer to number 5. Therefore, I have SOMETHING to look forward to, because, as we all know, there is NOTHING to look forward to when you have a broken heart.Hilarious!

I already passed through number 1, Depression. Hate that stage the most. Always feels like the hours last for days, so you try to sleep them away, hoping that, when you wake, you’ll be at stage number 5, but no luck as you realize, waking, that it’s still day 1, stage 1. And sleeping doesn’t help either because all you have are nightmares. So you’re pretty much screwed during this stage.

Then, suddenly, stage 2 appears out of nowhere. This stage usually comes in different forms depending on the situation and person. You can either deny being hurt, find a rebound, deny that you ever felt anything at all, beg the person back thinking that it can be fixed, etc. All these things are representations of the heart not fully accepting the reality of the situation. Also a pretty crappy stage. Humiliating in many respects. Thank goodness I’m not in this one anymore.

STAGE 3!!! I like this one. For some odd reason, anger is probably one of the most satisfying feelings for me. I feel exhilarated, powerful, and strong. I feel like I can take the pain I was feeling and shove it up someone’s ass. TAKE THAT, Pain! You can’t touch me! (Don’t know why I consider this odd…really isn’t. Anger is a lot of fun.) Went through this one for a while. Moved on, though.

Stage 4, Acceptance. This one is kinda sad. Poignant, really. It’s like the ending of a really good romance movie where it didn’t work out, but, like Hollywood’s style, they leave it open-ended and somehow positive. But the acceptance stage is a good sign. It means you’re almost there. Almost back to normal. Almost back to not giving a crap about anyone, or how you are as a person. Back to being the one and only YOU that has no connections or responsibilities to anyone but yourself.

And this leads me to number 5, Happiness. Where you only think of yourself, and your life, and the friends and family that are apart of it, the people you choose to be apart of it. And this makes you happy. You no longer care about what brought you down in the first place. Happiness brings Death to everything else you felt. Death to the broken heart. Death to the depression. Death to the denial. Death to anger and acceptance. So you laugh. You laugh so hard because you haven’t in so long.

I laughed so hard tonight, my head was pounding and my side was splitting. For no apparent reason, I laughed insanity. My friend Anne thought IHappy was on drugs. I exclaimed, “No! I AM the drug!” And laughed some more. Because you survived. Because you wasted. Because you mourned over something that wasn’t dead. Because you felt sad over something that wasn’t apart of your life. Because you lied to yourself. Because you believed in someone else’s lies. Because you were gullible. Because you were stupid. Because you were everything you didn’t want to be. Because you know you’re gonna go through it again.

Because you were human. And lived.

I like stage 5.

Not even a year

So, it’s been a while since I’ve written anything. Many things have occurred since my last post. I have done numerous auditions for film and theater of all kinds. I also did an audition for the character Wonder Woman for Six Flags Magic Mountain. Warner Brothers and DC Comics had to approve of my appearance for Wonder Woman. Amazingly, I got the approval on top of being considered one of the best looking Wonder Women they’ve ever seen. If only they’d do a movie…

Also, I got cast in Roger’s and Hammerstein’s musical Cinderella. My first rehearsal was today and it felt great to be apart of a musical once again. Cinderella marks the first big show I’m apart of in California. Of course, I was in the monologue show called Sex, Relationships, and Sometimes Love, where I played a seductive, sexy rapist who lost interest in her prey, but that lasted only for a little while.

I feel pretty good about my almost first year in California. Although the only thing I realized after being here for nine months is that I haven’t made any close friends. And because of that, I’ve found it very lonely. One of my closest friends came to visit me recently and I noticed just how much I missed having good, close girlfriends. I had such a good time with Marilyn and her fiancé that I couldn’t help but feel sorry for myself. For the nine months of living here, I had failed to make any good friends. In reality, the closest friend I made was the Terminator, the man I had been seeing for, ironically, nine months, but since he decided to “terminate” the relationship, I found myself back at the beginning.

So, if that’s the case, I’ve always been good with beginnings. I think the one thing to learn from this is to make good friends first before anything else, otherwise you end up alone.

I’ve Had a Revelation…

…Just recently. While I was talking with my girlfriend Rachel on the phone earlier today, we got on the topic of suicidal thoughts.

...a blast of a second.

NOW DON’T FREAK OUT JUST YET!

She and I confide in each other our deepest dark sides, one of them being our crazy, spur-of-the-moment, suicidal thought-flashes. I call them thought-flashes because…that’s exactly what they are. Flashes shooting from one of end of the brain to the other in the blast of a second.

“Sometimes, while I’m driving,” I say to Rachel, this being nearly a year ago, “and maybe while I’m on a ramp, I have these sudden urges to drive my car off the edge and end it all.”

“Me too!” Rachel exclaims, probably relieved that she wasn’t the only one who had crazy flash-thoughts like that.

Earlier today, we reminisced on these thoughts, and then it occurred to me! I hadn’t had one of those flash-thoughts (at least in the suicidal sense) NOT ONCE since my move to California.

I used to have them consistently throughout my life…and if I am truly honest and look back from when it first started, these dark thoughts arose when I was only a kid in third grade…and had just moved to Arizona with my parents.

Now, granted I was a generally happy kid, with the occasional meltdowns here and there. But there’s nothing really RIGHT about suicidal thoughts. I can’t tell you what inspired them in the first place, but I can tell you they’ve finally disappeared. And that makes me very happy. I now cringe when remembering how I once thought like that, almost feeling like it was a whole ‘nother dimension.

Obviously I couldn’t be happier now that those thoughts have gone. For some people, it takes a person. For others, it takes a place. For me, it’s the place. 🙂

2010: The Sequel! And…what should be my new Resolution?

Of course, I’m referring to the 80s film 2010 which precedes 2001: A Space Odyssey. Neither of these films actually foretold the future of the Millennium very well. We have not built a base on the Moon and have not found the answer to the beginning of intelligence on Earth.

However, once 2010 hits, a simple revelation will be made…sort of. Of course, I’m referring to myself. What else are blogs for but to write personal accounts, heavy opinions on topics that reside within my own brain, untouched and stubborn to the outside thoughts of others, but mildly interested and appreciative of those thoughts.

2010 is coming and so a whole new year will unfold. It was only a year ago when I was making my slow-crawling ascent from the depths of despair which I had somehow allowed myself to tumble down into. My New Year’s Resolution then was to go “whimming,” to start a whole new look at life, to find happiness when happiness seemed so foreign and far, to embark on adventures, to laugh and play, to DATE like no other had dated before! Allowing myself to be open in case lightning struck me hard, waking me from a dreamlike reality I had been escaping to.

I found it: the path to Happy Ville. I found the ability to not need too much, to use logic rather than emotion ( in simpler terms, I have found a way to become more Vulcan), to be more confident in my beliefs about life, to not be knocked down, and so on.

At the beginning of 2009, I was barely surviving my own destruction, deciding on writing being the only way out. I made the bestest (YES, bestEST) of friends I could ever think of having and had the pleasure of creating memories I will never forget.

In 2009, I discovered the life of dating many different types of guys, while finally slowing down with The Terminator, whom I also refer to as my manfriend.

In 2009, I finally found a home: California. I never thought I would feel so comfortable here as fast as I did. I still revel in the fact that people here actually pronounce my name correctly right off the bat, rather than always screwing it up as they did in Arizona. I always think that’s a sign I belong…

However, not everything is all peaches and cream. My grandfather, Papa, is dying, mentally and physically. Once the smartest man I knew, is now the weakest man I know. I thought it would frighten me that he couldn’t remember me or mom, but it hasn’t. I had come to accept this, along with the rest of my family. He may not last another year, and even if he did physically, he will have no memory left. He brought me up as a child, but he will not witness me become a wife, a mother, a successful person…It is weird to think about.

Nonetheless, I actually did conquer my previous New Year’s resolution. I found the motivation to keep up a consistent blog, I finally graduated college, I got the hell out of Arizona and didn’t get stuck in a place I never wanted to be, I found a drama-free living situation with roommates who are kind yet distant, I am interning in two places at once, both being apart of the entertainment industry, I have already done three different Red Carpet events, met Patrick Kilpatrick, and have developed friendships with wonderfully interesting and fun people.

Most importantly, I found where I belong. I found my Happy Place. I guess finding happiness is easier than losing weight…? At least it is for me—I like food too much.

Next New Year’s Res.? I am FINALLY READY to find Love!…Although, considering this is much harder to achieve than even losing weight, I might change it to Being Able To Quit BJ’s. Or maybe they shall both be my New Year’s Res.? What do you think? Which one should be my Resolution? Love or Quitting BJ’s? You tell me.

I hope all of you had your wishes come true this year. And even if they didn’t, or you feel disappointed in some part of your life, just remember, tomorrow is another day! (thank you, scarlet o’hara).

“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times”

It’s funny when you consider how these two things can occur at the same time. For instance, when I look back at the past few months, I can honestly say these were the best months of my life. Yet, they were also the worst months.

I went through an agonizing breakup, the kind you wished to create a self-induced amnesia because the memories were too unbearable to face. Because of this terminated relationship of two years, my mental state also seemed to deteriorate. My sanity was being held by a thin string over a cavern of despair. I forced myself to hide away the memories and try to rebuild new ones, but found I could only hide for so long before I was wallowing in emotional turmoil again.

Of course, I have an explanation for all this. I am too stubborn to admit that I was severely emotional without a really good excuse. Am I alone? I don’t think so…

I blame the birth control! The Depo-Provera, that evil shot that helped me stay un-pregnant (thank the stars), but took away all rationality and boosted my hormones to an unstable level. It was like my identity split in two; the logical side of me was watching from far away, screaming at the top of my lungs to get the attention of the crazy side of me, to say wake up and breathe! After a few weeks of enduring the breakup, the Depo was exiting my system. I didn’t have a period at the time, so with no more birth control, my system was attempting to regulate itself. I already knew I had severe PMS, more like PMDD, so imagine having a period come and go several times a month without any warning, making me go through PMDD more than a human brain can take. On top of that, I was dealing with the average emotional despair of a breakup. Only it wasn’t so average for me.

Considering I had to deal with being around the X and his new girlfriend more than I liked, I was failing miserably on the healing end of life. Which pissed the more logical side of me off because I hated looking like a pathetic loser.

I took upon heavy drinking as a way to ignore my loser pain. I thought that maybe if I burned away a certain amount of brain cells, I could burn away the history. Except that one night, while in a drunken stupor and home alone, my depressed subconscious decided to take all the pain I was running from and throw it right back in my face—like taking a butcher knife to my leg and arm. Unfortunately, I cried myself to sleep on the floor during the process and my crime was caught later by my roommates. This resulted in an ambulance trip to the hospital, even though the gashes weren’t deep enough to be considered fatal. I was humiliated and even more depressed because of my humiliation.

When my parents came to see me, I was horrified. I knew exactly what I looked like: sickly pale, unresponsive, cut up, laying in a cold, white hospital room, dying on the inside. I looked just like my dad’s little sister. She had killed herself.

So if that thought wasn’t enough to scare me out of my depression, I don’t know what could have. I went through weekly counseling and monthly psychiatry. I was put on Zoloft for the time being and waited until my period was finally able to regulate itself, my hormones leveling out, and my PMDD becoming more discernable.

I can laugh about it now, but I’ll never forgive the ambulance and hospital bills. I’m now on Prozac for only the week before my period, which counteracts the super bad moods. I made a list of all the reasons for my depression, if only to give myself some sort of reasonable excuse:

  • First breakup with first love (you know how they always say the first one is the hardest, well I believe whoever said that)
  • Birth control screwing up system
  • PMDD
  • Having to be around X and girlfriend without sufficient healing time
  • Already genetically infected (the Rowader women have issues)

Despite all of this!!!!…it was the BEST six months of my life (so far). During my depression, I developed a friendship with probably one of the most amazing persons in my life, Mat Solace. He was the light in my darkness. Along with him, my friendships with Rachel and Anthony became stronger because they watched me for three years go up and down on the happiness/sadness scale. Somehow, all four of us became connected at the hip. We embarked on exciting adventures and trips that wouldn’t have happened if I had never let go of my boyfriend. And I am ALL ABOUT adventures!

People say that there is always something good one can take away from a breakup. For me, it is the friendships and adventures. Those memories have replaced the bad ones. I promised myself, after the breakup, that I wouldn’t look for a rebound to repel the loneliness. But I guess you can say that I did find a rebound, and they were Rachel, Anthony, and Mat. Best rebounds ever! Best memories ever… Best times ever…

Movin’ up, Movin’ over!

I’ve been finding a lot of things funny as of late. Maybe it’s because I’ve been sitting up in my parents’ house, which resides in the middle of a mountain valley in a quiet little town called Cherry—if you could really call it a “town”—mostly alone and my friends hours away. It’s a peaceful place, my parents’ home, but leaves a lot to random, secluded thoughts.

Which is great! …for a writer like myself. Of course, it’s getting the motivation bug to really get things kicking into gear…

Like I said: been thinking a lot of funny things lately. Not “funny” as in humorous, or laugh-out-loudish, but more like “funny” as in cocking one’s head to the side in curious pondering, or rather “interesting.” I’ve had about a billion different ideas and epiphanies clogging my brain recently and I haven’t been able to figure out which thought to jot down first.

So this time I’d decided to just sit and let my fingers have at it…the keyboard, that is…for some reason I feel the need to justify my previous statement. Probably something to do with the fact that my brain tends to wander in the gutter, a trait I picked up from Mat and Anthony.

Again, I’m allowing myself to get sidetracked, which is something I’m working on…

My first main and most prominent annoying thought is the simple fact about change. I keep looking back into the past and finding the whole thing fascinating! To sum things up bluntly, I have finished my college years and have now moved on to the next stage of my life…my career. Ugh.

It took about five years before graduation, but within those five years, an enormous amount of history went down. I look back on my high school years and remember only small changes, insignificant incidents that rarely occurred. But my college years! Phew…Each year by itself is a full story all on its own.

I am not entirely certain if many others feel the same way about this, but I do know that a small sum of those I’ve spoken with agree that the typical four college years can amount to a lot of huge changes and major incidents.

It’s fascinating, actually. I look back at my high school years fondly, but remember that not much really happened at all. However, when I will look back at my college years, I am overwhelmed with the amount of changes and occurrences I experienced.

To start off with, my first semester (2005) in college had me living in a studio all by myself and was unsuccessful in making any real friends. To put it plainly, nothing happened. The next two semesters (05-06) had me living with three boys, two of which I had been friends with in high school. This was also the year that I met Steve, my first experience in actually attracting a male human being. I call him my situation, but I also learned a lot from him—physically and emotionally—and I suppose you could say it prepped me for the big whopper of a relationship I was to trip and fall into soon after.

Next couple of years (06-08), I experienced Chris, my first boyfriend and serious relationship ever (we were known as the Chris & Chris duo for a few years). On top of that, I finally made a close girl friend, Rachel, moved in with her and another girl, Marilyn, whom I would live with for the next three years, and joined an adorable little boy group named the LOL Krew. When I’d met the group of boys, they reminded me so much of my high school days. At first, they were annoying, but I later grew to love them dearly. Throughout this year, I enjoyed close friendships and a fun little adventure to Virginia to meet my boyfriend’s family. I also lost my virginity, found out what it was like to really be in love with someone, and then experienced my first-ever “breakup and get back together” sitch.

Finally, this last year (08-09), I went back to being single after a rough two and a half years of pretending to be a girlfriend, and started saying “yes” to any man who asked me out. Which, shockingly, happened a lot. I began to feel as special as my mom was when she was my age. She dated hordes of men, and never committed to anyone unless she was engaged to him. I don’t know how she did it, but I admire her nonetheless. She happened to land her dream-man at the age of 25. Of course, I’m only a year away from 25 now and I already know I have a lot more road to cover before I settle down. That’s for sure!

Also, in just a few months, I underwent the “getting drunk and fooling around” experience, the “getting high” experience, the “depression and cutting with knives” experience, the “riding in an ambulance for the first time” experience, the counseling, the psychiatry, the Zoloft, the “sleeping with my best friend” experience, etc., etc., etc. And not all in that order, either. I suppose you could say I’ve well-rounded myself without quite endangering my life.

And that ends my college years. It was a hell of a time.

Looking back at it now, I already know the last year, despite it having the most drama, was the best year of them all. For that was the year I made the closest of friends, closer than I could have imagined. And it was also filled with the most adventures: a midnight trip to San Diego, Las Vegas birthday, Malibu vacation and Disneyland, creating a band called N’Xanna D for a night, karaoking every Tuesday night—which also inspired those who never thought they would sing in front of an audience to actually join in—shooting up zombies till dawn, and always many nights of drinking and fun. There was never a day wasted in the year of 2009.

But now, as I have already moved out of my apartment with the girls I’ve lived with for over two years, I’m back to where I started. I sit at my desk in the room I had when I was 18, but this time I am preparing for a bigger move…to California where I will begin my career as an actor and a writer (hopefully with IGN!!!). This is the biggest move I have ever made (mind you, I moved straight to Manhattan after I graduated high school—came back later) because this is the move where all my connections and ties to Arizona will actually be severed. I have already acquired a new California phone number, letting go of the number I’ve had since I was 15, and I am closing out my bank account I’ve had since I was 13. I am also taking with me every belonging I’ve ever owned that has been stored in my parents’ house for years.

These things may not seem so fundamental to the average mover, but when you’ve been waiting your whole life for a big change, but the opportunity was never there, or something had always been holding you back, things like changing phone numbers and bank accounts are big deals. I’m gonna have to memorize a new account number and I liked that number!

It’s a great feeling to be able to have the freedom to move on and move away, especially when there had been so many disappointing memories in the place I had been living in. So I’m moving on up and moving over to start a whole ‘nother chapter in my life, to fill in the blanks, and cover up the damages; where the people will be new and see you the same; where there isn’t a good or bad connection with anyone, but you know it has the chance to be good. And you will never let go of the good ones you left behind.

Memoirs of a Wonder Woman

What is life? The term is so vague to me. Nobody understands it, though some claim they know how to explain it. Some claim they know what it feels like. Some claim they know the meaning it contains. Bull shit. That’s right, I said it. It’s a load of crock. Nobody knows anything, but they like to think they do. All my life I’ve been trying to figure out what life is about, but no one can give me a straight and consistent answer. I’m no philosopher, scientist, professor, what have you. All I do is work for the government in a lab, testing ground samples of the planet. Will somebody tell me what all of this is for? What it’s worth? What it means? No? I didn’t think so.

Journal 1

I am dead. But not really. Technically, I’m a living, breathing, swallowing, blinking, eating human being. And yet, I am dead…inside. I have made the ultimate decision, and that is to stop. I’m stopping everything and everything that was ever something. I have stopped walking…because there is no where else to go. And where I want to go, I can’t. It’s not possible. As if anything is anyhow. Thirty-two years and I’m giving up. Thirty-two years is far too long. God!—am I really this old? Can it really come down to this?—this feeling inside?—this hollowness gaping inside my stomach eating me alive. Ha! I sure know how to be dramatic. But I don’t know one thing about what it is to be anything that has anything to do with living the same damn thing every waking moment. Maybe I should clarify, Journal, so that you can better understand what the hell I’m talking about.

The sun was shining in my humble town Littleton, the day I was born. At least, according to my mother. I grew up in this town, along with my five older brothers, and no dad. Grew and stayed. My mother didn’t believe in moving, which I suppose was fine because I did have a sort of emotional connection to this place. I suppose you could call it beautiful, but it was more than that. It was this tingly, warming, calming sensation—how do you explain the feeling of home without thinking of a rectangular building with pointed tops? It was home, a place of belonging and acceptance, but not because of the people who resided there. It was the air, the smell of the air and when it moved about you, it seemed to give you permission to breathe, and when you breathed, you felt what it meant to be what it was you were.

Does that make any sense? I’m still figuring it out.

This was when I was a child, the simpler times. I never cared about anything that needed reasons and explanations. Like my mother and father. Why they divorced—it didn’t matter. It happened and that was all that needed to be known. Why my brothers smoked behind the garage after dinner, hiding it from my mother, and always blaming the smell on their jackets on the next-door neighbors. Why my mother never cried at the movies or at the news of a friend who had died recently. Why we never had a television set in our house. Why I had my own room and my brothers had to share. None of it really mattered.

My brothers and I used to play games around the house while Mother was off at work. My favorite was Wolf. My oldest brother would play the wolfman while the rest of us had to hide either in the backyard, inside the house, or on top of the roof—if you could get to it. I was too small to climb the roof by myself, but, if I was lucky, one of my brothers would pull me up on the ledge so that I could have access to the rest of the house’s roof. The two of us would hide by the triangular corner of my mother’s window. It was always night when playing this game. We remained on our knees, always ready to escape, and kept our eyes focused on the dark green of our backyard. I didn’t breathe. We had to be as quiet as the night—there was no breeze at this time, so that the oak trees never rustled, the leaves on the ground slept, and cars remained in their little garages. The only thing you could hear was the slight hum of the lightning bugs floating around the ground, their tails blinking on and off a golden glow. For a moment, the silence would be broken. Inside the house we would hear one of our brothers scream and a sudden rush of muffled movement probably inside Mother’s bedroom. Then nothing for about a minute. This is when my brother and I would watch the ground intensely. Emerging from the back of the house would be two figures: the wolf and the youngest brother—he always hid inside Mother’s closet. The wolf dragged my brother into the little garden at the corner of the yard and locked him inside the fence. The wolf would find all of us before making us his dinner. We kept our eyes on him, watching his slow movements, hoping that he wouldn’t spot us with his glowing eyes and special wolf night-vision. Making one last glance at his capture, he slinked back towards the house’s door. I watched my brother inside the garden intensely. He paced back and forth then looked up at us suddenly. He waved and we waved back, signaling him to stop, in hopes that he hadn’t given our hiding place away. We could attempt to rescue him. But the situation was extremely dangerous. There were, of course, two other brothers left. If we could all band together, we could corner the wolf and win. But that was always difficult to do, seeing as we had to find each other first, and that could lead the wolf to us. We couldn’t capture the wolf without all of us together.

My brother, however, decided it might have been a safe time to try to rescue the youngest one. He signaled me to stay quiet and stay put. I nodded and watched him slide around the corner and make his way to the slanted ledge leading to the ground. I peered around the window’s corner and watched the darkness make his figure become distorted. My heart began to race. This was the most exciting part: trying to save the captured and run to another hiding place before the wolf saw you. My brother crouched onto his bottom and scooted down the ledge until he was able to safely jump onto the grass. He stayed crouched for a moment, looking around carefully before making his way through the lightning bugs and towards the garden. Suddenly I heard a snap, quiet but definitely audible amongst the silence. It was on the roof! I froze, my heart stopped, and my breath moved so slowly I could barely feel it escape into my open mouth. I forced myself to peer around the window’s ledge once more, hoping that it wasn’t was what I thought it was. The darkness made it hard to see and the jagged corners distorted everything. But there he was. I could see him moving, ever so slightly, towards my hiding place. His hands, curling into claws, scraped the black tile. His arms were bulky and hung in front of his chest and to his sides as though they were too heavy to carry. His face was doused in shadow. The wolf continued skulking across the roof, right in my direction! I wasn’t sure if he saw me at all, but I was sure that he might be trying to scare me out of hiding. Down in the garden, my brother was able to rescue the other and noticed that I was trapped. The two of them started making noise, waving their arms up and down. The wolf turned his head to look and seemed to turn to attack them, but then slowly turned back to me. His steps became faster and this time I was sure he had seen me. I decided that it would do me no good to stay here. Jumping up, I made my way around the corner of the protruding window and ran to the opposite side of the roof. This might have made my brother’s nervous, seeing I was only six years old and if our mother found out, we would be in a whole lot of trouble. But the situation was dire and I had to escape. I had never gotten caught by the wolf and this wasn’t going to be the first.

The wolf moved quickly, paralleling my movements, as if he was taunting me to move towards the only exit. I took off my shoes and threw them down into the backyard. My bare feet could grab the tile easier, especially if I was planning to run. The wolf paused for a moment, not understanding the move I had just made. That was my queue. I ran down the front side of the triangular roof, hoping no one was outside to notice a little girl running around on the top of a house. I could hear the wolf move towards my previous hiding place, so I knew that I would be able to circle around behind him. A couple shingles shifted underneath my feet, but my balance remained stable. I was small and barefoot, this was a piece of cake for me. This time I could hear my brothers in the backyard call out my name, some sort of warning. All four of them were now banded together and if I could get to the roof’s ledge on the other side in time, we could capture the beast. I was determined. I made my way across the uneven tile, crawling over the other triangular window ledges. The wolf was right behind me now, though he was much more clumsy at crossing the roof. I was able to make it to the back side of the roof again, dodging around a chimney, but the wolf was closing in and blocking my only way to the exit. I decided to make an executive decision. I quickly made my way to the very edge of the lowest part of the roof, got down on my bottom and prepared to jump. I remember hearing my brothers calling out to me, telling me no. I even think I heard the wolf say something along those lines, but that’s only because he wanted to capture me and eat me. It didn’t matter. I had made my decision because this was the only way to win. I jumped. The grass cushioned my landing, the lightning bugs zooming out of the way. I rolled a little to alleviate the painful jolt running through my joints and up my back. Then I noticed the wolf crawling down the roof’s ledge. My brothers had surrounded me at this time, asking too many questions and were too distracted by my courageous jump than to recognize the opportunity we had in winning the game. I pushed them off and pointed at the wolf jumping to the ground and running towards us. “Get him!” I cried, and thankfully one of my brothers from inside the house had brought a sheet with him. The wolf jumped towards us, but we threw the sheet above him, engulfing his body. He thrashed inside, but it did him no good. We successfully tied the sheet in a knot and had him trapped. The wolf could no longer attack us again. We had won the game.

Of course, the wolf turned back into my older brother again and so we had to let him out. We would play this game almost ever night my mother was gone until one of my brothers injured himself, breaking his leg and cracking his skull from falling off the roof. He didn’t run barefoot like I did, and his foot slipped on one of the loose tiles, falling backward onto the driveway’s pavement. Since then, we were never allowed on the roof at all. Not even during Fourth of July when the fireworks would go off in the neighborhood’s park a couple of blocks away and we could see them perfectly from the top of our house. When I got older, I would sneak up there in the middle of the night when everyone was asleep and lay there thinking and dreaming. I would write little stories in my head, sometimes acting them out loud. All I wanted was to live in my imagination. Growing up was a disappointment. I promised myself when I was thirteen years old that I would never lose my imagination like grown-ups did. My imagination was all I had. It was the only thing that kept me inspired. Kept me going. Kept reality far from me.

I wish I was able to keep that promise to myself. I wish I could live in my imagination and not in this miserable existence people call life. It’s not what I want. I don’t think it’s something I can continue doing. I’m thirty-two years old and my imagination has been run off by worries and responsibilities, disappointments and destroyed dreams. If only I could stop everything.

Journal 2

“You have a way with words,” the man said. If I were to describe to you my dream man, this would be him. This man, sitting across from me in the tiny diner called Mom’s Pizza and Pies in the small town called Littleton, had chocolate-brown hair, silky and straight, hanging just below his eyebrows and swept to the side. He had these amazing sapphire-blue eyes that seemed to penetrate into my soul every moment my eyes met his. His nose was straight, his skin slightly tanned, rose-bud lips, and a smile filled with perfectly straight, white teeth. One might think he was a manmade human, genetically forced into perfection. His hands also caught my attention. Hands are very important to me. They were a man’s hands, worked, strong and browned with the very slightest of blue veins pulsing from the skin. Those kinds of hands I could only dream to touch me. This was the man of my dreams. I never thought that these things happened in “real-life.” Real-life—whatever that means. But there he was, sneaking a peak at my free-writing, and talking to me about the weather and small-town news.

You have away with words, he had said. And all I want to say is, “Not really.” The only way I have with words is the screwing-them-up way, swapping the order of them in a sentence, speaking in the way as though I can’t speak my own language. My excuse is that my brain is too fast for my mouth. My fingers, on the other hand, can keep up. That’s why I feel more compelled to write. It seems the only way I can really express my thoughts. I’m assuming many writers can empathize. But I am not a writer, though in some other life I might have been. I’m an engineer who works in a lab testing dirt samples for the government. Interesting, isn’t it? And yet this blue-eyed man, sitting across from me at this boring diner, points out the one talent I wish I had, which was the ability to be fluent with words—and to end the corrections I always received from everybody else—and this man says I have a way with words.

It was probably the most wonderful compliment I had ever received in my life. That’s not to say that I believed him, of course. But it was nice to think that he thought it was true. That someone could understand me. We met on many other occasions, Mr. Blue-eyes and I. That wasn’t his real name, but it was the name I had secretly given him. Some days we’d meet at the park and read together. Other times, we would talk from midday to sunset. Watching the sunset with him was something that I can only describe in one word as…filled. Filled with and of everything. Sitting on the grassy hill with my dream-man, watching the sun set into the horizon, red cascading across the sky, filling the white clouds with red-gold hues, the trees in the distance hiding the burning sun as it fell down, darkness creeping forward from behind, until all of the red-gold spikes of color dissolved behind the trees, returned to the sun and left the sky in darkness. For a moment of a second, there was darkness. Then the stars blinked into existence, lighting up the night sky like little fireflies. Like little lightning bugs.

And there I am, experiencing this filled with everything moment with Mr. Blue-eyes. The one person who understood me. For the first time ever, someone understood me. He wasn’t someone who thought I could be fixed, corrected, altered. I hated that. I hated that people thought they had the right to do that. I figure it’s in their nature to tell someone when they’re wrong. Any chance to display their superiority to one another, and they jump at the opportunity. But not him. Not this man, Mr. Blue-eyes.

He was the man I was to marry. The love I felt for him was overwhelming. I never thought a feeling like that could or would exist, just like I never thought he could exist. Every day felt like a dream, being married to Mr. Blue-eyes. I was twenty-six when I married. My mother adored him, my brothers respected him, and my brothers’ wives appreciated him. I lived my life with this man of wonder, and everything was filled with happiness. For a while.

I cannot explain very well what happened next. This is where things got a little muddied. Or maybe a lot…muddied. Nothing changed. My life as an engineer working in a lab testing the same dirt samples every day; the same, if not slightly different, results each time; waking every morning with the same sun rising in the distance; the same sex every day—there’s only so much you can do; the same holidays; the same weather changing in the same pattern—summer, fall, winter, spring, summer; breathing the same air in the same town on the same planet filled with the same contempt, suffering, unhappiness, war, monotony. It was all the same and no meaning. No meaning and all the same. Same meaning. Meaning nothing.

I loved my husband, my mother, my brothers. But these feelings, very real feelings that I cannot describe, changed something inside me. Killing me. Rotting me. I could feel so much all at once and not feel anything at all. Unanswered questions would consume my mind, questions that I never thought mattered. Life was what it was. And one must continue to be apart of it because that’s what makes people happy. Right? I couldn’t accept it anymore. I couldn’t accept anything anymore.

Soon I began to think I didn’t deserve anything. I didn’t deserve this wonderful man who had become apart of my life. I didn’t deserve the loving mother who had worked hard in bringing me and my brothers up. I didn’t deserve the carefully protective brothers and their patient wives. I didn’t deserve to be apart of anything. The thoughts that ran through my mind were like rampant flames burning every other passionate, hopeful, dreamy thought that used to reside there. Every negative emotion that ever existed in the world came into me and burned a hole so wide and so black that I became a vat of barrenness.

It happened that fast. Like lightening tearing the innocent sky on a stormy evening. At first, I tried to come to terms with it, fight it off, find the logic in it all. I tried to find the happiness that used to live inside my thoughts. I tried to recall what it was like to feel something like happiness. Tried to remember. So hard to remember these days.

My husband tried to save me, tried to be the hero people always yearn to be at times like these. But, you see, there is nothing to save, nothing to rescue. It’s already gone. I tried to help him understand this, but he couldn’t or wouldn’t. He was a stubborn man. And I hurt him. It was the only thing I could do, to wake him up, to open his eyes and see what needed to be seen.

“I can’t do this anymore,” he once said. And that was fine. He was honest, and maybe there was a chance that he finally got it.

“Then don’t. Don’t stay around with me. Leave me, if that’s all you can do,” I had said.

Nope, he didn’t get it.

“What is wrong with you!” he shouted. He never raised his voice to me. “What happened to the woman I married? The one I fell in love with? What are you doing to yourself?” He was referring to the raw cuts on my forearms. I had started cutting myself, if only to see what it was like. The feeling of not feeling was killing me. I wanted to test myself by using a knife on my skin to see if then I could feel something. Nothing.

“You can’t understand anything, can you,” I said. “You never understood me anyway. Why try now?” I wasn’t meaning to be hateful.

The sparkle in his eyes was gone. I was killing him along with me, and I couldn’t allow that to happen. His blue eyes that were once vibrant with life and joy had now faded to a grey. I couldn’t let him die. I had to let him go.

“You’re right,” he said, the tone in his voice sounding of resignation. He always sounded like this after these arguments, but it never meant he was quitting the fight. “I don’t know you anymore. You’ve gone to a place where I can’t reach you.” Then, as if a rush of a one-last-chance emotion punched his chest, “Come back! Please, my love, I only want you. I can’t live without you. We can fix this, we can fight what ever this is together!”

I didn’t answer. I hadn’t gotten through to him, and there was no point in continuing this argument.

He stood by the doorway of the kitchen and stared at me with those grey-blue eyes. Staring at me…something I hated. I couldn’t look back at him, couldn’t look into those dying eyes that reflected his crushed heart. He needed to go away.

“I love you,” he said, and it might have been the last thing I heard him say. I don’t remember.

I continued to look out the window, the sun dying below the horizon.

“Why?” I asked. But he was already gone, leaving the doorway empty and cold…like me. Only maybe there was a trace of warmth left from where he was standing, but it soon disappeared with the air.

Soon after, we divorced.

Journal 3

I saw my mother cry for the first time. She never told me why, but it was quite obvious she was hiding it. Her eyes and nose were swollen red, cheeks damp, and she quivered when seeing me. All the same, she pretended to be composed in front of my brothers and their wives. My brothers had lost their sense of humor, and the wives gossiped behind my back. I knew they meant no harm, that their love for me hadn’t faded, but I knew they were talking about the way I looked. I had stopped eating and so my body had become skeletal. I also continued my “cutting habit”, bringing it down to about once a week. All for the sake of exploration, really. Exploring the human body and its limits. Venturing into the unknown. A load of bull, isn’t it? I do it because I want to feel—testing to see if I still can. Eating is a necessity for those who are living, you see. I am already dead. Why waste the food? It should be given to someone who needs it, deserves it, worked for it. I’ve done none of these. And no one can convince me otherwise.

I once had a very memorable conversation with my oldest brother’s wife. She was beautiful. Something to envy with red-gold hair and bright, crystal blue eyes. My other brothers called her the pretty princess that didn’t belong in our rebellious family. I liked her, though. She was kind and smart and proper. All these perfect little attributes one could admire. One day, after my third brother’s wedding, she was telling me about her job in a hospital, taking care of the mentally ill. Ironic, and I say this with a smile.

She couldn’t understand why these people felt the way the felt, how lost they were, and how hopeless life seemed for them.

“I don’t get it. How can anyone feel so selfish to think that they are unloved and take their own life?,” she had said.

I stayed quiet and she continued unnoticing.

“I don’t think I could ever feel that way. Ever feel so lost in my own emotions to think there is no way out.” She looked at me now. “Other than suicide.” She tossed the word into the air as though it was a feather. A steal feather that was light as air, yet brushed my skin with its sharp edges. “It doesn’t make any sense to me.”

“I can see why someone would kill themselves.” It just spat out of me, like vomit. Oh, hell. Now she’s going to wonder if something’s wrong.

But she didn’t say anything. She did stare at me, however, with eyes of confusion and curiosity. She nodded her head, attempting to be agreeable, even though there wasn’t really anything to be agreeable about.

“I guess I don’t get it,” she said flatly. Of course she doesn’t. Who can understand these things, these strange thoughts, voices, roaring at you and with you, provoking you and teasing you, choking you and squeezing you until breathing is something that only exists in a dream.

I wish I could better explain this. I really am messed up. But not in the way you think I am. Not in the way the world thinks. I feel too much and nothing at all. What sense is there in that? No sense. So I’m not crazy, I’ve just realized something that others ignore…in order to be happy, in order to live a full life. A full life of what, though? That’s my question—because nothing means nothing, and there is no meaning in anything. So, what the hell! Why can’t I do what I’m doing?—because some person deems it unhealthy. Bull shit.

I’ve been dangerously balancing on the edge of figuring out the answer to life. However, because of my “studies” I had been encouraged to live with my oldest brother and his wife and six year-old daughter. I am thirty-one years old and I am sharing a room with a six year-old. It doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. The child reminds me of myself at one time. She is adventurous, vibrant, imaginative, filled…with everything. Everything I once knew, but no longer have. She brings memories back. She reminds me of what happiness is. She smiles at me, cuddles with me, though she shifts a lot because of how boney I had become, and tells me stories she writes in her mind. She seems to be part of another world separate from mine, as though I’m looking at an image encased in unbreakable glass and I can’t touch it, smell it or feel it. But all I want is to be on the other side.

I can’t. I am dead already.

Since I had quit my other job and remain on the support of my mother and oldest brother, I have spent many days sitting at the park, watching the sun come up and come down. Some days I will take the girl to school and pick her up later. I would sit, walk, breathe, eat the food my brother’s wife would feed me, throw it up later, lay in bed, but never sleep, though sleep is all I really want. It’s the only peace I can think of. One day, I decided that sleeping pills could do the trick. I took the whole bottle and feel asleep.

Amazing, sleep is. It stops the mind, brings peace and happiness. Until you wake up. It’s like you are ripped out of heaven to only be brought back to hell.

I have come to despise hospitals. The smell of steel and icy floors, medicine and chemicals, sterile and stale air. It was more than I could bare. But they kept me there, like a captive, talking about me as though I didn’t exist. They would be right, of course. I’m dead already. It infuriated me, nonetheless. How could my family put me through this? How could they allow this to happen? All I want is to sleep, dammit! Let all the swirling madness in mind take a break. Let the logic breathe for once, instead of continuously fighting being overwhelmed with hatred and sadness.

But they can’t understand. Just like Mr. Blue-eyes, who no longer has blue eyes, but have changed to a dead-like grey. No one can understand. Only I do. I am a waste of space, I have no purpose in life, and life is nothing more than specific patterns continuing in the same exact circle over and over. I can’t recall anything from my past. I am thirty-one years old, thirty-one years too many. I was able to convince my family to allow me to move back to Littleton. They had all moved away, but I wanted to return to where I had once known happiness. They agreed, trusting that maybe it was best for me. The little girl was sad to see me go, and for a moment, I thought I felt a sense of guilt leaving her and my brother and my mother. The look in her eyes, the sense of wonderment and understanding filled me with a moment of grief. And for that brief moment, I thought I could finally feel something in that black hole which continued to burn and consume. For a fleeting moment in that girl’s eyes, I saw peace and acceptance and, just maybe, freedom. And then it was gone, just like that. Unfortunately, as all little girls do, they grow into the same monotonous cycle every human being calls life.

So much going through my head…so many thoughts, so many voices. If only they can be silenced…

Journal 4

The sun shines so amazingly here, feels so warm. If there is anything to be said about the sun, it’s the only thing I can feel: its gentle heat against my cold skin, the way it bounces against my hair, the way it blinds me with its compassionate light, allowing me to ignore the pain and suffering for a possible instant. The sun was shining when I was born, my mother had once said. The sun sees everything, touches everywhere, and yet, is not affected by the agony afflicted on the people of this earth. I’ll never understand how people survive, living each day in sadness, ignoring its ever-unmistakable presence and calling it life, and a life they want to live. I am thirty-two years old and life has killed me, taken me apart by the seams and filled me with a rotting emptiness nothing can fill…and does fill.

If I were to tell you my story, Journal—if I were to “have a way with words”—it would be this:

The sun warmed the dead inside of her, filled the void with its heat until she thought she almost felt a glimmer of life. Only a glimmer, though, as the clouds crept across the blue sky, hiding the sun from her, keeping its golden light from touching her skin, her hair, her blinded eyes. She was standing on a bridge above a sparkling river, in her home and humble town Littleton. No one crossed this bridge on Sunday afternoons. Everyone remained home: socializing after-church groups had tea and little cookies, kids played in the backyard, all quite aware of the darkness that lurked inside their heads, the ever-present dimness of life that was easily overlooked by everyone and no one. So she stood alone, looking over the river, beyond the trees and towards the horizon where the sun was making its continuous journey. Even the sun never changed, but she couldn’t help but feel that she wanted to be apart of it, that it was where she belonged somehow.

A cool breeze went by, encircling her, playing with the ends of her hair—maybe it said “breathe”, but she wasn’t quite sure. She barely noticed the goose-bumps prickling her skin, she barely felt the heavy, metal coldness in her hand. It would have been heavier, had it been anyone else. But this was for her, this was where she was going, to a place where she belonged, where she could sleep, where she could feel peace. The thought of it brought a smile on her face and, for a moment, she thought she recognized it as something similar to happiness. She gazed at the dark grey lake, taking in its repetitive movement, and lifted her gaze to the horizon. Always the horizon. It attracted her and consumed her mind, or what was left of it. The sun escaped the clouds and doused her in its warm, golden light. It beckoned her, called to her, and for the first time in her life, she knew where she was going.

And for that first moment, peace. Pure peace. Everything else, gone. Finally.

Finally.

Life has been an interesting adventure. But all things end in time. We all move on. We all die. Some sooner than others. What’s wrong with that? Life is meant for those who are living, not for those who have already died. I was dead. I suppose, Journal, that’s all you needed to know.