Head – Skillet – BLAMMO!: Creativity, Play, “The Road Less Traveled”, and Forgiveness

For friends who follow me on Facebook or those who have found my blog through internet magic, you may have picked up on some soul-searching I’ve been doing over the last 6/7 months or so.  It’s a never-ending process and I’ve always been contemplative but circumstances are such that I spend a lot more time on my own and a lot more time occupying an inward-looking soul-space than I used to (soul-space sounds funny, but it’s so much more than just brainspace).  This has led to a lot of bigger questions and very few answers – which I have come to believe is how life works; there are always more questions than answers and we should always be asking them.

I’ve posted a few vaguebooky things to social media about feeling like the Universe is hitting me over the head with an iron skillet. To be clear: this isn’t a bad thing. In fact – it’s probably a good thing!  A dear ladyfriend of mine once shared the idea (not in these exact words) that if you are not listening closely enough and not fully following your path, the Universe will start making it rather clear what it wants by hitting you over the head repeatedly with undeniable signs, as if to say “DO THIS! DO THIS! DO THIS!”

Lately, I’ve been getting blaring signals that 1) I need to be pursuing more creativity in my life, 2) I need to challenge myself, and 3) I need to release emotional luggage that I am still holding on to.

I’m a skeptically superstitious person with Catholic roots – and any Catholic/”recovering” Catholic/ex-Catholic who tells you Catholics are *not* superstitious is lying (I mean look at the accounts of apparitions for goodness sake).  So when themes pop up repeatedly in a short amount of time – I don’t discount it as fully coincidental and look for the connections.

The other week, I had a really useful Tarot reading. I don’t want to delve too much into the details of that, but basically the cards were encouraging me to feed my creative side because I’m not being challenged and am bored.  They were saying “do the thing you haven’t been doing” and “take a nontraditional path” – that it may be difficult, but it will be worth it.  Very interesting for where I am at this juncture and while I’m not going to run out and do things based on a Tarot reading, it has given me a lot to chew on.

Then this week, there was a day when I saw many things that said “trust your heart” or “trust your story” – literally. Memes and articles and artwork etc.. My tattoo says “Trust your heart, and trust your story” and it is a life mantra of mine, a reminder to stay on my path; so when I hear or see either phrase, it grabs my attention. I’ve honestly never seen it so many times in one 24 hour block. I also received messages from a few friends that day asking me questions about life direction – putting things I’ve been thinking about on-and-off back in the forefront of my brain.

Head – skillet – BLAMMO!

That night, on my way to yoga I met an adorable 10 month big-old pittie (y’all know my love for the big pitties!) and after chatting with the owner for a minute and engaging with the dog, I learned the dog shares a name with a person who is problematic for me and a person who was occupying brainspace this week after being quiet for a while; I still played with the dog (of course) and we parted ways. Once at yoga, the teacher started with a personal story about a difficult person/situation in *her* life, a choice she made that day to let unhelpful emotions surrounding it go, and then encouraged us to all focus on letting go of something during practice.  I think I started laughing at one point during her story because I saw where this was going and was tickled by the timing.

Head – skillet – BLAMMO!

Yesterday, I had a meaningful conversation with a dear colleague/friend about creativity and she became the fourth (or maybe fifth) person in the last few months to bring up The Artist’s Way and encourage me to do it.  Then today, I spent the morning overseeing a series of interviews in which a colleague discussed the themes of creativity, play, “the road less traveled”, and forgiveness. Over. And over. And over. This was not on the docket. These interviews could have touched on any themes. Could have talked about anything. And yet these were the things that came up in each of the seven interviews.  Even the theme of “play” struck a chord because I saw a performance last night in which a sense of “play” was very evident; I had gone to bed questioning whether I still had that same ability to “play” or whether I’d become stodgy in my personal approach to acting and character building.

Head – skillet – BLAMMO!

Life is in the big things but it’s also in the details. Themes, signs, signals, directions, coincidences, skillets – whatever you want to call them, I think it’s my job to not only keep listening, but to start making bold choices and intentionally move forward onto a more creative and playful, less predictable, wholly forgiving path.

Head – skillet – OK! OK! I get it. I’m working on it. I really am now working on it.


This morning, I woke to more snow. Not a terrible amount but enough that some people were off of work while others were not. I was not.

A fantastic thing about cars that aren’t from the 1990’s (RIP Prissy) is that you can start them from your apartment to begin the melting-of-the-ice before you are ready to clear them off. So I did that and then – because my apartment is being measured for new windows today – I made the appropriate warnings for maintenance and hung them before heading downstairs:


On my bedroom door. #livingthedream


On my front door. #truestory

Clearing the snow off my car was simple enough this time – thanks, technology! – then began the 50-point-turn process of backing out of my tiny, ice-covered, car-crammed parking lot at The Apartments of Eternal Christmas.  I get out of my spot without touching the Lexus next to it (50 points to Hufflepuff!! #wishiwereaGryffindor), start to pull out of the lot in general, crunch over something, and then… STUCK. I try reverse, drive, turning the wheels in different directions. NOTHING.  I get out of my car and grab the shovel (which I’ve been keeping in the backseat all winter) so I can dig around the wheels a bit. Then I try again.

Alas, still nothing. No budging.

It turns out that my car is stuck on a BLOCK OF ICE.  2ft to the right is fine – there is only a thin layer of ice, level to the ground.  Where I am, there is a thick, elevated, island of frozen water that my car is determined to sit pretty on for FOREVER.



Being fully aware of my enemy now, I determine the best plan of attack is to let the car run a little so engine-heat can soften the ice – then I will beat my frigid foe to death with my shovel and coast to the street, victorious!  Easy-peesey.

Except because winter 2015 has been INSANE, this hunk of hell-ice has been building over days or maybe even weeks. Its layers are not to be melted so quickly or easily.

I pulled out my trusty AAA card and was about to begrudgingly place a call when an orange Mustang stopped and two young men jumped out to offer assistance.  Side note: I love how dudes see a car in trouble and get genuinely excited at the opportunity to make a car do something that it isn’t currently doing.

I am anti-Damsel-in-Distress and like to do things myself or pay someone professional to do it for me (it’s an “independence” thing) so am skeptical as the guys start assessing but I tell them what I know. They kick at the ice, look under the car, laugh at my plight, and offer to push; they seem confident. But NOTHING happens. This car is *not* going *anywhere*. To seem like less of a moron, I stress that I’m used to driving a truck with 4-wheel drive (again, RIP Prissy) and this little-car-in-winter thing is brand new to me.  These dudes are good-natured, amused, but definitely still laughing at me. We play this “maybe we can help you” game for about 10/15 minutes before I say I’m just going to call AAA. Then ANOTHER guy stops. He has a huge white van. And rope in his car. And offers to tow me.

I have now become both the neighborhood cause AND entertainment as several people have started watching the commotion.

Makeshift Towing

Neighborhood AAA

BUT IT WORKS!!  Dude-in-white-van pulls me off of the ice block as I pilot my car. Then the gents coached me through another 50-point-turn to once again *not* hit the Lexus… but actually get out of the parking lot this time.  There may have been cheers as I drove away.

Once again I’m impressed with humanity and humbled by the idea that sometimes you really do need to accept the help of others when it is generously offered and that it doesn’t make you a Damsel-in-Distress – just human and lucky that the right people happened to be coming by and stopped to assist. These guys all chose to stop, to spend their time finding a solution, and to literally get down on their knees in cold, wet ice in order to help a stranger get her car out of a ridiculous, unnecessary situation. People are truly awesome and it’s nice to be reminded of that; I’m determined to pay this one forward.  But I’m not cancelling my AAA subscription any time soon.

Throwback Thursday: You Matter

Lives matter.

Your life. My life. That man at the crosswalk. That woman who just held the door open for you. Your first grade teacher. Your BFF from 7th grade who broke your heart when he moved away. The girls you played Light As A Feather, Stiff As A Board with at birthday sleepovers. The musically talented, shy kid who nailed his surprise lines in the show. The dude who made the most affecting piece of high school art you’ve ever seen. The football player with a winning smile who could always make *you* smile. The boy from 11th grade who gave you butterflies and once made out with you for hours. The giggly girls with whom you sneaked underage booze and talked all night. The guy with the tattoos, piercings, and jeep up on shocks who went overseas. The kid you met in line while getting your college ID who brought you soup when you were sick and then got way too cool (he was *really* cool). The artsy ladies with whom you formed a secret society. The mischief-makers who found ways into off-limits theatre spaces to give your class lasting memories. Your first real boss who stressed you out way too much. Your best friends through the years who have given you love and laughter and doses of real-talk and are always there no matter what. The heartbreakers. The nice lady who chatted you up on the patio of the bar this summer and offered a hug just when you were about to crack. The chick in the car in front of you this morning who was driving 10mph in a 30mph zone and driving *you* bonkers. Your Mom. Your Dad. Your siblings. Your cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents. The guy who always lets you interrupt his walks so you can pet his dog when you see them out and about. The person you just hit it off with at that thing the other day – you think you’re going to be good friends. The hundreds of people you haven’t seen since elementary school, middle school, high school graduation, college graduation, moving away from home, leaving a job, ending a show, ending a relationship, closing a chapter of your life…

The number of people who weave in and out of each others’ stories and histories is uncountable, and each moment and each life matters. And I am grateful for everyone who is a part of my story as I am honored to be a part of yours…no matter how small or large or in between, how pleasant or lesson-teaching. You matter; thank you for being.

Live beautifully and love big.