Friday, March 14, 2014

Choosing My Voices

Why are you doing this? It’s a big waste of time. You have too many other things to take care of. You should be grading papers. You should be writing important things, big things. You should be trying to make a buck to improve your family’s life.

You’re an embarrassment. Do you really want strangers seeing you dance badly? Do you want this on your permanent record? Do you want this to come back and haunt you some day?

Can’t you just hear the questions: Don’t you think that was poor judgment on your part, to post photos of yourself dancing on Youtube? Don’t you think you’re too old for that kind of nonsense?

Well, if I listened to these voices I would probably have quit already.

I’ve got news for you Depression. There’s a new boss in town and she’s calling the shots.

I know the voices I choose to listen to today. The voices that tell me to have fun and celebrate life, to do what makes my heart sing, to express myself, to find joy in the moment and in movement.

I will dance. I will celebrate my life and my body. I will be the person I choose to be.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A Mom's Search for Meaning

I just finished listening to “A Man’s Search for Meaning” by Victor E. Frankl as an audio book. I had read it when I was getting my MFA.

My psychiatrist had recommended I read it again. He’s been pushing me to find deeper meaning for my life, to transcend my self and self-actualize.

I think a big part of me fights the idea that my deeper meaning and transcendence should come from some inherent joy I should receive from being a mother, a wife, because I always feel like those things aren’t “important” enough in some way.

I understand it though. If I base my happiness and meaning on outer rewards like writing a successful and popular book, then I’m just being goal-oriented.


If I can find deeper meaning and fulfillment from my lot in life right now, then I have a greater chance of feeling full rather than depressed. But I also know that I don’t feel personally satisfied or complete with being “just” a mom. Perhaps I have some deeply ingrained ideas that being a mother isn’t really important or honored in the world. Perhaps I don’t see being a mom as important.

I am very happy to be a mother. I want to embrace this role as much as possible, but I also have to be true to those deeper rumblings, which tell me I need to dance or sing or perform or write or whatever.

I need these activities, these pursuits, for me.

I will make room for me in my life. I will say that what I desire is important.

Side note. Isn’t it interesting that after watching my video from today that I feel the need to defend my belly? I had to keep telling myself to look away from the belly while watching. I know, now that I’ve drawn attention to it, you won’t be able to look away either.

But why do I feel the need to defend it? All my thoughts flying through my brain: I wish that I had not worn a short top that exposed my belly. I should have realized my belly would look wobbly and been more thoughtful to my viewers and covered it up. But I’ve had three babies and I haven’t been working out. Will people be disappointed in me for not having abs of steel? Will be people be disappointed in me for caring I don’t have abs of steel?

Why must I judge myself even when I’m having fun?

It’s interesting. And I’m proud of myself for seeing my issue that way. As something interesting to note and wonder about.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Gotta Give What I've Got

Today was the first day that my mind upped its game and started whispering destructive thoughts in my head.

I was quick to shut down the unhelpful and unhealthy words though. I sent them packing. And while I could still feel their rumblings of negativity in my blood, I was able to focus my more conscious thoughts on my day ahead.

I’m not sure if it’s cause and effect or just a building up of stress, but I’ve been noticing over the last few days a sense of overwhelm. I have so many projects and responsibilities resting upon my shoulders right now that I do not have enough time to give all the things time that deserve and demand my attention.

I know I only have so much to give, but I keep wanting to do more and accomplish more, especially when I have made promises to people.


My friend Marion Loguidice’s song Gotta Give What You Got popped into my head today as a good anthem for myself. I need to give what I have while I can, but I also need to give to myself. As a mom, this often gets pushed to the back of the stove.

I’ll only have a little bit to give if I don’t take care of myself.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

I've Got To Get Up and Try

I dialed it down a notch today; I’m feeling like my body isn’t quite ready for Lady Gaga. I returned to my yoga roots and let myself flow through my morning madness. I trusted in the radio to provide me with a good song and Pink’s “Try” was perfect.

I focused on the words: You've gotta get up and try, and try, and try.

Pull myself up by the bootstraps. Live one day at a time. And all that crap.


Sentimental, corny, and true.

Some days it’s about getting up, dealing with the four kittens that were born in my dining room that night, getting the kids fed, dressed and to school, writing, preparing lesson plans, grading and going to work.

And making sure I give myself at least those five minutes to dance or sing or stretch or whatever makes me feel good and alive.

But is it enough to sustain me throughout an entire day? How long can I make the good feelings last?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Rage, Body Image Issues and Bad Romance

Rage is a new feeling for me and it scares me because it makes me imagine what it must be like for other people whose rage is even stronger than mine.

I yelled at Tommy this weekend because he wanted water after bedtime even though he’d already said he didn’t want any. My exhaustion didn’t want me to get up and get it for him.

So I yelled. Loudly.

I am so mad at you.

His little feet padding away down the hallway sipping at his little turtle cup.

You are so rude!

This little three-year-old being. A deep, but not rational, part of me thinks he’s trying to get away with something. It’s a power play and I shouldn’t give in. And he’s starting to scream again after a good half-an-hour of yelling at bedtime. And that’s why I screamed.

I’m so tired. I’ve got nothing left inside me.

Must these bursts of rage be a part of my life without antidepressants? Are they normal?

I must admit I was looking forward to my dancing today. I’m already enjoying the “me” time. I dance just for me. And to feel joy or whatever strong emotions I can shake out of my being.

An interesting phenomenon arose today after I viewed my video of me dancing to Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance.

I noticed not only the joyfulness of my dancing, but I noticed the negatives, too. I saw how my arms are out of shape and kind of wobbly. I saw my funny faces that I’m sure people will laugh at and judge. I saw some dance moves that looked a bit suggestive and silly.

But on the bright side, I also noticed how quickly I was able to say, so what?

This dancing thing is for me. For me to fight my depression. And to learn more about myself.

One big thing I learned today, I am not in great physical shape. After dancing, I had a coughing fit and some serious lung ache.

How in the world do performers dance all-out AND sing at the same time, for goodness’ sake?

This is me. These are my issues. Welcome to my world.