Fear

I am scared of children with scissors.

Reasons why can be found here.

Yesterday and the day before, I did an activity with sixth graders (age 11-12).

And I can tell you, I was so scared!

Kids love to play with scissors! They walk opening and closing the blades in front of them. They pretend to cut each others hair and clothes. They point them at each other and jab the air.

But it’s a “stupid” fear, so I have to keep quiet while I watch children cut paper too close to their fingers. And God forbid they come anywhere near me with them!

How childish! How immature! Why can’t you be afraid of heights like a normal person? What a lame fear.

I know.

You don’t think I wish I wasn’t scared?

Guilted

I got a dog recently. Her name is Moro, and I will make a proper introduction post about her later.

My mother and I had been talking about a service dog or a therapy dog for a while now. And recently, Mother had this feeling where we needed to go to the shelter to pick up a potential pup. I, as I always do, had my reservations. We have cats, I have work and other responsibilities, we’re poor, etc. She was insistent that the dog would help me, so I went along with it.

When we got to the shelter, there was an energetic, terrified, QUIET Malinois pup. She was amazing, and I got her. I had plans to take her to obedience classes so she can learn the basics before training her myself (with help) to become a personalized therapy dog.

That is the plan.

However, there’s a new stressor: my family.

New dog means new responsibilities on top of what I have. That means waking up at 5:30 instead of 6:30 so she can have a morning walk. It means making sure she is exercised by taking her out, since the backyard doesn’t have enclosed fences yet. It means dealing with her naughtiness (she is a pup after all) of headbutting my nose every morning, pottying in the house, and tearing my books out of the bookcases.

Because of her, I have spent some bill money in order to get her crate and food. Because of her, I am getting about 4 hours of sleep at night. Because of her, I’ve had to rearrange my bedroom to something I’m not completely happy with.

And I get it.

This is my responsibility now.

I’ve had her for 10 days now. Just 10 days. And I’ve been greeted by two phrases that haunt me, and make me feel like I’m either stupid for getting her or that I’ve been guilted into getting Moro.

First was from my brother: “Well, you decided to get a dog”.

This was when I was telling him how tired I was since I have to wake up earlier now. Yeah, I thought a therapy dog could help me with my PTSD, my depression, my panic disorder, my mental breakdowns I seem to be having more of. I was willing to wait, but Mother felt I needed Moro now, and I found a good dog. Maybe I was stupid to get her now. I could’ve waited, and got another dog.

Second was my mother: “You get to deal with this for the next 10 to 15 years”.

This came after I was upset with Moro jumping on my bed. Do you know why I was upset with her? It wasn’t because she came up on my bed. I like cuddling. It was because she fully headbutted my nose, and I thought it was going to bleed at any moment. No blood, but it was throbbing and bruising like a mofo. That phrase makes me feel like I’ve made yet another mistake that’s going to effect my life horribly.

I feel guilted into getting her. I “needed a dog”, and they “thought she was going to help me”. It was for the sake of me. ‘Help us help you’. ‘If you get a dog, it would make us happy’. Can’t say no to my family, I guess.

Do I regret getting her?

Maybe…

Do I resent her?

No. She is a puppy (5 months old) in a new environment, and I’ve only had her for 10 days! It’s going to take a while.

The reason I’m sharing this is because I was on the cusp of another mental breakdown this past weekend. My room was an awful mess because Moro likes to find cardboard boxes and rip them to shreds. My lack of sleep was finally getting to my psyche. I was worried about production (by the way, guys, I’m in a play as well), and my usual worries of no money, school situations, existentialism, yada yada yada. And on this verge, my family kept asking questions, telling me what I needed to do, and I had to remind myself that not only did I have this dog to take care of now, I still have the cats to take care of. Everything was crumbling, and the cherry on top was my brother coming into my room and immediately saying, “I’m leaving; your room smells disgusting.”

From work to production to schooling to hobbies to house care to the new dog to my already unstable mind…it can feel like too much.

And I feel guilted into it.

 

***

 

Disclaimer: I realize it’s not my family’s want for me to feel that way. It’s just how it is and how my brain perceives things.

Why I Don’t See Myself as Accomplished

Depression.

The end.

Okay, seriously, I don’t see myself as accomplished, I think, for several reasons. Two of which I’ll talk about.

One: comparison. My friends do amazing things, and I’m so proud of them for it. In no way am I trying to diminish them. They are incredible people and deserve all the success in the world. But while they shine, I diminish.

I’ve done dramaturgy work at my undergrad, one of the first people do it. Then a friend (hi, Hannah) went on to get scholarship and more work for it after learning about it. So, my success is lessened.

I’ve written original work, full length plays and novels. Then some other friends have their works published and performed. So, my work is meaningless.

I’ve lived in another country all on my own to pursue a Masters. Then, at the same time, another friend moved to another country for his Masters (hi, Dave) and have an incredible opportunity to do so much more. As well, a lot of my friends travel or have traveled. So, my experience is minimized.

There are so many more examples I can give, but the list would be too long, so let’s stick with these three. But you get my point. I am not accomplished compared to my absolutely fantastic friends.

Two: failures trump successes. Now, that sounds harsh, but allow me to explain. I have a success. Something I should feel accomplished for. And then something happens that cancels out or reverses that success.

I was accepted into the Governors School for the Arts for acting, the only one in my school’s district. Success. But when we moved I auditioned for a high school with an arts program, and I was rejected. Failure. So it was not really an accomplishment to me.

I graduated with my Masters with Merit. Success. But the rest of my classmates graduated with Distinction, and I found out because I did poorly in one of my classes, I wasn’t given the distinction. Failure. So it was not really an accomplishment to me.

(And 100% honestly, I tried thinking of another example, and I could not think of a single success).

Now, I can hear you through the screen: “How can you not say you’re accomplished?! Look what you’ve done!” While your feelings are valid, they aren’t my feelings. I don’t feel accomplished. Am I? That’s subjective. I just don’t personally see it.

 

Why I Quit Acting

If you didn’t know, when I was starting college I really wanted to go into acting. However, the college I went to, at the time, only had one theatre major: Theatre Education. That didn’t stop me from wanting to be on the stage. To this day, I love the stage. But I’ve given up on that pipe dream, and I’ll tell you why.

At first, I thought it was lack of opportunity. My high school did two shows a year, and I would tend to get small roles or chorus roles. Only because lead lead roles are one or two. Not enough for all of us. Then, when I got to college we did two shows a semester (three semesters per year), and they overlapped so you could only do one show a semester. I was brand new, the shows didn’t have enough lady roles (they still don’t), and/or it conflicted with studies.

Every audition I did brought no call back. But I still tried; this happens to everyone, right? Finally, I got a call back. Yes! I can show my true talent outside of audition nerves! Plenty of lady roles, too! Gold mine! That’s when the director had us stand in a line shortest to tallest. I, obviously, was on the tall side. He didn’t even give me a glance.

Lightbulb.

I’m too tall and too big to be on stage.

“Oh, shut up. What about this actor who’s big? Or this actor who’s tall?”

Yay for rare exceptions, right?

Its not that I’m big OR tall. It’s that I’m big AND tall. They don’t want that nonsense on stage.

For the rest of my undergrad career, I tried to prove it wrong. More auditions, even outside the school, and all the acting classes available. But alas. I got to watch my smaller friends get multiple roles, girls get a speaking part in the first show they’ve auditioned for, while I got roles like ‘Plump Sister’ and ‘Pig #3’.

“Maybe you’re just not talented. You ever thing about that?”

Why, then, was I accepted into the Governor’s School for the Arts for acting? Why, then, did I compete in one acts, and get awarded for my acting? Why, then, was I praised by my classmates, cast in their one acts for directing classes? Why, then, did I get good grades in acting classes?

If it was, indeed, my talent, then I’ve been lied to and misled.

Because I never got roles, I started getting more involved behind the scenes. I was able to do a lot more as a technician, or even artistic personnel, than an actor.

So I gave it up.

It was clear it would not work for me, so why do it? Because I love it? It’s not enough without opportunity. And I was not afforded such. Maybe I could find something else I love without leaving theatre (dramaturgy and playwriting).

I do miss acting.

I miss learning lines, rehearsals, being in front of an audience, being someone else, provoking a story. I miss it.

But I can’t do it.

And I wish luck to all of my theatre friends who do pursue it. Just because it didn’t work for me doesn’t mean it won’t work for you.

Also, enjoy some pics of me as Plump Sister, Chorus, and Scottish Pirate.

An Honest Post

Hi. My name is Alexandra, and I’m going to be honest.

I have chronic depression, which can be severe with suicidal thoughts. I have a panic disorder that renders me unconscious if I get too bad. I have Post-traumatic Stress Disorder from past hardships.

Everything I do is at the mercy of what goes on in my head.

Everything.

And that seems to be who I am these days. I am my mental incapacities. I am the depression that keeps me from showering regularly during low times. I am the panic that makes me scared to go out in public, especially if there are small children. I am the mental breakdowns that keep me from fulfilling a lot of goals in life.

I am. I am. I am.

Yeah, there may be more ‘I am’s. Female. Religious. Queer. Educated. Whatever.

But none that drives more than mental disorders.

Be honest. Know who you are.

50 Books in a Year

For someone who loves to read as much as I do, this was tough.

Is it because I work? Is it because I had other hobbies like crafting or making videos or blogging? Is it because of pure procrastination or laziness?

Yes. All the above.

But I did it!

I read 50 books this year and decided to tell you a bit about it. And by that I mean I’m going to tell what books were amazing and what books you should avoid at all costs.

5 STARS

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie–not a surprise. I love the lady.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel. I was not expecting to like this as much as I did. Plot twist, it’s actually amazing.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. You wanna know what depression is like? Boom, you have an inside look. Beautifully written.

The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. The title was intriguing and I gave it a shot. I loved his writing so much I read four more books of his this year.

0 STARS

*disclaimer: these books were ones I found awful, but if you love it then go ahead! I’m just talking about my personal opinion*

The Secret Daughter of the Tsar by Jennifer Laam. As someone who researched the Romanovs, this book got me in the cringe-gut. Also the plot wasn’t well done.

Red Rain by R.L. Stine. He needs to stick with the juvenile books. Adult books are not his forte (or what he’s good at).

A Perfect Wife and Mother by Alexandra Frye. What a fascinating concept with the absolute worst set of characters ever written.

These books were just examples. There were more 5 starred pieces, and unfortunately more 0 starred pieces.

I enjoyed reading. I discovered a new favorite author. I found tremendous books, and read stuff I’ve been meaning to for the longest time.

However, to be on a weird time crunch, I was too stressed and didn’t even want to read anymore.

Read because you want to when you feel like it. Don’t be pressured (unless you’re in school; can’t help you there).

Hugs

Alexandra

Celebration and Doing Washing

Happy Friday.

Well, this week has been interesting, or was it just me?

Very recently, I made a post about quitting videos for now (because my computer is practically dead, and you can read that post herehere). In that blog, I gave my blog schedule: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 9 am PST.

If you follow me/my website, first of all, thank you, how you doin’? But you would also notice I didn’t post this week. Monday? That was a wash. Wednesday? The wash was in the dryer. Today? It’s clean, but we’re definitely late to the party because we couldn’t find the right shirt.

But let’s talk about the ‘celebration’ portion of the title first. Hanukkah just happened.

Now, I’m not Jewish. I do have family (aunt who married into the family, and subsequently cousins) who are Jewish. I respect other religious holidays. If you kept up, I celebrated Holi with the Hindu community in Boise (read about that herehere). I wanted, this year, to celebrate Hanukkah.

Again, I’m not Jewish, so why would I? Well, why do non-Hindus celebrate Holi? Why do non-Christians celebrate Christmas? Because they find something special about it.

There’s something special about Hanukkah for me. I knew of the history behind it. I knew of some traditions (honestly, I don’t think you can know all of the traditions without being raised or converted into the religion). It seemed beautiful. So I finally decided to do it.

For about five of the eight nights.

img_6751As I lit the candles the final night, I felt like a colossal failure. This holiday, though not their most sacred, is Jewish tradition, and I felt like I tainted it. Disrespected it. But I stared at the flames until the candles died, thinking about celebration. What was the point? To me, though I wasn’t fully immersed, it was about learning of a culture I was only partially aware of. I learned more about Hanukkah traditions and the meaning behind it.

What really helped me feel better was the book have a little faith by Mitch Albom. In a span of eight years, he meets regularly with a Christian pastor (Baptist, I believe) and a Jewish rabbi. When he asked about religion and how others may view differences, the rabbi said how united we were. Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, atheists. We all believe something. We are one people from one ancestor (Adam) and that’s how we should be, no matter what we believe.

I liked that.

Anyway, if I decide to partake in the Jewish holiday again, I’ll be more vigilant and aware of the nights, and more respectful of the traditions and meaning behind them.

Now about my washing. Man, those clothes were dirty.

I honestly have no real excuse for forgetting to post, considering my phone has access to the website and I can write anywhere (except for work, because they lead-line the walls or some shit). It was a down week (my homies with chronic depression knows what’s up), and I worked a lot. However, I also just wanted to stay in bed when I was not working or running errands. So blog posts never came.

Now that the laundry is clean again, I think I can get back on track. Expect Monday’s post ON TIME!

Guys, celebrate. Celebrate other cultures and traditions. Find out more about them. Celebrate! Unless you’re appropriating or disrespecting, in which case fuck off kindly.

And don’t forget to clean out your laundry every once in a while.

Hugs

Alexandra

Stories part 1 (aka Let People Tell Their Own Story)

I hear you.

What do you mean ‘part 1’? What’s going on?!

Don’t worry, lovely, I will explain.

The day before Halloween, I was at work, handling some students. I was not having a good day, not because of the students, but because of my brain. It happens. For homeroom, I had some free time after they completed what they needed to. They spent that free time playing with scissors that were in a basket on their desks. This freaks me out, seeing children, any age, messing with scissors. With scissors, in general, actually. So I told them a story.

It was a horror story from my childhood. About scissors.

Anyway, the story freaked them out, and they stopped playing with scissors. And for the rest of the day, whenever they came back and saw non-homeroom students messing with the scissors they would stop them, warning them about ‘the scissor story’.

Now, here’s the thing: I don’t tell a ton of people this story.

I keep it to myself. Actually, in general, I keep stories to myself. I don’t enjoy when other people share my story without telling me. I share stories on this blog, obviously, but this is me sharing it to you. The written word on my website is permission to share. However, if I tell you a story in person, I don’t like the gossipy nature of telling my story.

I told this story only to the homeroom students. Perhaps it was my naivety, but I was expecting the students to keep the story to themselves, especially since it freaked them out so much.

We get to the final hour. My panic is high. An attack is imminent. My anger is rising. My grasp on the situation is slipping. And these students, rowdy and loud, are not helping. They finished their task early, and I was hoping they would just hang out for the remaining time so I don’t snap. Instead, one of the homeroom students asks if I can tell ‘the scissor story’ again. I asked the rest of the class, who all said yes.

I sit at the front and say, “This story is about why you do not mess with scissors. Do you still want to hear it?” A couple of girls said no. And, not wanting to scar some children, said I would not tell the story unless every student wanted to hear it. As I stood up, the loudest boy yelled that he wanted to hear the story. Before I could say anything to him, one of the homeroom boys turned around and shouted a one-sentence, spoiler-included summary. All the students groaned or exclaimed.

*snap*

I, as calmly as possible, scold him. Others didn’t want to hear the story, and it was not up to him to share it. I did not tell him he could share my story, and in a piss-poor fashion as well. The students looked at me in silent shock. Then the bell rang, and they escaped.

As soon as they left, my angry panic attack went into full-swing. But that’s for another time.

My stories are part of me, just as your stories are part of you. Seek permission before you spread something that is not yours.

Hugs

Alexandra

P.S. The part 2 to this will be the actual ‘scissor story’, to be out on Wednesday. And because I am writing, as I said before, this is my way of permitting sharing. It’s on a public site, so no worries.

Organizing

The past six days, I have been organizing my life: planner, paperwork, computer files, books, everything.

And I am out of it.

My desk is littered with paper balls. My laundry has been neglected because I still needed to edit this one video or type this one paper out. Cooking has been chucked out the window. I’ve watched so many YouTube videos that the algorithm must be malfunctioning by now.

I’m also sick.

I blame the stress, the constant work with no break, and being in the cold (since the study does not have heating, and it’s a nice 30-40 degrees in there).

Trying to make my life easier and more organized, I gave myself more stress and made it a bit more tough. At least for now.

What’s more: I’m still not done. However, because of how I’m feeling, I know I’m going to need to rest tomorrow. I’ll take it easy at work (hopefully), and rest.

It’s great to want to get your life in order, but don’t kill yourself to do so.

I’m going to bed now…

Hugs

Alexandra