It’s Hard, Friends

Woke up at 1:15pm today in the basement of a friend’s house. Got up, showered, ate cereal, sketched and read, and somehow three and a half hours passed until I was back in bed for a nap. Took said nap from 5:00 to 6:00, then ate some pizza and tried to numb out by watching Parks and Rec. Now I’m sitting in a giant chair and typing away.

I am still at my friend’s house. I feel alone though. My friend is completely emotionally unavailable, as she has been for several months, and today is just one of those days where I need a shoulder to cry on. I have been a big support to her, and I know she is grateful, but it gets hard trying to be the strong one. I am hurting and going through a really tough time and it just seems that she thinks her struggles are so much more difficult than mine
(or anyone else’s for that matter).

I want to cry, you know, because I feel the salt-water putting pressure on the backs of my eyeball. I don’t want to cry in front of people, at the same time. I feel weak. It’s hard to get myself to cry physically, too. Maybe if I cried, my friend would be a bigger support to me, but maybe if I cried nothing would change except for the number of tissues left in her house.

I’m back at one of those stages where I am struggling with my whole identity crisis/black sheep v. angel complex. Hard to explain… Equally hard to deal with.

Life is hard. I think working through everything that is making me sad and depressed and confused would be easier if I did not have chronic physical illnesses. It is hard to keep my eyes open, and my whole body hurts. Every time I get a new infection or some new symptom pops up, I get scared. When I first experienced my symptoms of hypothyroidism, my mom said “Oh, I’m sure your fine. Worst case scenario, you have mild anemia.” She said the same thing for my fibromyalgia. It’s getting a little difficult to look at things that way.

I love God, because he is my rock. He is my only rock, THE only rock, when everything falls out from under me. He is good, and I really do feel his presence with me, and you know what, I am angry with him! God is good, but/and I don’t understand why he allows so much suffering. I really just don’t know. And I’m a human, so I’m probably not supposed to know.

So there are my ramblings for tonight. I don’t feel like making all my words look and sound pretty. This post is a reflection of where I am right now, as I think it should be.

 

It’s hard, friends.

 

As always,

Tanya

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Forgive My Inconsistence (Here’s A Hug)

Oh man, WordPress, I have been so inconsistent. Forgive my lack of posts and comments! I think you all will understand when I say that life is… overwhelming. I am climbing through it all victoriously (of course), but my situation recently has made things like keeping up with writing a bit difficult.

So take this as a hug and a reminder that I’m still here, just waiting for when I have more time and focus to write and post.

And seriously, I have so so so many great ideas for things to write, and drafts, that I cannot wait to share!

See ya soon, and thinking of you fellow dancers of life.

 

As always, Tanya

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Stuck In My Head: Chapter #5,080

I am sitting here, in a friend’s home, writing and trying to breathe easy. Life has not been easy, but maybe I will get cut a little slack when it comes to my breath. So as I breathe, I look around at the home of my friend, and I feel an anxious emptiness. The space is dark but comfortable, with breezes bringing in the noises of children playing outside. I have known this space for many years, as it is inhabited by the family of two of my very good friends. Yet still it feels lonely and makes me anxious.

Perhaps I am feeling this way, in this space, because things are relatively quiet and I have little forced distraction. And I know that when I don’t have distractions, I can get quite stuck in my own head. Were I talking with someone, busy with someone, or even simply in the same room as someone, I probably would feel less stuck in my own head and a little more distracted (in a good way). I don’t always want to be distracted, but when I am feeling as down and heavy as I am now, I would rather have my mind busied with other things.

Right now I feel a cocktail of sadness, anger, discouragement, anxiety, depression, and am just plain overwhelmed. As I told someone last night, “I cannot remember when I last felt this bitter about life.” It has become difficult to pay any attention to the good things that have happened recently. It feels as though I have been tossed around really difficult situations for some time now, and the waves will not calm down! When I think I am about to catch a break, I get pummeled into the sand by a whole new struggle.

It is difficult not to wonder how many more times I am willing to get pummeled.

It is difficult. Understatement of the century.

I am resting in God and his plan for me, however, as best I can. I know that God’s will is good and perfect. I also know that it is very different (as it should be) from my human will.

God, will you send calm through my mind and my spirit as I continue this battle? Will you continue to give me more strength and discernment, and carry me when I cannot depend upon my own legs?

 

As always,

Tanya

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Champagne-colored Lies

“Serve me

A glass of champagne

Please, Madam.

Alongside brioche and toast.”

 

I do not care

for green eggs and ham,

But a sober brunch

I hate the most.

 

I smile at my date,

Dressed in a fine Sunday suit.

As he orders a drink

For himself.

 

And after a moment,

We begin to share stories

Of regality,

Fortune,

And Wealth.

 

“London is lovely,”

I gladly confess,

“But the Virgin Islands

Have stolen my heart.”

 

I gesture to my bosom,

Flashing my rings.

The alcohol’s hit me,

So thus the tall-tales start.

 

And so the conversation goes,

The drinks and the food,

Down our throats and

Onto his bill.

 

It is all lovely,

Until we part ways;

Him to his car,

I to a bus uphill.

 

I scrounge through my purse

For just enough coins

To get me back home

Before it rains.

 

But my coins are scattered,

My umbrella is broken

And my cheeks are covered

In cheap makeup stains.

 

Perhaps I did not save

Quite enough tips

From my last humble shift

Serving brunch.

 

It looks like I’ll have

To wait under cover

Before my next date,

A three o’clock lunch.

 

 

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Setting A Daily Writing Goal

Well, it’s 12:20am on what is now June 4th, 2016. Oops. I was hoping to start a daily writing goal yesterday, AKA the 3rd. I haven’t gone to bed yet though, so this counts, right?

I met with a friend for lunch yesterday who was talking to me about how the most successful writers generally have daily writing goals that they push themselves to meet. Stephen King, for example, had a goal for a while to write 1500 words a day. Other writers recommend setting a timer for 15 or so minutes and focusing entirely on writing during that period. I guess at the end of the day it really doesn’t matter how you measure the writing—be it in number of minutes, number of words, number of pages—it just matters that you have a goal.

Naturally, my first reaction to this idea of goal-setting was this: “Oh, I can easily write 1500 words a day! Stephen King did it, so I can too!” Well, see, that may be a bit more of a struggle than I originally thought. I don’t know much about Stephen King, but I can imagine that his life, when he first set this goal, was quite different from mine. I am currently battling a chronic illness, focusing on my music, focusing on my art, and focusing on my writing. Suddenly 1500 words a day sounds as challenging and frustrating as climbing up Everest.

Still, I would like to make a daily writing goal. Goals are good, especially when they are realistic. It has taken me quite some time to really wrap my head around this, because I am so damn hard on myself, but goals are meant not to torment a person but to encourage them!

So if I make a daily writing goal of, say, 400 words, that will probably make writing feel much less like a chore and much more like a relaxed and pleasurable pastime. And just think—whenever I pass this goal of 400 words, I will feel really damn accomplished.

(This goal can always be subject to change. Maybe I will lift the number of minutes or words by a few each week, or switch up between a minute goal and a word goal. However I do it, I want to allow just a little room to find what suits me best.)

So 400 words a day. That is what I will hold as my current goal. Sounds pretty reasonable, right?

 

Wait a second…

I just totaled 411 words!

Boo-yah! Nailed it!

 

Pardon me while I go have a celebratory dance party.

 

As always, Tanya

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Poly-Passionate… Or Whatever

I am a Renaissance Woman.

When I was a little girl, I loved the word “renaissance” because it brought to mind brilliant billowing gowns, stone castles, and portrait-lined hallways.

So, naturally, I feel fancy when I call myself a “Renaissance Woman.” But Renaissance Women don’t really wear brilliant, billowing gowns. Well, they might, but that is not the reason for which they hold the title they do. See, calling someone a “Renaissance Woman” is really just an elaborate way of saying “They don’t know what they are doing with their life.”

That is how I see it, for the moment, at least.

I love to write, I love to paint, I love to perform music, I love to teach, I love to create, I love to dance, and so on. But having all those interests seems almost more like a curse than a gift.

I am a passionate person, but I cannot contain my passion to just one or two things.

Perhaps I am just poly-amorous. OR poly-passionate. Yeah, let’s go with that. “Poly-passionate” sound more politically correct.

I am a poly-passionate person who doesn’t really know what she’s doing with her life. I have no idea what career I will end up holding, or what passions I will carry through the years. But maybe I don’t have to know. Maybe this just adds an exciting twist to my adventure through life.

As I think about this, I am reminded of a favorite TED talk of mine. This talk by Emilie Wapnick is short and sweet and gives great insight into both the curse and the gift sides of being a poly-passionate person, or as Wapnick would say, a “Multipotentialite.” I encourage you to take just 12 minutes to watch it– it’s shorter, and arguably more intellectually provocative than a Netflix binge.

As always, Tanya

 

P.S. Happy first day of June!!

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Whatever- Just Make!

I have used the excuse of “writer’s block” several times over the years.

Now that I have confessed that to you, let’s have an honest heart-to-heart. Is saying that you have writer’s block any more serious than saying you don’t have motivation to get up in the morning? Or is it any more acceptable than saying you don’t know what to cook for dinner even though your kitchen is full of food?

My mind is a kitchen full of food. Actually, scratch that—my mind is a kitchen absolutely overflowing, busting at the seams, with thought-food. I have long been in a love-hate relationship with my own brain. Sometimes it is incredibly difficult to tolerate the five or so thoughts that pop up each nanosecond. I overthink a lot of things, and I have anxiety. Sometimes my thoughts race around one topic, and sometimes my mind tries to attack several intense topics at once. It is a miserable cycle, but it has a very fruitful side. I attribute a great deal of my creativity and open-mindedness to this busy, bustling brain-kitchen.

Thinking in terms of this same analogy, sometimes food storms into my kitchen and I don’t take the time to put it away. Food, or ideas, if you will, need to be organized carefully, only to be pulled out at the right moment and formed into something consumable. Ideas are wonderful, wonderful things—just like those awesome, bags of flax seeds and goji berries you just bought. But if you never mix your flax seeds or goji berries into something pleasant to eat, you might as well have never bought them, right?

As Purdue Owl explains, writer’s block is often fueled by anxiety. I think most artists in general deal with anxiety, asking themselves a plethora of questions like “What should I create next?” “Will it be any good?” “What if it isn’t any good?” “What if nobody ever wants to appreciate my work?” “What if I never make anything good again?” And so on, and so on. Writer’s block can cause one to freeze up before they even spit an entire idea out. This is really unfortunate, but this is, like I said, nothing new. Renowned poet Donald Hall understood this dilemma, as well as it’s simple solution: “As Henry Moore carved or modeled his sculpture every day, he strove to surpass Donatello—and failed, but woke the next morning elated for another try.”

As a writer, an artist, a creator, we just have to make! Write! Paint! Move! Envision! Encapsulate your crazy thoughts! Or, as award-winning film director Joss Whedon put it, “Write it. Shoot it. Publish it. Crochet it. Saute it. Whatever. Make.” No offense, but you aren’t some human prodigy. Not every first draft you work up is going to be worth sharing. And that is OK! That’s actually good. How are you going to know what is worth sharing, though, until you map it out?

The greatest writers, I think, take their fear and shove it to the back burner. Believe that you do have some good ideas sitting in your kitchen, and be willing to put them to the test. Even be willing to try crazy, strange recipes and concoctions. Eventually—and this is a promise—eventually, you will work up something so enticing that it will be more than worth the seventy tries that it took to get there.

So go.

Now.

That kitchen isn’t going to work on itself.

 

As always, Tanya

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