I should be writing. It's my lunch break. That's usually when I try to have this written by. I've been doing so well, too. Every day, taking my time to jot some thoughts down. Keep the creative juices flowing.
See, I want my living to be made being creative. Making something. Something beautiful. I want to add beauty and happiness into the world. I think that's why I have always been drawn to Hollywood. Sure, there are some terrible things about the entertainment industry but can you really say that there's never been a time in your life when you were in a terrible mood or depressed and a movie or TV show cheered you up?. . . Brought a smile to your face and made you feel just a little better.
I've spent a lot of my life sad. Not always in the bad way, mostly in the unfulfilled way. In that way where you spend a lot of your day doing the same old thing but thinking in the back of your mind, "there has to be more to life than this. What the hell am I doing?" Sometimes I think the world is caught up in doing things one way, because that's the way they've been done. Maybe this can be broken down into families, you are taught about life based on things that other people have seen work. But perhaps (just like in a job where you come in with fresh eyes) there is a better way to do things. Perhaps getting a job and doing it 5 days a week for the better part of your day (grumpily, I might add), saving for retirement, and then retiring isn't the best way to do it. Perhaps it is simply the most common.
I feel like I've spent my whole life in conflict from what I wanted to do and what I was told to do. This conflict is coming to a head. It's at a point where I can barely take doing it this way anymore. Please do not read that in a desperate sense. I'm not off the deep end and I'm also not going in to quit my day job. This is a game of inches, remember? Each day I'm trying to move an inch or two closer to the creative life that I want so one day soon I'll have realized I've actually moved a mile away from the life I had that did not fulfill me.
I had the pleasure of attending an "Improv to Sketch" comedy class this weekend taught by Kevin McDonald from Kids' in the Hall. One of the pieces of insight he gave us was, "Comedy is a game of inches." He also said that life is also a game of inches.
Two days later I continue to think about that and how true it is. He used an example of a prop being incorrect and how it didn't change how funny the prop was, but the joke that was coming was less funny because it was incorrect. Comedy is a game of inches. What profound advice. All too often I feel like we look at where we are and all we see is where we want to go. And while I don't advocate spending too much time on the past, sometimes you need to see that all of those inches have gotten you where you are, whether you like where you are or not.
I feel like we hear this all the time, but rarely heed the advice. When you're trying to lose weight people recommend just taking some more steps. People tell you that it's the little consistent things that count. Weight loss is also a game of inches. Every choice you make leads you one inch closer to your goal. Every time you make a healthier choice or take the stairs, you get an inch closer.
Paying off debt is a game of inches. Every time you decide you don't need things like that morning coffee you move an inch closer. Those inches add up.
Think about all of the inches you do daily to get toward your goal. . . or perhaps inches you AREN'T doing that are exactly WHY you aren't at your goal. I know I have spent a lot of time the last couple days thinking about that. I also know it has already changed the way I see my day.
My whole life I've been in love with comedy. I always wanted to do something with comedy. As a kid, I used to host my talk show with my mirror. I loved doing this. I used to record myself as a radio host doing interviews and introducing songs. I loved it.
In high school I took "communications." Basically, the class before they would let you on the TV. My stuff sucked. It knocked the wind out of me. I guess that's why I didn't try the improv troop in college or do anything. else.
Then in college I sort of got the wind back in my sails and found some self confidence, the general type, and was more vocal in class and with my friends again. I'll never forget the day our professor said, "when you have your own show, "Life with Lauren" you can talk all you want but now we're doing Oncology." (Or something to that effect.) I was very shocked. Someone else saw that in me. Most people were like, "you want to be a comedian? You?" Which most certainly didn't help.
I actually tried acting in a play recently. I was at a thing where I was sharing Reiki and other people were sharing other things and this girl I just met that I was sort of enamored with said she was doing this play. I said I wanted to be involved. I wanted to act but I assumed there was no chance. Well, turned out there was a chance. I had a small part, but a main one none the less. I played a woman giving birth. . . in a church. (Not giving birth in a church, the play was in the church.)
It was incredible. I remembered everything I'd ever learned from interviews with actors and comedians. I remembered that most people get stage freight. Even professionals. I panicked looking around. Took a deep breath. And a delivered. What a rush. I loved it. It was awesome, but kind of sad too. I could have done this. I could have been in plays in high school and I could've tried my hand at improv in college. But I didn't. I let fear control me. But I also was super charged and decided I wanted more, even if it was too late to be Angelina Jolie.
I found an improv to sketch class in Syracuse. It was being taught by one of the actors in Kid's in the Hall. OMG. I got so charged. I had to do it. No matter what the cost. I signed up. Not less than 24 hours later, I was in a full on panic. I decided to look and see if there was a Facebook event so I could see the other people going. Ya know, soothe myself with their inexperience. Well, that was a bad idea. Some of them were even standing in front of a red carpet backdrop. Now, they weren't Angelina type red carpets (I mean, she isn't even funny) but it became obvious that they'd done some of these things. That I might be the least experienced person there.
Well, then I realized that I had been looking at the "maybe" list and not the "going" list. Though it only got marginally better when I looked at those profiles. But I'm going to do it, as terrified as I am right now. So, tomorrow morning, I will be in a room with at least one radio personality (he posted something about doing the class), a handful of people that at least do improv as amateurs in Syracuse, and god knows what other amateur actors in a classroom attempting to not be the cog that slows down the machine of my group. I'm glad I have a 3 hour car ride in the morning to sit and be anxious. But even if I am the slow cog, I'm going to do this. And I will be better off for it. And take one more step toward an old dream I had given up on long ago.
Oh did I mentioned we're also performing our sketches to open for this guy later?
I have been looking for my "calling" my whole life. I knew early on that I was not supposed to get up, work a job, and come home at the end of that day. If that's for you, that's fantastic. There are a lot of people I know who that works (or worked) really, really well for. They lived the life they wanted and those were their terms. Those are not my terms.
The problem is that I never did anything about it. I was explained the careers that did or didn't make money and how much money my "fancy" college education was going to get me. This advice was all given to me by well meaning people but was flat out untrue. They might have been true at another time. This is not that time.
Once I started working and realized that it was even worse than I had imagined, I sought help to figure out what it was that I should do. I got more advice. This advice was different: find yourself.
Find yourself? How the hell do I find myself?
Well, you figure out what you love. What drives you.
Nothing. Nothing drives me. Literally, nothing.
Well it took me until recently in my life that I actually had the answer. Or at least the first step of the answer. Meditate. Literally do nothing. Do the research. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence out there that if you're lost, time in silence is actually very powerful and very helpful.
But you aren't here to hear about how meditation is so helpful in my life. You want to know how to find yourself. How about, stop looking?
What if you are yourself? Perhaps let go of the idea that you are not yourself. Then you will be yourself. Stop holding on to everyone else's ideas of you. Don't "let go" of those ideas, stop holding on. Seriously. Try that rephrasing in your mind. See how it feels.
I feel like this was a misleading post. You're welcome.
If you are tired all of the time, you have entertained this option. Or maybe not.
Okay, let's start again. I am tired ALL OF THE TIME. Adrenal fatigue has been the best explanation I have found for this. [Also the best explanation my DOCTOR (yes, doctor, she has an MD, actually she's sort of fancy but I'll get to that) had for it.] I am ready for bed the second I wake up. It's awful. I've felt like this for a long time. It gets especially bad when I start working out regularly. Now, if you do any research on this topic you will find that there are mixed ideas on this even being a thing at all. In fact, a lot of the medical community does not believe that this is a real diagnosis. For me, I was diagnosed with depression for a long time because the only other thing they looked at, my thyroid, was fine.
I knew it was untrue the first time someone prescribed me Prozac. I don't have depression. Was I depressed my Grandmother died? Yup. Was I super happy? No. I've always struggled with existing. Not in the suicidal way, though. (I know because I have been there before.) More in the, what is the point of this living thing, kind of way. I've just never understood it. Sometimes I just take issue with it. But I don't think I'm depressed. So, that was a long road of about 20 different medications and combinations of medications that just led to weird side effects, general malaise, and definitely didn't help. I mean, yeah, when you prescribe me pharmaceutical cocaine, I'm gonna feel more energy for a little while but then I felt the downside when my blood sugar started crashing in the middle of the night (not that I knew what it was then, I just knew I was waking up shaking) and I felt like dirt. So I kept looking for new doctors.
I found this amazing woman in Latham. I had to drive quite a ways to see her, but it was worth it. She tested every bodily fluid that came out of me. Literally. Among other more gross things. I had all sorts of tubes and jugs in the house for a while. The part of the diagnosis that was relevant here was that my saliva tests came back with low amounts of cortisol. It appeared that I was not producing enough to spike in the morning and wake up. She then followed that up with a glucose test where I had to fast, get blood work, drink this sugar, and then get blood work again. I sat with a lot of pregnant women this day as they were having the same test for gestational diabetes. That led to some awkward conversations. In the end she found I had reactive hypoglycemia which she seemed to feel like confirmed the previous diagnosis. Now, I'm not a doctor so if you are and this is wrong, I'm sorry. The gist I got was that cortisol regulates insulin. Eating sugar instigates it but cortisol helps control it. When you run out of cortisol, your body goes to adrenaline to regulate it. Adrenaline is a very poor regulator and results in a lot more insulin being dumped into your system than necessary. Hence the sugar crash. It's reactive because more sugar will just create the cycle again due to the poor regulation of insulin.
So what do I do? Supplements. Rest. No stressful exercise (which I was definitely doing). Basically I was in later stages of adrenal fatigue and my body needed a break. I had burnt it out. So, in my mind, this is a very real thing. It made sense. What she said helped. Still to this day, if I'm going to tax my system with sugar or alcohol I have a lot of vitamin C to support my adrenals and when I wake up in the middle of the night hydro cortisone (chemically created cortisol) cream will stop the uncomfortable feeling and help me sleep. So, I get that the medical community's jury is out on this but mine is not. I saw the tests. I've felt it.
Now, I'm sure you're wondering, why did I tell you this story? It came up the other day when I had my Rolfing session. I had explained that I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue. And in the middle of this guy telling me that I need to do "homework" for our next session by doing movements covering one eye and plugging one ear, he asked me who actually diagnosed this. Was it an MD? He then proceeded to tell me that the medical community has pretty much proven this isn't a real thing.
I was a bit surprised. This came from a man that practices something that's sort of alternative medicine. There's a reason I cannot pay for this session with my health insurance. I actually thought I could share that diagnosis for help and with understanding from a person like this. I'm pretty sure the medical community thinks you're insane, too. Not to mention the fact that, what was the point of saying that? I'm going to go, "oh, okay." Stop my vitamin C. Stop the other things that have been working because this dude pressing on the bottom of my feet, talking to himself asking I don't know what, "is it the hip? No. Is it the shoulder? Ah, yes!" I'm sorry, but your opinion on this isn't warranted or valid. The reality actually is that a lot of doctors HAVE gotten on board with this and have started to do research. Should it be characterized as adrenal fatigue? Maybe not. Maybe it's simply a deficiency of something, but that's all we've got right now. A commonly accepted name. Who cares what the name is if we all know what it is?
And I am in no way judging his methods. I mean, I believe I talk to guides and get messages. I also believe I can be a conduit for life force energy to help relax other people. I am just saying. I'm not going to go telling someone that their doctor gave them a diagnosis that isn't a real thing.
I feel like this turned into a rant and sounds more angry than I am. It's more a feeling of being perplexed by this interaction. I struggle to understand people that don't "walk the walk." If you still think it sounds angry, read it again with the word "perplexed" in your mind. It's there.
Long time no speak. I have actually be doing A LOT of writing. Just not publicly. I realized that was silly.
So I tried Rolfing today. Wow, I couldn’t have had a different impression. I don’t think I have ever felt so wrong about something that I had researched that much as I did in that moment. I’ve been interested in Rolfing since at least 2011. I had intense knee issues. In fact, one morning I just couldn’t put weight on them when I got out of bed. I crawled to the freezer to get out the ice packs. Crawled to the living room. Crawled on the couch. Stacked some pillows for my feet and did not move for like 20 hours. I slept there. Luckily things were better in the morning.
But I limped for months. I went to the orthopedic surgeon. This was the second that I’ve been to. I guess technically third but second for my knees. He was as big of an asshole as the previous one. He sent me to PT. My knees progressively got worse and the insurance actually stopped approving more sessions. My last few were pretty much ultrasound and massage. But that massage. Wowza. That was really effective. I had never felt such relief in my life. And so quickly. It was insanely painful but the knots were being released. I started looking more into bodywork and found Rolfing. I was intrigued but was never close, motivated, or wanted-to-give-up-drinking-to-afford-it enough to do it.
Fast forward to today. I finished a pretty intense workout scheduled and was having shoulder and knee issues issues again. I found a guy in Burlington and scheduled the appointment for the Monday after we finished that schedule. He was ready to go before my scheduled time which was impressive. We talked a lot about my injuries and life so far. A lot more about traumatic memories than I expected. Then he had me walk around. Stand on each foot, blah blah while he looked at my body. It was surprisingly less weird than I had expected having this guy study my body and its motions. Then he moved some organs around. Oh and watched me squat. A lot. He even did some holding my organs while I squatted.
He also did some table work. I’d lie on my back and he’d poke around for tender things and move my arm. I could feel the tenderness go away. It was similar to the trigger point therapy my chiropractor used to do but so much less pain. In all reality, I felt very little pain or even discomfort the entire time. I thought it was tissue massage that was on fascia so tight it couldn’t help but hurt. But this is not what it was at all.
Then I stood up and he watched me walk around. I did some squats. Did I mention I did a lot of squats. I feel like this was 2 of 5 times that I had to squat. Then we went back to the table work and ringed again. He had me try the same things as before but with an eye covered or with an ear covered and thinking about happy things (the waves of Lake Ontario). There was totally a difference in how my body moved when he changed those variables.
He kept saying he wouldn’t let me fall, blah blah, but I don’t usually ever think about that. It’s just my inability to relax. Mentally I think I’m relaxed. It’s actually very frustrating. I should mention that. Not in a critical way but in a, hey, maybe you can help me do that. Help my brain make the pathway of relaxation. Since we’re working on these other pathways.
So yeah, my homework is to take some time to do things with my left eye covered and my left ear plugged. I don’t know if I feel amazing, but I feel like this guy knows something about the human body and I would like to know what that is.