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40 days of being sick

I told myself I was being very gentle by giving myself a goal of walking for 40 days straight.

But even walking, as simple as it is, right before winter is about to come? And right before I am working 2 jobs every single day? It was an attempt to give myself some self-care, because the fact is: I really suck at self-care. And I knew if, left to my own devices, I would not step out side and breathe fresh air and walk around the block. So there were some very good intentions in there!

But there were also some perfectionist dreams sneaking in there.

See, a perfectionist is similar to an addict. A perfectionist is very, very good at making her actions SEEM completely admirable, noble, and maybe even gentle. But inside there is a little Gollum creature screaming with delight at the new discovery and plan to do one thing the exact, right perfect way. She looks up, catches her composure. She’s pretty sure no one knows the feeling of complete power and lust she feels about this soon-to-be-accomplishment. She vows to do it exactly right to prove to them – to prove to ALL of them – how good she is.

 Three days in to my 40 days of walking, I got sick. And worked a double at my then new job. So I laid a little low. I opted to let myself out of walking because I was sick and absolutely exhausted. Then Hurricane Sandy happened, and well – I stayed inside that day. And the election. And a Nor’ Easter. And then, sick again. And almost well! And then sick. And then really sick. And then just still sneezing to this day.

But these events don’t surprise me, as far as my personal story goes. Because in my own little bubble, I knew deep down that me creating this 40-day plan, gentle as it was, was still me trying to create an outside structure to FORCE me to do something I resist: self-care.

But self-care for me in these 40 days became something else that my body demanded. It just demanded that I rest. It demanded that if I wanted to get well, I better just take it easy. Cancel my plans. Stay home. Sleep. Cuddle with dogs. Watch movies.

How you do anything is how you do everything, right?

I have trouble listening to myself. Trusting my intuition. I think because deep down, I have always feared something a parent must fear. “What if I am not able to give to myself what I need?” If I listen to the little voice inside and it says, “I need a day off!” what if I can’t give it to her? I have a writing deadline and three shifts at the restaurant and no one to cover for me! And bills to pay and a debt pay-off goal I am getting closer to each day!

It seems scarier to hear her, to hear the voice inside, because I am afraid to trust her — that what she wants is best for me. That taking a day off will help me get closer to my goals, or that taking a long break in the middle of a writing day will fill me with more creative juices for later.

This lack of trust might explain why i am working with a food therapist right now, who is helping me learn to listen to my body, to trust its signals for pasta and meat, as well as with veggies and lemon water! (This is scary as well.)

So, this recovering perfectionist is going to try a new goal: to listen to myself daily. To give myself what I need, whether that be rest or exercise, play or study, steak or a green smoothie.

It’s the territory of really living life in the moment! It feels like beginning a new adventure.



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Does life feel like it is happening so fast you can’t even keep up? The 2012 US elections are tomorrow.

I’d like to “be in the conversation” about the election, but not on Facebook. That feels like a giant compost disposal for eroding beliefs molding together to come out in disaster. “Liberals” just yelling out why Romney is a fucking idiot. “Conservatives” quietly “liking” Mitt Romney and hoping to not get yelled at. Or the braver ones: calling anyone who’d vote for Obama a fucking idiot.

Interesting how these two men who are supposed to be pulling the country together seem to be pulling us further apart…

I have been slowly working on getting more educated about what is really going on in politics. Part of this is because I am living with my cousin Brooksie (If you have known me at all during the past 10 years, you’ll know that time spent with Brooksie has been the impetus for almost every life-changing decision: 1) visiting New York 2) Moving to New York 3) pursuing acting in New York 4) having S-E-X for the first time! 5) going out to California to visit a shaman… a trip that completely changed my life

And wow — that’s barely half of it! We definitely had some sort of deal worked out before this lifetime, wherein she’d help me with major life decisions!

She helps me to see my blind spots.

And I feel pretty blind when it comes to politics. So we have been having conversations beyond what we hear in pop culture, looking at not just the liberal news stations, but Fox too. Comparing them. Talking about various books and documentaries, and what our Russian friends read in their newspapers.

In 2004, I didn’t know who to vote for. I was also struggling with my Christian beliefs, New York culture, and burgeoning desires to explore what I believed outside of the church (and date outside of the church… WAY outside.).

Here’s what I did. I asked my roommate at the time who I should vote for.

She said, “Well, I think we should have a strong Christian president. And I think that George W Bush is the right man for that.”

And I said, “Okay, sounds good. Hey, I can’t miss work. Can you fill out my absentee voter ballot for me and mail it with yours?”


I know. SHAME on ME!

And we all know how that worked out.
Here’s the deal…

I am pro-choice. I have had 3 very close friends get pregnant with the wrong guy, at the wrong time, with no money. (And when I say “3 friends” I mean I was close to 3 friends at the times they had to make this decision — I went to one friend’s house in the middle of the night when she found out, and she was crying all night. I slept over. She was in love with the guy and had a weekend with him, and then he broke up with her. He turned out to be a royal douche.)

I am pro-gay marriage. (Are we seriously still having to FIGHT for this?)

But I am concerned about Obama. Romney aside. I don’t trust Obama. He knows how to speak. He knows how to rally crowds together and make promises, and make us feel like those promises are happening right now. And the trillion dollars of debt concerns me. Just like how Chase bank owns me right now (debt-payment post coming soon), China is owning more and more of us each day! Did anyone watch “Obama 2016”? WATCH IT on Netflix tonight.

I feel like just like Republican folks are playing on the “Right” sides’ fears of their values being damaged, the Democratic party is playing on everyone else’s fears of our rights being taken away (or, to STILL not be getting them).

We the people are just getting lied to Left and Right.

I agree with both Obama and Romney that it is time for “Change.” But I don’t trust the two large power-hungry groups whispering into these two men’s ears. I hate that when it comes to president, it comes down to: Which is the lesser of two evils?

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Sometimes you get sick, and then work two doubles, and then a hurricane comes through, and there go your plans.

I am feeling very blessed and lucky during this hurricane to have stayed in with my cousin Brooksie and her two dogs, Casey and Cabo, the most loving little dogs I could imagine, while watching an awful movie on demand (seriously, did you see “Rock of Ages”) and eating the grub we got in case of emergencies. (Suddenly PB & J’s sounded really delicious.) We’re tucked in to a hood that wasn’t badly affected by the storm at all, except a couple of light flickers. We watched the news and stayed up to date. I laid on the couch with a little dog on my belly that demanded my undying attentive petting. (My nickname around here is “The Petting Machine.”) I oblige to her demands. She doesn’t know it does as much for me as it does for her!

Actually she probably does.

Meanwhile other people are, in a flash, losing everything! Their homes, or even, family members. Or their lives. The entire state of New Jersey is demolished. Lower Manhattan will have damage forever.

I remember talking with my dad on 9/11/01, and he said: “We’re going to see the effects of this for a really long time. This is going to change everything.” I had no comprehension of that, or how it could be true. I feel like we could say the same for Sandy, and its impact on this city and on the nearby states.

I send all my love and gratitude out for our safety and comfort, and the safety and comfort of all my loved ones in this area.
Sending love out to everyone affected by this storm.

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Well, hello there, 2 years later!

I was taking a walk in Washington Heights yesterday through the park, and I burst into tears. For a myriad of reasons — feeling stuck again, feeling frustrated that after all the work I’ve done, here I am feeling directionless and stuck in yet another battle with food and a bigger battle with debt. Not even sure what my “dreams” even are at this point, and even more scared that it’s too late anyways to catch up with the outside world when all my time has been spent on my inner world.

But one thing kept coming to mind: a desire to write. My inner writer is like a scared little dog. I work on something a while, and then I run away out of fear. YIP YIP YIP YIP!

But the desire to write just keeps hitting me like a beam of lightning on a trapper keeper. I thought: should I start a new blog? I should. But I am starting to have as many trails of old blogs as I have old boyfriends. (So, like 4 blogs… And I would still totally go to dinner with one or two of those.) And you know the old saying, “Start where you are, with what you have.” (Okay, it has an inspired bit of Abraham Hicks in there too). And, my dear friend Stephanie did not end up taking over this blog, as she has really created her own site in such a beautiful way. So, I had this space here just waiting…

And then, I remembered the spirit of “I’m doing it, dammit.” That still really just speaks to me. It’s saying “Fuck you” to all the excuses and the fears and everything that has stopped you in the past. And it is that conscious soul inside that decides, “Ya know what, victimhood and ego? I’m gonna steer this ship right now. Thanks. Oh, you want to stay? Okay, well you sit in the corner over there, but I’m not going to listen to what you have to say, no matter how loud you yell it”

So here I am… And hoping that maybe if you subscribed long ago, this will pop up in your inbox, and you’ll say hello.

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"Looking Ahead" by Stephanie St.Claire

I’m sitting on the couch I am currently surfing on in Chicago getting ready for my day: First I’m going to hit up a coffee shop (like they used to make ’em) around the corner with great breakfasts and teas, then I’ll find my way around the Chicago transit to the Pilsen area, where I’ll be doing tech for my show Am I Blue, which is part of the Chicago Fringe Festival here. After that, exploring this city, until I meet more Fringe folks this evening at the volunteers meeting!

This is one of the groovy things I am working on– how to spend more of my life travelling and doing shows that I love!

But that’s not why I’m writing today.

As exciting as it is to be performing in Chicago this week, I have more exciting news. I’m Doing It Dammit is getting fresh, new life breathed into it by a new editor! Due to some beautiful synchronicities, an amazing lady named Stephanie St.Claire is going to be taking over I’m Doing It Dammit, and giving it a new life of its own. Stephanie is a life coach and start-up strategist, a healer and an artist. She uplifts, inspires, & makes me laugh, whether it’s through her facebook posts, her writing (seen HERE too!), her photography, or her all-around take-no-shit joyful & playful outlook.

I still believe in the entire philosophy of I’m Doing It Dammit, and hated to leave it just sitting there. So it brings me so much joy to hand the baton over to Miss St.Claire, and for her passion to take over this site! I’m so excited to see what direction Stephanie St.Claire takes with it. And just wait til you get to know this absolutely fabulous woman.

"I remember the night this photo was taken. It was an ordinary day/ ordinary night last summer, but I was launching FULL ON into my own private practice as a counselor and healer. I remember feeling so immensely happy!! So full of love and hope and JOY. Since following my true calling for work, my life has never been the same and I'm SO EXCITED every morning to wake up and take on the day. I love 'doing life' with you guys and I love seeing lives transform. :)" --Stephanie St.Claire

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And today it is very sunny!

I am in Montreal, Canada and it is beautiful. I’m on my 3rd full day here after arriving way late Tuesday night. I’m here to perform in the Montreal Fringe Festival, and do my solo show AM I BLUE.

The area that the festival is in is all around boulevard St-Laurent. A great street that reminds me of the East Village with French flair. And then all the little side streets are pieces of France. Beautiful old houses and apartment buildings with vines on the sides and winding staircases, a full array of colored brick, cobblestone streets, even the shape, the corner of the streets are beautiful restaurants and cafes.

Today is this immaculate weather, the sun is shining, and it’s the most comfortable 71 degrees. Or 21 degrees as it is described up here.

I’m in a little coffee shop where everything is in French, but it looks exactly like Starbucks. Well, what ya gonna do when you need some free WiFi. I’ve got a suitcase beside me because I’ve been temporarily displaced. Yep. The festivals have this great billeting system where you are able to stay with folks rather than paying for a hotel. Unfortunately my host had to kick me out for the weekend. (Turns out her aunt, who owns the apt, does not like her having couchsurfers. And her aunt decided she’d like to come to the apt this weekend!)

There’s enough to think about with postering, finding the best places to poster, handing out posters, perfecting the 30 second pitch, figuring out how to speak to people without being a total asshole (as French is the native Language, but everyone speaks English as well). “Bonjour! … So, I’m doing this show in the Fringe… By the way, can I sleep over?”

The people are incredibly friendly, kind, and interested in speaking to you and get to know you. There are Fringe parties every night and great chances to meet people and sell your show. I have to push myself a bit to do all the networking business. It’s so important. That’s how to get people to the show!

I bought this super sweet piece of luggage before I left. It’s a backpack/carry-on/strapped/rolly piece. And just the feeling of buying it felt SO GOOD.

So tomorrow night is opening night! My theater is a wonderful space. It’s right around the corner from the beer tent, which is the main gathering point for Fringers. It’s a red building that used to be a fire house, and it has beautiful ivy hanging around it. I had been told my venue may be way far away, and that was a big concern. I’m so happy that it is right in the center of everything.

More later. This coffee shop is a little too cozy. I should be strolling these streets (there’s a street fair outside) before heading to do more postering, postcarding, and drinking. (The three most important aspects of getting folks to your show.)

Not that different from NYC, really.

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Today I woke up with this feeling of darkness. I had dreams that are blurry now, I just remember those I care for leaving me, in silence. It is a reflection of some of my worst fears that I hide and chug down deep and try to ignore: this incessant feeling that there is something wrong with me. Wrong with my makeup as a person. Wrong with the choices I have made through out my life, that everyone else gets something that I clearly do not understand. Fears that I will not be truly loved, and beliefs that I must continually fix things about myself in order to be just a regular person living a regular life in the world.

And then there’s the reverse belief, that I am not regular, and do no want a regular life, that it is deeply important for me to follow this path and that it will get me somewhere. So it is the same belief in a slightly different light.

But that one still gets in the way when it comes to things like sustaining work and doing what I need to do in order to get where I want to get. Which includes just choosing where it is I want to get.

I spent time on Thursday with one of my dearest friends from childhood, Ann. We grew up together in church and have known each other our entire lives. Since both living in NYC for the past 7 years, we’ve grown closer and seen each other through our twenties. She is so close to my heart, and like a sister. She was teasing me for some of my outfits in high school, I teased her about her old crushes, and we were laughing, and crying too.

I have talked to a few old friends about this “journey” I am on. This journey towards self, not really enlightenment, but just a touch of personal enlightenment. I don’t need to understand how all of time, how all of peace and love work, but I would like to just know how to wake up feeling light as a feather on a regular basis, how to just want to work and want a family and allow myself the sweet stuff of life.

Some friends I saw in the fall asked me if I had considered anti-depressants.

Okay, now I can laugh at it, but in the moment I did cry. Yet again I felt misunderstood, as I looked at the concerned eyes of my loving friends. It didn’t seem like they thought I was doing the best things for myself, which is always a tough pill for me to swallow. The answer was no, i hadn’t, but I did consider it when I got back. Have I just been experiencing some clinical depression? I thought I had a much more noble cause at hand here.

I was speaking to Ann about how I’ve changed from high school, how my faith was so important to me when I was young and then I left it behind to be out in this land of searching, of “freedom”. And Ann said something that has really struck a chord with me: I think you are the same as you were in high school but you just have a different rule book.

And what she means is: In high school I was trying so hard to be a strong Christian, to do all the right things, to walk the right path, to read my Bible daily, to stay away from sin, to not do anything bad. I remember not dating a lot because deep down, I felt like I wasn’t ready. This was in college too. I was never ready. I needed to be stronger in myself. I needed to be stronger in the Lord.

And here I am, almost 30, saying the same things. I need to be stronger. I’m not ready. I may be dating an amazing guy, but still there is a belief—actually, a fear—that I am not good enough. That I am not good enough for a great career, or for a great future, (or a great present), or to just do SOMETHING great with my life. Or even something mediocre, but with a lot of laughs. That I just need to work a little more on myself, get rid of a few more negative beliefs.

Now my rule book is that of the enlightened woman, I spose. A little more Buddhist in nature than Christian. But it is all the same.

Am I more free than I was at 16, 17, 18? Do I embrace life more fully because I no longer put myself in a box? Or have I just found different boxes to put myself in?

I don’t know the answers to those questions.

But I know I am still driven by this yearning for freedom, complete freedom.

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