“Let’s Be Brave and Search Alone-Together”: Q’s 11 & 12

My friend, Tia, has started a tumblr (inspired by a production being put on by a local theatre company) encouraging folks to go on an Identity Scavenger Hunt.  And in her rallying cry of “let’s be brave and search alone-together” (which I love love love love) – I’m all in.  And I encourage you to play along as well! Over the next 30 days or so, Tia will be posting a question or two a day from the famous Proust Questionnaire on the tumblr.  I’ll be doing my best to keep up and answer the questions here; my approach will be to not think too much about any one answer and to go from the gut.  You can answer the questions on the Identity Scavenger Hunt tumblr, on your own blog, in your journal, in your head, or feel free to e-mail answers directly to the lovely Tia at theatretia@gmail.com – she may want to use some of your answers in different ways in the future!

11. What do you dislike the most about your appearance?

My skin. I never had real problem-skin until my mid-twenties and now I have fairly bad facial scarring and the occasional really bad breakout. I know my acne issues are hormonal and it is an active choice on my part to not regulate that hormonal shizz, but it’s still a pain – sometimes a literal pain.  To add to it, a medicine I was put on this past fall to try to manage the breakouts actually gave me the worst breakouts I’ve ever had and resulted in the worst scarring. PLUS the pills gave me anxiety attacks. So I went off of those and am now relying on topical and homeopathic management techniques along with going easy on dairy and drinking more water.

I will say that my skin has gotten a lot better since October, but is definitely still healing from the dermatological assault of this fall.  And I’m visually adjusting to the facial/neck scars, some of which may be permanent.  If I could erase them all, I would in a heartbeat. I looked into laser treatments but for some folks, those treatments can actually make skin gain the texture/appearance of an orange peel. I figured that I haven’t had that much luck with my skin lately and if I took expensive measures that only gave me a different and somewhat worse problem, I would lose my cool entirely.

So thank goodness for good (cruelty-free) make-up. And soft lighting. And – ya know – personality and heart and the things that *actually* matter.

12. Which living person do you most despise?

The “flip” answer after writing the above is “my dermatologist.”  But honestly, this has me stumped. Ooooooph.

I can count on less than one hand the number of people I can’t stand – mainly people who did the internal emotional equivalent of flipping tables and trashing hotel rooms when they were in my life. Like – really messed up stuff.  But *despise* feels so strong. I don’t *despise* these people because to do that much damage, you have to have been close at some point. And to be close, means that I emotionally understand some of the reasons these people are they way they are. And empathize to a degree. Which takes the edge off slightly and knocks potential *despise* down a rung or two…

For me, I think that *despise* must be reserved for real world evil.  There isn’t one specific living person who comes to mind but I do despise the people who abuse their animals and dump them at the shelter for no good reason.  Nothing elicits more rage from me than seeing under-fed, hurt, helpless creatures and knowing that someone was charged with their well-being and refused to give even the base amount of care necessary for a living creature to simply survive.  I do truly despise these people.

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OK – that was rough. After thinking about people I don’t like and trying to figure out who I may despise, I need a little happiness.  Here’s a great video about people doing GOOD in the world from HooplaHa’s Facebook. I am a friend and fan of Dr. Spats and after this video, I bet you will be, too.

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.