Monday, May 28, 2012

Create the Signs

In a race to cure myself depression and such, the part that could be fixed through the mind and not the food part, I’ve read a lot of self help books. One thing they always tell you to do is follow the signs. Oprah loves to tell you to look back on the experience and see what you missed.

Last year when I lost the apartment that I really wanted after it was promised by the land lord, the one with the back yard, flower garden and the chance at a pet (he agreed I could have a rat, I’m not sure if he realized I meant the big kind) The one where the owner said I couldn’t have it and three days before I had to move out I had to ask to stay in my apartment and re-order power and phone. I racked my brain for months.

What did I miss?
Why didn’t I have a pit in my stomach telling me I was wrong?
Why didn’t his tone of voice, or the road signs that I passed, warn me to say no to this great opportunity?

The only thing I could have done differently was logical. I needed to sign the lease the moment he said the apartment was mine rather than waiting till the day I moved it. That’s not a sign, that common sense, but I took his word.

This month I went to a friend, who is always taking writing courses and had just spoken of the one she was taking now, and I thought “be brave Frosty and ask for help.” (Just so you know I suck at asking for help.) I asked her to keep me informed about writing classes she may hear of and she invited me to the one she is taking now. Only one class had happened she could give me the assignment and she was already inspired by the people and teacher.

It was meant to be right?

I’ve had two not so great experiences with this writing instructor, one where I walked away and said “I guess I should stop writing poetry and focus on my plays and stories” and so I stopped writing “poetry” because I didn’t study it in university and couldn’t name a favorite poet right off. The other time I was in her class and I decided to go buy an eggplant rather than sit in her class. 

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My friend and I wrote emails and asked if I could be in the class. My friend delivered the poem to my mail box that the writing assignment had been based on. On Friday I got the email saying I could join the 8 week class and the cost was only 150 dollars. Friday afternoon I won 1/3 of that from the 50/50 draw at work. I immediately went to tell Tink about. I said “Maybe winning 50/50 was a sign.”

I was so confused about my decision and where the answers should come from. For the rest of the afternoon I weighed the pros and cons. One minute I was going to make great connections and learn great things about myself as a writer. The next minute I was sitting there thinking about the eggplants. There were no signs to follow, I had to sit down and think it out.

What I learned in retrospect were the questions that needed to be asked before diving into a commitment the signs weren’t there, I needed to create the signs.

This year has been about going from; “I’ll do anything because it’s there,” to stopping and thinking things out and asking questions.

I still believe in signs, tonight, after writing this, I decided I was going to do some simple, “from a book” yoga, for the first time in years, ok like a decade, like, and one of my friends (and my friends never write about yoga) just posted a facebook status of how thankful she was about yoga, yes my friends, that is a sign to follow.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Amazing Gift

For two years my New Year’s Resolutions have been to experience more live music and theatre. B’town really doesn’t have much in the way of arts. B’town is more of a business, do what you need to do and get out type of place, while the surrounding towns hold the music and galleries and theatres; which would be fine except I don’t drive and am a disaster behind the wheel.

Last month there was a poetry reading by six poets and I didn’t go. A friend did and said it was an amazing presentation; the exploration and use of words wonderful. I felt sad I didn’t go. So when I was invited to a coffee house/open mic at the library on Friday night I accepted the invitation immediately.

I packed up my book bag at 6:40 and realized it only takes 5 min to get to the library, so I was there plenty early. I grabbed the closest seat to the door and looked for friends I thought might come. The energy at the start was tense and I thought a few times about going home and watching a movie. That I was crazy and people would think I was weird sitting there all by myself. At 10 after 7 the open mic started and we were told to introduce ourselves to someone we didn’t know. We were asked to decide who we wanted to play us in a movie. I went straight to mariska hargitay, “Why not go for the best?” I asked, and the librarian sitting behind me. 

We were asked to discuss why youth arts was important. I was dumfounded that’s like asking me “why is it important to breath?” I was speechless so my new friend went first, and then I added because it’s hpw we learn who we are, how we grow and become stronger people, how we survive as a people. Because it’s amazing that we have as human beings, to be able to express ourselves through spoken word, and music and sign language (there was some of that too.)

From 7 10- till 10:00 we were treated to poems and music and I sat there inspired. A few months ago I was disappointed in writing poetry and last night I thought who cares if I don’t know a million poets by name and read poetry all the time, I can still express myself in the words as they come. I decided that I don’t have to be perfect to express myself, to share my work, I can express myself as I am now and learn to grow from it. I don’t have to be afraid to share myself even though I don’t have all the answers I wish I had.

I told a few people I wanted to be involved in the next one and stayed after to help turn the coffee house back into a library again. After all ,I love moving tables and cleaning linens as it reminds me of my hotel days.

Last year I stalked the story tellers and story tellers has been an amazing part of my life, what will come next?