Welcome to the exciting world of me trying to make a new start and become a better me!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bless me Father, for I have sinned...

... it has been 18 months since my last confession. And in 18 months, my life is completely different. I scrolled through my old posts of journaling my weight loss and feel a sting of disappointment.

Do I begin w/ the excuses? The reasons? The justifications in my head? Does it matter? When things happen to you, the measure of one's character is how one deals with challenges and adversity. So I've done what I needed to do and worked through what I needed to work through, but sometimes you need someting to help you get through. And you turn to that which you know. What is familiar. What gives you instant gratification.

People are going to read this who may know or not know and may perhaps be shocked and confused. But this is the first time I'm saying this out loud in this kind of a digital medium where I am putting it out for the world to know...

Last September, my husband asked me for a divorce. Things weren't working out. Neither of us had been happy for a long time (and that's all I'm saying about that). Regardless, I was heartbroken. I moved out in October and moved in with a very dear friend who was kind enough to put me up while I go through this transition period. In November, I received news that my contract at my job was not going to be renewed due to budget cuts. And just before Christmas, I was separated from my husband and lost my job.

I'm not much for wallowing. I find it counter-productive. This time, it was harder to just pick myself up by the bootstraps and trudge along. I didn't have much of a reason to. There were days I barely got out of bed. You may recall one of my major motivations for losing weight a few years ago was so that I could have a healthy pregnancy. Well, that motivation was shot to hell. The idea of dating anyone was revolting. And while I tried to smile and tell people I was ok, I wasn't. My housemate strongly recommended I see a counselor, so I did. That helped. And every day, I made smaller and smaller steps to become a functioning human being again.

I started to have more good days than bad days. I started to see opportunities ahead of me as opposed to failures behind me. After 5 months of unemployment, I got a job at a small woman's college in Cleveland in May. Full-time. Benefits. Own office!!! Not great money, but better than unemployment by a long shot. Just having a job did a lot for my sense of self-worth and self-esteem. Felt productive again.

I am recovering. I still have bad days... but not as often. I have days where I don't want to get out of bed, but that's only b/c I'm sleepy and comfy, not full of despair. I also can now look in the mirror at myself and say, you're gonna be ok. Better than ok. Just fine. Now work on yourself.

And this brings us to the right now. I have gained about 30 lbs back. Hugely disappointed. That puts me too close to my highest weight, and I don't want to go there again. Clothes aren't fitting me. I'm not happy w/ how I look and I don't like the way I feel. So I need to start from square one, and begin again. I work at a college and have free access to a gym.... I need to use it! I live very close to a beautiful metropark w/ lovely trails and stuff and I've never been there! That should change. It's time to set new goals, reward small victories, find new support, and really try to be the best version of me I can be. I think it's time to start really "defying gravity."

I will be the phoenix.

And now for something entirely different...

Last year, a colleague suggested that while I have a bit of time off from theatre and with work being a bit slow, this would be a good time to figure out what I really want to get out of life and come up with a life list. So, I thought about it. Life is short, and there is a lot I want to do. So, I compiled a life list, and for the past year or so, it's been sitting in my purse... it's a folded up piece of paper with notes on it that I've added to and crossed things out several times. Now, it's time to publish it publically, in case I ever lose that piece of paper, this exists somewhere out there as a reminder to me of what I want to do.

 A few trends that stood out were that I really want to travel. A lot. And there is a lot that I want to do simply for myself. Entirely selfish, maybe even vain, but things that would fulfill a goal or dream. Besides, it's my life, being selfish is extremely difficult for me, and well, why the hell not?!? Some of the items will also have a bit of a description under them. Call it an explanation, a justification, or some clarification... whatever. Just a few notes.

So without further ado, Brittiani's Life List:

1. Drink wine in Napa Valley, California

2. Walk inside of a castle

3. See a play I wrote being performed

4. Write a book/novel

5. Pay off my student loans and throw a big-ass party
        The way I see it, my student loans are ridiculous, and perhaps will never be paid off, or I will be somewhere in my mid to late 50s when they are paid off. And since that will yield a lot of extra $$ in my pocket a month, I think that money would be better spent by hosting a fairly epic party... even if I'm old!

6. Meet a legit celebrity

7. Be a lead actress in a play that depends on me not sucking

8. Run a 5k

9. Wear a bikini and feel ok in it
          I added that last little bit b/c I could put on a bikini now, but believe me, no one wants to see that! I don't ever expect myself to be skinny enough to buy a bikini and strut my hot self around in it. But to put one on and at least feel confident enough to walk into public with it on, would be nice.

10. Be a mommy

11. Be an educator

12. Swim with a dolphin

13. Learn archery

14. Fly first class

15. Order room service

16. Get a tattoo
           This is one of those things that I know what I want, where (for the most part) I want it. I just haven't quite worked up the nerve to do it. Was going to do it for my 30th birthday, but was talked into buying a piece of jewelry instead. I'm a big wimp!

17. Travel to:
       Vatican City
       New Zealand
       Nova Scotia
       San Francisco

18. Do a photo shoot for fun
              The first thing I can cross off my list! Was able to do a pinup shoot w/ a girl friend last summer. Had a blast! Would love to do that again!

19. Read more

20. Impact someone's life in a way that they are changed forever, preferably in a good way...

21. Go parasailing

22. Stand up for a cause
            It's not that I don't support causes or groups or organizations. I do. Wholeheartedly. However, I've never been to a protest, never held a sign supporting or against anything, or never took direct action. Case in point, when Westboro Baptist Church was planning on coming to Chardon to the funeral of the kid who died in the school shooting there in February, I really wanted to be part of the group that blocked them from the church. But I didn't go. I felt that being at work was more important. And I wish I did. I wanted to go to Occupy Youngstown. Never did. So, one day, I want to do something more than wish people luck. I want to give money, participate, write letters, be obnoxious. Be strong! Be a part of something bigger than myself!

23. Go to NASA

24. Be in a movie... again!
            In February, I got offered a part in a movie being shot in Youngstown. A decent part, nonetheless. Definitely a supporting role. Click here for the preview (but if you don't do horror movies or goriness, or if kids are around, this is not for you). It was a really interesting experience. Very different from live stage. Filmed the whole thing in 24 hours, and for the 18+ hours I was on-set, it was cold, exhausting, and very surreal. Like, we couldn't go out in public dressed as we were, so you had no idea what was going on in the rest of the world. So, WWIII could have started and I would have had no idea. It was a really cool experience I would like to do again.

25. Take a cruise

26. Go to Mardi Gras in New Orleans

27. Ride in a hot air balloon

28. Have a spa day complete with a massage, facial, manicure, and pedicure
             I got my first massage as a birthday gift and it was the best thing I could have done for myself. I have a gift certificate I got for Christmas for a pedicure but I haven't used it yet (I have no good reason why...). But I would like to spend a day being a pampered lady. That would be nice.

29. See the aurora borealis

30. Go to Alcatraz

31. Go to the redwood forest in California

32. See the pyramids of Giza, Egypt

33. Watch a sunrise and a sunset on the same day, and not through the windshield of my car during my daily commute

34. Go to a non-work-related conference or convention

35. Sing a solo on stage and not suck

36. Learn American Sign Language better than I do now
             At this point, I know most of the letters. I know some words. But I'd like to actually be able to sign in conversation.

37. Tell Mrs. Milford how much she meant to me
             Mrs. Milford was my choir teacher for 4 years of high school. I don't think we got along well in the beginning. I was irresponsible and she would expect a lot out of you and I just didn't feel like giving it. However, as I got into the middle of my junior year and through my senior year, she grew to like me, and me her. I would do extra-curricular things with her and for her. I learned a lot from her, like how to sight read music, sing with my diaphragm, harmonize, and be flexible as a singer. However, it wasn't until I was in college for a while did I realize that she was not just teaching you how to be a better singer, but was prepping you for life. Learning responsibility, respect, flexibility, patience, and that first impressions are not entirely accurate are lessons that have filtered throughout my life as an adult. I appreciate her.

38. Speak publically in front of 100 people
              I figure start small here. It's not that I'm afraid to speak in public, but to do so to large groups would be such an adrenaline rush... so I'm starting w/ 100 and going up! :)

39. Keep dancing

40. Have dinner in a restaraunt that overlooks a city or other site

41. Dance on a beach

42. Do the food and wine celebration event at EPCOT

43. "Drink around the world" at EPCOT
             Essentially, have an alcoholic beverage at every country represented at EPCOT, which is my favorite place on earth!

44. Meet a celebrity on my "get out of marriage free" list
              I have a few celebrities that my husband will let me "get out of marriage free" for.

45. Get my Ph.D. or Ed.D.