At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is
- T.S. Elliot
Hello out there!
What the fuck, friends? What even with these past couple months of turmoil and bullshit!? Can we all just decide it's 2015 and now we can start being kind to ourselves, being supportive to our friends, and kicking ass? I can only speak for myself, but despite all the success in my life over the past year, 2014 was kind of an asshole. I went through some shit, a lot of us did. I've noticed that a lot of us are having a hard time. Whether it is holiday-related, personal strife, seasonal depression, whatever it may be- a lot of people seem to be in need of positivity. Fuck, I know I am.
This isn't a place to share my super personal shit, so I'm just going to make the vague statement that in September my personal life fell apart , completely unexpectedly. September and October are a really busy time of year for me. When you're in a Horror burlesque troupe, October is a big month for shows. So, despite the personal trauma I was experiencing, I dove head first into work. I'm lucky in that my work also involves a chosen family who held me up throughout everything. A lot of people asked me how I was doing it all despite what I was going through. I'm not sure I can answer that, but I can try.
- Focus on the things that you love to do. Focusing on building acts, rehearsing, and producing shows was a huge benefit for me. When I was feeling like I had very little control over my own life it really helped to take some of it back. Hard work on something I'm passionate about created fuel for self-care, even though it took me a little while to realize it. The black and white photos posted above, taken by Roger Gordy, are from a fantastic show I go-go danced at. The pictures are great, but when I look at myself I think I look sad; I mean I was sad, it was a really trying time in my life. It was also a really fun show. I got to dance with some of my burlesque idols, who are now my close friends, on a stage where I'd seen some of my favorite live musical acts. In all the other photos from the night I'm smiling, or looking fierce as fuck. I think Mr. Gordy captured me at the still point, the point right before I swung into action, before the work (the creative, awesome, fulfilling work of giving to a crowd) took over. It was backstage at this show, during a dance break and surrounded by my community, where I suddenly realized that amidst all the chaos of my life I'd found a place of calm.
- Be kind to yourself. Whether you're hurting or not, you're going to make mistakes. Learn from them, and move forward knowing you've got another piece of knowledge in your repertoire.
-Ask for help. Ask if you need help ANY KIND OF HELP. For me this meant I ran away to DisneyLand with Allix Mortis and drank by the pool while receiving lots of pep talks. I don't think I could have received any better care from the wonderful people in my life. I'm fighting the want to list them all here because I feel like I wouldn't be writing this without them. The list is really fucking long, too. I'm so lucky and so thankful. I have to acknowledge that sometimes you're too sad to realize how amazing you are, and how many people love you. In those instances it's even more important to ask for help, because even if you don't realize it, other people will. It's really brave to reach out for care when you need it, but you're going to have to put on your self-care caftan and fucking do it, ok? We all want you to.
Click here for information on where to get help.
- Create, Create, Create- It might not be something you can use, but it feels so good to get it out there. Maybe you have another outlet that brings you joy; use it. I got to perform an act of mine that's always been a release. It's an act where my character gets good and angry and downright destructive. That act took on a whole new meaning for me this fall. I got to perform it at Bon Appetit Burlesque's Spanksgiving II, of which the theme of the show was "Messy." Shit got messy, the audience loved it, and I had one of those cathartic performance experiences that illustrated to me why I do performance art in the first place.
"You're ass deep in frogs, but you don't need no prince (or princess)!
You're Ginny Muthafuckin Nightshade!"
- Be there for people. You know what feels awesome? Making someone else feel awesome. Being sad can become a selfish mind suck. It can bring you into a place where you can't stop thinking about yourself and your pain. I've always found that caring for the people in my life helped bring me out of it. Everyone's in pain, we all get sad, let's all be there for each other. Let's support our goals and congratulate each other in our triumphs.
Ok, I know I'm getting all "Positive Patty" on you and I feel like this is the list I can immediately come up with to explain my current state of getting-shit-done.
Stay tuned for more exciting news about my plans for 2015! There's big stuff happening and all this hard work is going to pay off.
Announcements and musings!