Ask and ye shall receive; seek and you shall find.

It’s amazing what happens when you start putting out into the universe what you want.  Of course, it doesn’t really work with specific people, because you can’t control them.  But looking at my growing bucket list and what’s happened in the last few days, I’m pretty astounded.

#11. Learn to knit/crochet – I went to the local yarn store and signed up for a beginners knitting class.  I start on Monday. Also, while I was there, me and the lovely two Southern ladies got to talking and they were suprised that I was from up North because I apparently didn’t sound like I was from the North.  That made me feel good.  I told them that I’ve had vocal training and like to sing, so I’m trying to pick up the accent.  When they heard that, they asked me to sing something, so I did.  It came out pretty good, and they clapped.  It made me very happy.

#40. Relearn to play guitar fluently – About an hour ago, I got an email from my sister.  She had some LivingSocial credit and got me four music lessons!  I get lessons to relearn to play guitar!  I could even get help with songwriting, too, cause they do that, too!  Awesome!

#1. Do a split – I found this site that talks about how stretching is not all you need to know/do to get into “the splits” (can someone tell me why it’s a plural?  It’s like eggplants.  I didn’t know that was supposed to be plural, either, until I saw it on a few menus.  Weird.)  I really want the DVDs, but maybe for Christmas, cause the set is $100.  But I found the site.

I’ve also made some general progress towards losing weight and getting healthier.  Instead of ice cream, I bought sorbet the other night when I went to the store.  And when I decided to start eating cereal again, I got my unsweetened almond coconut milk instead of regular milk.  I’ve been taking my nieces out into the pool the last few days, and I did a LOT of walking yesterday.  The whole So You Think You Can Dance workout series is saved on my Pinterest, so sometime this week, I’m going to start learning the routines to get my body moving more.

Advertisements

Learning how to curate my life

Over the years, there’ve been many articles, books, and TV segments about de-cluttering your life.  There are many synonyms, such as:

  1. streamline
  2. purge
  3. downsize
  4. minimalize
  5. trash the shit you don’t need (more a phrase than a synonym, but it still holds)

My personal favorite came to me a few months ago via an article in Good Housekeeping.  (Ironically, I can’t find the magazine right now, because of too much clutter from having just moving halfway across the country.  Once I find it, I’ll credit the author and post the article name.)  The gist of the article was not to approach decluttering as any of the above words, but instead to curate.  Your things are your own personal collection.  Even more so if you have a dedicated collection of certain items.  Like any good museum, you can’t possibly display everything you own all the time.  Things accumulate over time and we don’t want to part with them for a variety of reasons.  But no matter what the reason, there is only so much space.  So we have to curate.  Choose the best things (the author specifically chose things for beauty and/or usefulness) to display and pack up or get rid of the rest.

This helped me a lot when I was packing to move, and yet I look around at my new place (the basement in my sister’s house – I’m calling it my own little studio) and all I see is too much stuff. I’ve been wanting to reduce the amount of stuff I have for a while now (perhaps that’s one of the biggest differences between me and my ex-wife.  She just wanted to grow her [and our] collection without, it seemed, regard for space) but only recently have I begun to actively curate.

While watching a new series I discovered on Netflix called Dance Academy, it occurred to me that not only was I actively working against many of my goals on my bucket list, but the fact that I was eating Ghiradelli milk chocolate chips while watching a ballet TV series from Australia proves I have fascinating ways of mentally and physically torturing myself.  It also made me think about the physical and mental connection between clutter.  (Did I mention I also rank very well in Avoidance of Certain Subjects?  Yeah, a blog (or 12) is coming about the physical body being a metaphor for the mental body.  It might even have something in there about how I should stop writing about getting fit and start doing some exercises.)  Anyway, a quick Google search led me to this article, which discusses the link between mental and physical clutter.

My favorite part is this paragraph:

Sometimes it helps to externalize our internal landscape. And sometimes, dealing with our external landscapes can help us deal with our internal ones as well. Finding the proper place for every item, cleaning up clutter, organizing our spaces, helps us find some clarity in our lives. The act of cleaning up clutter challenges us to question where everything belongs, and perhaps in doing so, we can find the places for our thoughts and emotions.

It’s no secret that my “internal landscape” is a fucking landmine of pain, hope, loss, love, betrayal, new creativity, and confusion.  Looking around at my “external landscape” is like seeing a physical representation of that.  There are boxes still packed, dented from having things piled on top of them.  Many things, like books and DVDs and some CDs, have been shelved at least, but aren’t in any kind of order.  They look pretty, but they’re all disorganized.  My essential clothing (bras, panties, night wear, comfy pants, tank tops) are fairly organized but the rest of my crazy amount of clothing is still packed in various bags and totes all over my room and in the closet.  My burlesque persona has been neatly folded into a few large plastic bins for the time being as I take some time to uncover Genevieve.

So, the work has begun.  I just have to keep it up.  It’s time to continue towards mental and physical clarity.

Go for it, Genevieve!

So you think you can take baby steps…

Today has been a good day.  I’ve only had about two hours sleep, but after sleeping on and off for about 24 hours from Friday night to Saturday night, I think I’ll be fine with a little less sleep than normal.  Caffeine doesn’t hurt, either.

The day started with my brother-in-law’s homemade biscuits and gravy which is fucking amazing.  Then I came down to my little studio apartment to dive headfirst into going through audition songs for The Voice.  At one point, my niece called down and I thought she was going to tell me to can it, but instead, she asked if she could come down to listen to me rock out.  That made me feel hella good and we went through a few possibilities.  I think I’ve got my ballad, mid tempo, and up tempo songs selected and swing in case I’m feeling ballsy.

After that, I found the So You Think You Can Dance workouts on You Tube and promptly saved them to my Pinterest account so I can easily watch and use them later.  Aw, yeah!

My sister and I put up this small vinyl pool that turned out to be a LOT of fun.  My great niece had a blast with it.  The other great niece didn’t like that it was so cold (even after my sister and great nephew ran down some boiling water to bring up the temp) and face planted the second time she got it.  I think she’ll be fine once it warms up.  I know I had a grand ol’ time.

A nice shower was a pleasant follow up to a lovely day and soon, we’ll have dinner.

I’ve been up and active all day, starting the leg work for a few of my bucket list entries.

This is good stuff right here.

Acceptance is key.

My husband filed for divorce yesterday.  I should have the paperwork in about 30 days.  I’ve been feeling kind of numb, and fighting to get to hopeful for the future.

Sometimes, the simplest message helps ease the pain.  Such is the case with the following passage.  It’s stayed with me for years and helped me through many situations that felt unfair, hurtful, and just plain impossible to contemplate.

“By royal order of King Phillip,” repeated the solider, “I am sent here to tell you that soup has been outlawed in the Kingdom of Dor. You will, by order of the king, never again consume soup. Nor will you think of it or talk about it. And I, as one of the king’s loyal servants, am here to take from you your spoons, your kettle, and your bowls.

“But that can’t be,” said Uncle.

“Nevertheless. It is.”

-Kate DiCamillo from The Tale of Despereaux

There will be other things to eat.  I will have other things to eat them from, and with.  I will be okay.  I will achieve dreams I never thought possible.

GO for it, Genevieve.

L’esprit de l’escalier

I’m very sorry to make you deal with any of this.

THEN WHY ARE YOU DOING IT?!

I think the worst part is trying to even contemplate trusting someone with my heart again.

Almost as soon as I met him, I could see me and my now (and soon to be ex) husband growing old together.

After some bumpy starts and stops, I also came to see our wife that way.  Hell, we proposed by serenading her with “Grow Old With You.”

How does a heart, a person recover from that life plan being forcibly taken away?

Yes, I know philosophers and therapists and celebrities and a whole mess of other people have made an entire industry out of coping with divorce and it’s aftermath.

And I’m also aware that the only way out is through.

But in practical terms…I just don’t know how I’m going to do it.

I guess I’ll find out when I get there.

I’m very sorry to make you deal with any of this.

Not half as sorry as I am.

But I will get through this and be okay.

6 Steps, part 1

In the article from the Buried Life guys that has stayed with me, Tim Ferriss writes about the “6 Steps to Crossing Anything Off Your Bucket List.”

They are:

  1. Stop and think about it.  Really think about it.
  2. Write it down.
  3. Talk about it.
  4. Be persistent.
  5. Be ballsy.
  6. Help others.

Right now, I’m in the thinking and writing phases.  The very beginning.

What do I want to do?  Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve wanted to be a singer.  Later, I added actress, writer, and mother to that list.

Motherhood is fairly straight forward, but what kind of singer would I want to be?  Coffee houses?  Touring arenas? The same goes with actress and writer.  Broadway, community theater, something else entirely? Bestseller, blogger, copywriter?  All of these things are possible, but now is the time to Really Think About It.

Now that I come to think about it, is motherhood all that straight forward?  Would I just be happy putting down “become a mother”?  My preference is to give birth to my own child.  However, if that doesn’t work out, I would be open to adoption.  So then, yes, “become a mother” is definitely on the list.  With singing (and acting, and writing), though, I think it’s better to have different goals.  Things like relearn to play the guitar.  Record a CD of my own songs.  Get an agent. Publish at least one best selling book.  (Hey, if the Buried Life guys can put it on their list, why the hell can’t I put it on mine.

Sing with Crystal Bowersox is a definite.  And Jennifer Nettles.

Travel to Europe, more specifically Ireland, England, and France.

Buy my own new car (bonus: drive it off the lot).

Although I’m wary, I do hope to find a wonderful person, fall in love again, and remarry.

Buying a house has been on the list for a while. Renovating it to my liking is also on there.  Demo looks like such fun!

Dance with a partner, especially ballroom/Latin dance.  Rhumba, quickstep, waltz, and jive are my favorite.

Learn to knit and/or crochet.

Get to a healthy weight and lifestyle of eating and activity.

This may seem absolutely ridiculous, given the fact that I’m overweight and 35, but I’ve always wanted to learn ballet en pointe.  It would take a lot of dedication and work.  I don’t know if I can dedicate myself to that, but right now is the thinking and dreaming stage.  I don’t need to jete, all I want is to be able to go up en pointe.

I’ve always wanted to be able to do a split.

Go to California.

Make love outside during a thunderstorm.

Swim in an infinity pool.

Become a voice over artist.

Have more than the recommended amount of savings in the bank.

Invest wisely in the stock market.

Ride a mechanical bull.

Totally stealing these from the Buried Life list:

Get a song I’ve written on the radio.

Win at bingo and yell “Bingo!”

Write an article for a major publication.

Take someone on a shopping spree.

Make a music video.

Act alongside (and dance with) Darren Criss and Ellen Degeneres. (Dancing with Ellen was on their list; I added acting and Darren Criss)

Go four wheeling.

Hang-gliding?

Jet skiing.

Snow mobiling.

Downhill skiing.

Ride a horse.

Pay off my mortgage.

Help someone build a house.

Go to the Olympics. As a spectator.

Oh, yeah…go to City Museum.

That was on my list for close to five years.  I totally achieved it a few months ago.

Karaoke. Did that just this week.

Rock on.

I’m gonna sleep on this now and see what else I can come up with.  By the end of June, I will have my list of 100 things.

Unburying myself, part 1.

2012 has proven to be a rough year for me so far.  I was diagnosed with Reactive Airway Disease.  Not too terrible to manage; in fact, I’m off the medication I was put on and am doing fine.  However, the more difficult diagnosis was Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).  This, coupled with my thyroid problems and anxiety meds, meant that the odds against me conceiving were stacking up at an alarming rate.  Add to the mix that I’m overweight and was about to hit the age where it starts getting dangerous to get pregnant, and I was getting pretty worried.

My husband and wife assured me that we’d work it out.  However, the way they chose to “work it out” was without me.  In February, just a week after a really wonderful Valentine’s Day, I asked my husband on a whim if we were ever going to have sex again.  It’s not the only way to conceive, but it was my preferred method.  It had been about three (close to four) months since we’d last been intimate. I was getting concerned.  And lonely.  It had been about triple that between me and my wife.  I don’t even remember how long it had been since the three of us had sex.  My husband seemed to crumple when I asked.  Feeling bold, I ventured that it didn’t seem he was attracted to me anymore.  His response: It’s complicated. (The response later turned out to be very simple: no, he wasn’t attracted to me anymore.)

I should’ve known right then and there where we were going.  Or at many other junctures along our life together.  Part of me probably did.  But a stronger and more persuasive part (that also listened to them) told me that we would work it out.  I had so much hope and love.

We began talking about a trial separation for a month.  Less than a week after those talks started, it became very clear very quickly that neither of them had a trail or separation in mind.  It was over and they were done.

To top it all off, the company I worked for, which had been very supportive of letting me keep my job “no matter where I landed” post-split, closed.  All signs were pointing to major life upheaval.  Going with the trend and knowing that I needed some time and space to get my life back together, I accepted my sister’s gracious offer to move in with her.  A finished basement had my name on it and now this Jersey girl woman has relocated to the South.

While it’s gorgeous here, and I’m surrounded by supportive family and still in touch with loving family and friends back in the Northeast, I’ve cried a lot. Spent days in bed, feeling like there was no point to life.  What’s the point to dream or hope if the things I wanted, even if I got them would be taken away?  Or even worse, simply choose to walk away of their own volition.  There have been many low points I’m not proud of and I’m sure there will be more.

But. I’m finally in a place where the barest glimmer of hope is starting to shine through the dark.

First, it came from my sister and aunt and father.  Words of strength and humor and support and love.  Then it came from friends; warm, open advice from a friend who’d been as close to my situation as is possible.  This was was a godsend given ours was not the most traditional relationship. The grace of friends who made sure I had a place to stay should I need it, forced me to eat when I didn’t think I could ever eat again (at one point this wasn’t even an exaggeration), flew down here to get me when I visited my sister the first time just to drive home with me, another friend who drove with me back when I came back, and all those who busted their asses to make sure all of my stuff fit into a small SUV and U-haul trailer as I made the trek 1,000 or so miles away for a fresh start.

It then glowed in the perfect eyes of a friend’s surprise ninja baby.  The family dinners near the lake (no cell phones allowed.) The immediate acceptance and love given to me even before I walked into my sister’s house. The friends who are still staying in touch, saying they love me, that they’ll be here for me no matter if I wind up staying in the South or if I move back to Jersey. The mother-in-law who said she loves me and I’m her daughter, no matter what happens.

Sometimes, the support and love has brought me to tearful gratitude.  Other times, I’ve felt completely unworthy and mystified why so many awesome people are so supportive of me.  And then there’s the tiny part that needles me, saying that all the support in the world can’t make up for the rejection of the two people I wanted unconditional love and support from.  The ones who pledged it to me.  The family I’d spent nearly 14 years building.

Many hours have been (and probably will still be) spent wondering if I’ll ever find someone.  I’m polyamorous by nature, but I think I need to start with one before I can even contemplate more. Especially when, right now, one doesn’t even seem possible.  Someone to love me.  Who won’t think my personality is too much, yet who will help me carry my baggage, as I help him with his.  A man to think I’m beautiful even if my weight fluctuates and will be supportive of my voice.  Someone to cherish me whom I can cherish right back. Too much time has been spent depressed by the certainty that I’ll never find that person.  What has finally helped wake me up, literally and figuratively, is that I’m beginning to see that it’s possible to have a happy and healthy life without it.

Would I rather have a spouse or spice?  You betcha.  It’s a goal.  But it’s only one.  It can’t make or break my whole life.  In this day and age, I don’t even need a significant other to have a baby.  I’d rather I did, but I’m beginning to realize it’s not necessary.