Free Fallin’


There are people in this world that have jumped from an airplane only to find mid-fall that the parachute didn’t open. While generally this spells death  for the person plummeting to the earth there are , on occasions, a person that lands and is found broken, bruised and badly shaken but nonetheless alive .

That person while recovering from the usually significant injuries has to , despite everything , feel like the luckiest son of a bitch in the world. You go into a free-fall , a jump from much higher than people die from and you live . You didn’t walk away . How could you? But the survival… the survival is all you could hope for and more.

Coming to Houston was me in free fall. I had little choice about what else I could do but I was definitely moving fast towards the ground and simply now , still in mid fall I have realized that I  can’t do anything to change the end of this fall.  now I am not saying that I am a victim of my fate I am saying that the choices that i made before now have shaped the movement  I am in  now . I jumped and while I couldn’t have predicted the lack of a parachute I had the choice to never jump.

I wonder if the people who are falling feel like I do now. In those moments , the beauty and splendor the earth all around them while they scream , prey or wet  themselves , do they also feel like this might be what I had to have happen. Would they choose to be at  home in whatever life made them feel like this was a good idea? I doubt that. I doubt that they would prefer to have never had the jump to avoid the fall.  I know that I would not .

The Epiphany


The phrase ” I’m not myself ” is thrown around often. If you are sick, distracted , unhappy , depressed or any combination therein. But what about when you wake up one day to discover you have never been yourself.I realized that tbe part of Brie has been played for so long by my double, my understudy.

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The person that I have been living as is less than. I know that I am capable of so many things but the problem is that I come near the place that I would jump off and become more and  I find that I am afraid . I am scared that what I want is too big for me, too wonderful , too right , too normal or just plain old too good for me . I start to second guess not just my ability to get it , my ability to keep it but also my right to have it in the first place.  This  cowardace is not the real me . The moment I left Michigan , the day that I drove out of one life and into another with no idea exactly how I was going to make this thing work was one of the first times I have been me . The problem is I have been backing away from that person ever since . I have been trying to mediate her , trying to marginalize her . I want to succeed but I am also afraid of what success will do to me. I fear, not that I will change , but that I won’t . That I will find myself successful and still lost and scared .
So i back away from sucess , I call it planning, or research or caution but really it’s just my fear that once I am standing on the podium someone will look through me and see the abused little girl I am afraid I will always be and declare ” Get her down, she doesn’t belong up there” .

I have to forgive myself for this as well, I have to forgive myself for being afraid . For being this girl. For being so human . Because if I don’t forgive myself , maybe several times ,I will never learn to be myself.  There are people in this world that are , either through mental or emotional disfunction , unable to know emotions naturally . They learn cognitively what happy looks like, what sad looks like, what a smile or frown or laugh means. I remember the first time I heard about that and I thought, ” that has to be so odd, not knowing something so fundamental “. Well , as usually happens when you judge others , I realize that walking around for your whole life not realizing that you are playing a role is just as odd , just as fundamentally strange , and just as difficult to change.  It takes time. It takes patience . It takes a willingness to recognize that you are not like other people. But like the people with cognitive emotional learning , it is doable. You will never be normal. You will always set out just a bit from the others, but you are allowed to be proud of your simple accomplishments . You are allowed to open the doors and look out on the world. You are allowed to smile and , when you need to remind yourself , say ” This is what happy looks like.”.

That’s All I Ask of You


The Phantom of the Opera is one of my favorite musicals. I think everyone loves it because it’s so fantastical and improbable but I love it because it is so human. The character “the phantom” is the perfect metaphor for the way  many of us live and love, at some point. He falls in love with a woman and immediately sees the problem. She is a beautiful chorus girl, he a monster that lives in the walls. He believes that if he can find something that ties them together, some part of him that is beautiful she should be able to see past his exterior and love him. When she instead chooses the rich handsome Count he is devastated. He saw the life he wanted with her and forgot about the life she might want in return.

I think I have lived my life as both Phantom and Christine. At different times I have felt for those who could bring me out and make me feel good, laugh and have fun but that I knew I was not truly attracted to. I have also worked to be with someone that I knew was not for me. When you are in this place ,the place that is both selfless ( if this is what he wants I will become this ) and selfish ( because I WANT him and that is all to it )  you like Erik ( phantom) are setting yourself up for a crushing blow . For the moment when the actual person comes into the life of your paramours life and takes them away. You alone sit in devastated unbelief while the rest of the world scratches its head wondering what you expected. If you actually thought the scheme you planned would work, and why.  This act of desperation , and while you , like Erik , are far from stupid you are lost.  Lost , sadly , in misguided hope that forgot the other part. YOU ARE  NOT THE ONLY FACTOR.

Erik’s life was all about darkness, with one spot of light Christine. He wanted her to live in the world he had created for himself.  In his mind she would be his creation, adored by fans and living in the world above then come home to him in the depths of the darkness and he would live vicariously through her. Her adoration would be his. Her applause would be theirs. Did Christine have desires, dreams, and plans of her own? He never asked. My two favorite moments in the musical version by Andrew Lloyd Weber is when Erik , having caught the two lovers Raul and  Christie together laments that she betrayed him. She never promised herself but his need for her makes her his in his mind. The other is when she realizes what the problem is and goes to him and Erik, finally realizing that the best case scenario between them would be the union of his obsession and her pity.

My whole life, not just in love but in the life I have missed the second part of the moral. I have often tried to force myself into a life that wasn’t mine. I also have spent a good number of my years letting people superimpose their desires into my life , as well. So today my decision is that I am allowing myself the luxury of leaving all that behind. If the wants of others are somehow hurt by my decision , so be it . I am also allowing myself to forgive me for times when I was the phantom , hiding behind a mask and preying on  , and praying that the other person would ,for the love of god, love me . Ultimately , I never knew until I knew.  Like Erik in his final scene , I can watch the persons, places or things that I once hung all my happiness on move forward , and sadly admit that it was not meant to be . And becoming, once and for all, the unlikely , scarred, weak and unstable hero of my own story.

Live Your Life


There is a moment in your life when you realize that it is necessary, for whatever reason, that it is time to try a radical change. You have to move . You have to change work. You have to do SOMETHING or you will die. Maybe not literally , although sometimes literally, but definitely spiritually. Dying spiritually is not a Christian concept . I am not talking about a disconnection with a deity , I am talking about a disconnection with everything. Your very essence , your liver , your lungs , your heart , your mind  , the skin and sinew that are you . Disconnected from you . You would walk around in a state of unconscious , alive and breathing wondering why food tastes different , why sex is unfulfilling , why you don’t laugh anymore. That is spiritual disconnect. Death has occurred and now you are a Zombie, unable to understand what changed.

I am at this moment. I am at the moment and day that requires that I take action. Action. I need a verb, a word that stands for my next phase. I am seeking that verb at this moment but I cannot , in typical Brie fashion, spend a month brooding about what that word might be , planning the finding of that word, seeking people’s opinions about what that word should be ( acting, writing , living, breathing ) until I am overwhelmed and exhausted and give up. This is my problem. This is the thing that has held me back from people and things , from places and thoughts . This is why I am still not the person I want to be . The me that  I want to know.

My temporary word will be a word cluster , for now my word(s) will be ” in the meantime” . I am going to continue moving toward my divinity , again not a religious concept but a personal one, but until then I will act, breath, write, learn . In the meantime, I will do all the things that I have been putting off waiting for the right person, place, sound, computer , dress size , fill in the blank to come by. If I do not have the right tools , I will use the tools at hand. If I don’t have a date , I will go with the intention to mingle and enjoy the moments. If I don’t have perfect words I will write the words I have , and have faith that I will find the perfect way to convey . It is time to stop researching the life I want and start living the life I have.

 

Here I Go Again on My Own


Today I woke up early. This is a great and  wonderful thing because I have been in my “I can’t get up, I can’t continue” phase for almost a month. The odd thing is it took me that long to realize that I am in fact in a deep depression. The fact that I started pushing away my friends , lying to people that have as a support system , sleeping full days away , crying at the drop of a hat and literally eating things that were bad for me while saying in my head ” I shouldn’t eat this , I’m not going to eat this, I don’t even like this” did not tell me that I was depressed Those things are all tale tell , I might as well have been walking slowly while touching a dark beige wall , but I didn’t see what I was feeling as depressed. I realized that I was depressed when I became aware that I could no longer form words. I had stopped writing.

This was a dangerous thing. I have been writing since I was seven. I have always journaled. I have always written short stories. I have always been a girl in her head, with little friends and personal anecdotes that keep her company. I have plays and movies and runaway epics that replay in my head. My while life I have been forming words , thoughts , people , places , constructions , monuments and alternative lives in my mind. I was no longer a friend to the various people in my brain, the mindscape was becoming a foreign land to me and when I came to understand this I knew. I am depressed.

Now this is both emotional and chemical. I am dealing with some major upheaval. I lost my job, I didn’t like my job but I loved my job at the same time. It was hard and new and I loved the challenge but I also felt that the company did not view me as an asset (ha, guess that was correct) and that it therefore did not allow me to be all that I could be. I was not given, or even offered the opportunities to network that my coworkers were. I was not aided in my position. I think that I should have// could have /would have been very successful in the position if I was better guided but I was not.  And I was terminated after being told that I was not going to be terminated.  I do feel discriminated against. And that feeling bullied, feeling lied to, feeling uncared for and used poorly is the emotional side of the depression.

I stopped moving. I wanted to be at least another 30 pounds lighter by now. I wanted to continue working out every day, start my yoga, meditations and start next year off in a wonderful healthy place. Instead I haven’t moved in two months. I eat whatever I want , I don’t move , I stopped taking vitamins,  I started doing coke… ok diet coke but still I drink soda, which is not good . So the fact that my mind has become a clouded mass of ” who are we, what are we doing here” is less than shocking  If I was a car I would be running with dirty oil , low octane gas and water instead of antifreeze and basically wondering “” why is this car running so rough?” .

So I am now on the path to find a new job , get off my butt and move and eat food that looks at least 90% what it would look like in nature, turns out there is no chicken nugget bush. And lastly to continue writing , everyday from today forward . I need to reacquaint myself with my mind , and get to know once again the playground of my youth.  I’m back. Wish me luck.