Saturday, April 28, 2012

Binge and Purge

Ah, is it possible is has truly been two months since last we met? Oh where does the time go? So I know based on the title of this entry you may be leery to read on but fear not faithful reader, this is not a tale of my sudden desire to lose all my teeth to an eating disorder, though I will confess that I have fought such demons in the past but that is fodder for another day! Nope, this is about growth, change and positivity to the endth degree. This is about binging on life and purging the cr*pstorm we must endure on a daily basis.

Monday night I attended, under GREAT duress, the 25th annual awards for exceptional work in the area of theatre. That’s not the title, just the gist. Why duress? Well, I’d like to say it is because I’ve been working in this town for 20+ years and have yet to be embraced by it. I’d like to say it is because I’m out of shape and didn’t have a thing to wear. I’d like to say it was because I was ill-prepared should I meet someone important who could assist me in my future endeavors. And yes, all those things are true…in my mind. But they are also bullsh*t excuses I use to be unhappy. Why does the theatre community not embrace me? Because I haven’t told them they have to! Why am I out of shape? Because not only have I not been working out, but I’ve created a laundry list of excuses and a scapegoat of a boyfriend. And why am I ill-prepared? Because I haven’t done the work.

Ok, I realize I am probably being a little hard on myself; I have been busy working to keep paying the mortgage on the house which I now pay by myself…did I not tell you about that? We’ll get to that later. And I am dating a man who loves a bit of ice cream at midnight. But the reality is, facing that group of colleagues was like facing my worst fears. It was like returning to a nightlong celebration of high school social parriahood with the added bonus of an open bar. And for this supreme humiliation, a purchase price of $50. So I told myself and my companion (who incidentally had paid for the ticket as incentive for me to go) that I couldn’t make it, that I didn’t belong…and that I had nothing to wear.

His response? He pulled into Marshalls. Fine, I have a dress. A great dress. A gorgeous dress in fact. But I’m still not going. I am still ill-prepared and will not be accepted by this sea of theatre professionals who scoff at my years of children’s theatre, chew and view dinner theatre, renaissance festivals and high seas hi jinx.
Ridiculous he tells me. You have as much right to be there as anyone. So I agree to go and feel horrible the whole time. I’ve not seen nor in most cases even heard of the nominees. I turn to mention to my companion my distaste at the cacophony of screams, one show over another, each group trying to out cheer the other, no true sense of the comradery and support which each award recipient seems so hell bent on highlighting, just as my companion lets out a wail in favor of his own performance which has just flashed up on screen and I am drowned out by the sudden outburst of adolescent exuberance. I feel as though I am sitting in Lord of the Flies and all I want is escape. Two hours in and my ears are ringing, my head is pounding and my *ss is burning with a serious flair up of bursitis brought on by the extended lack of movement.

There are highlights, moments of divine clarity amongst the hubris. And low and behold, theatre for young audiences was right up there with the others, taking awards. And still I felt out of place.

So the evening meanders on; I fight with my date, I attempt to recoup my price with gourmet cupcakes and mixed cocktails. There is some dancing, schmoozing, congratulations and general merriment but mostly it just feels like work. The night ends as we head to the second garage where this time our car is actually parked.

So Laurel, where is the turn in this story? What amazing life lesson are you imparting, what are we meant to glean from your wisdom? That sometimes, I too am an arrogant ss. I didn’t realize it until today, when I was talking to my best friend about the whole thing and I confessed to her how my own fears and self-doubt had bubbled to the surface and kind of ruined what should have been a very fun night of dancing and dress up. How despite my best efforts my partner seems determined to lift me up and help me toward my dream. And as I talked about it, and she rattled off the laundry list of my recent accomplishments, almost verbatim to my partner of the previous evening, I realized something. I always suffer my greatest self-doubt before my greatest accomplishments, and I let those doubts gnaw at my foundation. They eat away my success and chew with withered teeth from overuse the marrow of my happiness. So I’ve decided it is time to do a bit of masticating of my own.

I am going to gorge myself on happiness, fill myself till I’ve no room left and when I’m near to bursting with the effort, I shall purge myself of all the negative thoughts and doubts and bullsh*t which stand to rob me of my bliss. I am going to write until my fingers bleed and my eyes tear from the effort. I am going to run til my mind is clear and docile as the placid waters of a fresh mountain lake. And I am going to love and be loved and accept with grace not only the love being offered me, but also the help that I so richly need; whether I deserve it is really of no consequence. So, here is to the next chapter. Because I f*cking deserve it! We all deserve happiness so stand up and demand it. No more b*tching about the injustices set upon us if they won’t accept you, then establish your own click. And if we have someone there begging us to let them in, maybe it’s time to purge ourselves of the poisons, the walls, the doubts and the baggage which so often prohibit their entry.

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