Ask, And The Universe Answers – Sometimes Very Quickly.

It was only days ago that I dared to dream of a future where I returned to music and got to sing with a band.

Yesterday, I went on Chicago’s Craigslist and answered several ads for bands looking for singers, and included some mp3s of my singing, and as of last night, I have an audition this weekend with an established rock band who is looking to replace their vocalist.

The fact that all of the sudden, I have songs to prepare and a good reason to practice, kind of blows my mind.  It feels like life itself is saying, “Alright!  You finally got with the program! Here’s where you’re supposed to be headed. This is who you always have been. This is who you’re supposed to be!”

Now, I know that I might not end up being in this band. I’m not putting the cart before the horse here… but I would be ignoring that wheels very quickly got in motion once I owned up to who I wanted to be.

Not Getting In My Own Way This Time

One thing I’m very proud of here, is that I haven’t blocked my own path on this one yet.  I haven’t told the band about my MS or seizure disorder, and I’m not going to say anything to them unless it comes up because my body does something untoward.  I have been using my disability as a reason not to do things, and I’m trying to break myself of that bad habit.  So I have conditions… it doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t have a life.

The one thing that I am afraid of in regards to this audition is something that I cannot change by this weekend: my weight. I work out regularly. (At least 3 times a week!) I eat healthfully (when I remember to eat), but I am overweight.  And worrying about how people look at me is not going to help my confidence level in this audition.  I seriously am going to have to think about what to wear.

Great, But What Are You Going To Sing?

Here are the songs that I chose:

Garbage – Only Happy When It Rains

Fiona Apple – Fast As You Can
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Maps
Hole – Celebrity Skin
Florence + The Machine – Dog Days Are Over
And now, rather than continuing to blog, or think about it, I really ought to get to practicing.

Breaking the Habit of Being Sad

Exile in Shameville

It’s easy, though sometimes uncomfortable to not grow as a person. Sitting in Shameville, not trying new things, at least you know where you stand with yourself.  It’s not hard to do the same, seemingly pointless things every day… to watch the days pass and to feel your self-respect slowly slip away, especially when you didn’t have much for yourself to begin with.

But eventually you get to a point where you realize that entropy cannot continue. Life simply does not abide that sort of stalemate of the soul.

And so you get to where I am right now.

You realize you’ve forgotten how to have fun. You spend too much time stuck in your head. The calculus of “importance” and “purposefulness” of every action you contemplate paralyses your actions. You recognize your unwillingness to make messes for fear of imperfection and dislike of cleaning up after them. You see how you’ve worked yourself into a million mental trick boxes, such that you cannot progress towards any meaningful goal, over and over again, and realize that if you do not make some difficult changes to your way of thinking and way of acting, you’re not going to have a life worth living. Or any life at all, when even eating falls into the category of “things you aren’t doing for yourself regularly anymore.”

Too Much Information?

There are times when I question the sanity or correctness of writing about my messy mind and life in this blog – but then I think of all the speeches I’ve heard by Brene Brown about shame and about vulnerability… and I keep going.

I have to think that by opening up and sharing that I can somehow help someone or connect on a real level with others.  All I know is that it comes from the heart, and that writing, for whatever reason, is the one “pipe” of humanity that is not clogged for me. So, I let it flow… and I hope that good things will come from it.

What I do know is this: when I write, I am not lonely. When I write, I do not feel that I lack purpose. When I write, I feel like I make sense somehow — that if I have to exist as I do, at least I exist for this.

Having Fun

Does that mean that I’m having fun writing?  Or does that mean that it’s fulfilling on some deeper level?  All I know is that I feel like I’m digging for some kind of deeper insight — some sort of buried treasure — something to make all of this “worth it.” Like I’m trying to bring meaning to my existence through daily reporting.

I do wonder what I can do to up my “fun” quotient, though, in all honesty. I want to know how I can stop judging my every action and just let myself live and try new things… be messy and make mistakes without flipping out on myself. I can be patient with other people. I know I should extend that friendliness to myself.  But there I go again saying the “s” word.

Current Default Setting: Sad, for no apparent reason

I want to break the habit of being sad.  I recognize that my life situation is very good. I have a wonderful, loving husband and am living in conditions where I do not have to financially provide for myself. I am surrounded by musical instruments to practice, books to read, video games to play, TV to watch, sewing to learn, good food to cook, and yoga to practice. I have nothing but opportunity to practice being grateful and happy.  Yet, every day, shame stops me from practicing instruments, anxiety stops me from cooking, and lame excuses stop me from the rest.

My challenge, right now, is changing my mindset and actions so that I can flourish.

So far, I’ve stopped wanting to kill myself.  I think I’m headed in the right direction.  Slow and steady wins the race.

Empty With Purpose

As I listen to Swedish House Mafia’s “Don’t You Worry Child” for at least the millionth time, I find myself thinking about Chapter 11 of the Tao of Rae.

The pertinent lyrics of the song go, “Don’t you worry, child, because Heaven’s got a plan for you.”

Lately, I’ve been mourning the emptiness of my current state in life, instead of thinking about how a hollow is precious.  It’s there to be filled – and in the case of life, it’s there to be filled with experiences that matter to you.

Last night, I was talking on the phone with my brother, Daniel (who may be younger than me, but in many ways is wiser), when I told him that I felt like I was “on the long road to nowhere.” He responded by saying, “We all are. That’s life.

His words struck me hard in the chest as truth.  Life has no point!  That’s the whole point! It’s what you make of it! How could I have forgotten that important and simple truth??? It made me wonder what it is, exactly, that I am yearning for — why I feel that I am so sorely lacking while others flourish.

I came to the realization, as I lay WIDE-awake around 3 in the morning last night, that in some sort of sick tit-for-tat way, I’ve been comparing myself to everyone I know.  I erroneously have been holding the belief that if we ever did anything together (especially school), I “should” be able to do what the other person could do (like winning Grammys, or being a successful attorney, or being a parent).  And that’s beyond absurd.  It’s as though some childish part of me couldn’t differentiate my self from any other person and give any other person credit for their life, skills, work, and destiny. It just believes, “If they can do it, so can I.” And that’s such deeply flawed thinking. It can only lead to feeling guilty and unworthy.

I mean, I went to Berklee College of Music – it spills over with Grammy winners. One of my fraternity brothers had one of his songs sung by Beyonce during the Super Bowl yesterday.  When she sang Halo, my eyes welled with tears of pride for him. I felt lucky just to know him.  Songwriting success on that level is not going to happen for me ever.  It’s like winning the lottery.  That doesn’t make my life less valuable.

Heaven still has a plan for me.  I might not know what it is, but that plan still exists. Because I do.  And I fulfill it just by living.

That being said, I think it’s about time I started having some fun.



Daring to Dream

One of the hardest things about getting through life, recently, for me has been that I have felt like there is nothing to look forward to — that life is an endless string of Facebook, chores, and watching TV, which has left me feeling ultimately unfulfilled.

I think the worst part of my depression has been that I haven’t even been allowing myself to hope for anything in the future.  That’s no way to live.

So today, I sat down with Adam and I asked him, “Do you have any dreams for the future?” to which he quickly and easily said, “Yes!”

I asked him if I could write down his dreams and mine on a piece of paper so that I could look at them, and he said he thought that was a good idea, because in my darker times, I can ask myself if my thoughts and actions are bringing me any closer to my dreams.

The great thing about dreams is that they don’t have to be practical. Dreams are just about expressing your heart’s true desire. And you can’t judge your heart’s true desire – the heart wants what it wants.

So this morning, I dared to dream — as wildly as I could feel. And suddenly, I had goals – real, achievable goals.

And they may take a while to accomplish, but at least I have something to look towards.

My current dreams:

  • To be a part of a rock band
  • To be physically fit
  • To like myself
  • To have a job

And of course, there are the dreams of homeownership and motherhood… but those are gonna take a little longer, I think.

At least right now, I have some direction.


Dance of the Therapy Fairies

I was woken up early this morning by a phone call from IPD, letting me know that the therapist I was scheduled to see on Saturday (the one who I had seen about a year ago while we were living at Nick’s house, who I really didn’t like) was unwilling to see me because she was not “accepting new patients” and even though I was not a new patient, it had been too long since I had last seen her for her to see me again as a “regular” patient.

This would have upset me if not for 2 very important things: (1) I really didn’t want to see her anyway, and (2) last night, I spoke with my new, awesome therapist (let’s start calling her “K,” because she’s sticking around) and she and I were able to come to a payment arrangement, so that I can continue working with her, without involving my insurance!

So, I didn’t have talk therapy this week. Worse things have happened.  But I did do my homework. I have picked out my 3 favorite pairs of earrings.  I have been keeping myself active/busy instead of just sitting on the couch for the most part. The only thing I haven’t done is to call Humana to find out if I can see a nutritionist/dietitian on my plan.  That’s on today’s to-do list.

State of the Rae Address

I am happy to announce that I am not currently suicidal. Whether it’s the increase in activity helping me feel more empowered, the increase in Nortriptyline making my brain function better, or the combination of the two, I am more functional today than I have been over the last month and a half or so.  It’s been a couple of days now that I’ve gone without breaking down crying for no reason, and I am extremely grateful for it.  I’m also glad that without the Abilify, I am not having seizures, and am awake and able to think clearly.

There’s another thing that’s popped up that surprised me, and I’m really glad for it: an immediate desire to get back to fostering kittens again.  The truth of the matter is that when I’m in a good mood like this, I still really want to have a kid… but I feel like that’s putting the cart before the horse. We’ve gotta fix me first. So for now, kittens are good.  I need to see if Adam’s cool about getting back to it (It’s only been a week or so since we finished up with our last foster), and then get in contact with the Romeoville Humane Society to let them know we’re ready to help out again.

Removing Resistance to Happiness

I love doing yoga, but I haven’t done it in months.  Why? Because the way our living room is set up, I have to move a heavy chair and our living room coffee table out of the way just to be able to have the room to do it.  It’s like because I have to exert extra energy and force upon the room, I cannot do yoga. It’s as though I have forgotten that I have the ability to change my space.  Because I have been spending so much time “being busy” to avoid automatic negative thoughts, I have almost been forced to notice that I have the power to change the world around me.

So today, because Adam is sick and we won’t be going to the gym, I am going to do some yoga at home, even though there’s a part of me that feels absolutely resistant to the idea of moving the furniture in the living room.  It’s the same resistant feeling that I have when it comes to doing the dishes – that same “I don’t want to!”  But if not listening to that whiny voice is what helps me feel better when it comes to dishes, I’m willing to bet that not listening to it when it comes to this situation will be the correct course of action as well.  Heck, I’m almost willing to put a Stamp of Approval on any action that gets the inner, whiny “I don’t want to.” at this point.  It seems like its modus operandi is to keep me down.

And right now, I’m doing my best not to let anything do that.