Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Riding into the New Year

If I could have guessed where I'd be at the end of this year back in January, nothing could have really prepared me for the position I'm in now. Not to say there were not hints in my career or performance life, but nothing really pointing me in one direction. It was all up to me to figure out which direction to head towards and that's sometimes the most terrifying and most magical aspect of it all.
As the new year dawns, I can finally say I am excited for it. Change can be difficult for me and normally leads to stress. Worrying about losing things important to me has been an anxiety of mine for years. People naturally grow apart and closer with time, this is normal. Even though I worry about my future and work and relationships, these are all normal things everyone worries about from time to time.
I'm very fortunate to be a person with so many interests because I truly believe I can do just about anything. This can lead to problems when my directions split so drastically, I can and do get easily distracted. Though in all fairness, I think that is part of being a 24 year old. So I wrote things down for myself in my little planner, yes I finally got a planner and try to use it. These are my resolutions;
- I will challenge myself physically and mentally to become a healthy and strong person.
- I will focus on doing very well in Graduate School.
- I will make writing a priority for me and do my best to establish a career as a writer in this coming year.
- I will resume being involved in the local film community and try some photography modeling.
- I will keep my current skills fresh by dedicating time to practice and expand to learn new skills.
- I will work to foster new relationships and take the time to grow the ones I already have.
Each of those things can be expanded on, and will be, in the coming weeks. I've already been working on some of these things, but it's time to turn it up to 11 and make things work. My goals may seem vague to others, but they are written like that so I don't reveal everything at once.
To those who have been on this journey with me, stay tuned to see what's coming up next. Big things are happening in the world around us and this is a very interesting time we live in. I don't know where I'll be sitting a year from now, but I can only hope I'm as happy as I am now. I'm sitting on a train with my Vaudeville Troupe heading to Boston to preform for New Years Eve in the Boston Commons.
Remember, the new year is a chance for a fresh start. We have the ability to begin anew and be whoever we want to be. Embrace the new moon tonight and think seriously of what you would like to do in the New Year. Take care and treat each other well.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Sink or Swim

I'm sitting on the black butterfly chair bought for my freshman year of college wearing a sweatshirt from my sophomore year of highschool. This is a much needed break as I've been moving non-stop since noon going from old apartment to new apartment.

This past year has been the longest I've been in one location in almost a decade. Since I was 16, things have not been consistent in my life in a way that requires mobility. I've mentioned it before, but I've lived out of backpacks and can pack at a moment's notice.

This move is different. In a few short trips, virtually everything was been relocated. Now keep in mind, I did not get a chance to do much of the deep cleaning and discarding of objects before this move. That process will be happening around the first or second week of January, when things begin to slow down for me.

Now, I originally had plans for multiple months to live somewhere else. Through whatever powers may be, that living arrangement did not happen. Instead, I started last Sunday the 15 to look for a place with two of my Highschool friends who also needed a place. Quickly checking Craigslist, we had some contenders. It was only last Thursday my friend Mattie mentioned a listing from a few months ago we might be interested in. I called the man and we looked at the place on Saturday morning.

It was the perfect place. It had enough space for us and we could see ourselves living here. Virtually everything we wanted in an apartment was in this one, and lets be honest; claw foot bathtubs are not a normal apartment fixture. We applied to the place minutes after viewing it and got a confirmation on Monday the place was ours.

I've been afraid of things before in my life. Too often I've been afraid how things are changing so quickly in my life. It is only now, sitting in a place I hadn't even seen a week prior do I feel like I'm adjusting to the speed of my life.

Yes, I could slow things down.

I could plan things out for months before I commit to something and do loads of research. I'd make pro and con columns to weight my options. But I've never done those things.
Swimming to be comes as easily as walking, if not easier. The water gives me the chance to move in a completely different way. It does not matter the temperature or time of year, I'll be in the water. This year I'm hoping to jump in the ocean with my mother.

There are two types of people when it comes to getting into water; the jumpers and the steppers. Steppers gradually immerse themselves in the water to become adjusted to the difference in temperature or not to mess up their hair. Jumpers jump right in, regardless of how cold it is or what will happen to their hair.

Ever since I was a child, I was a jumper. It's not due to my lack of patience, it's something else. I jump for the split second before you hit the water. In that one second, you feel so many different emotions. Fear, happiness, regret, hesitation.

"Is this water deep enough?"
"Did I take my cell phone out of my pocket?"
"What just happened to my bikini top?!"

You commit to the choice you made and just enjoy it. This is how I do most things, I jump. The water just looks so clear and there weather is perfect. When in doubt, all there is to do is trust the water is deep enough for you to swim in. I'll see you in the water.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Sumer/Winter Lovin

At the Summer Solstice, I stood with friends next to the ocean. We stood together to celebrate the longest day of the year, the changing of the seasons, the welcoming of the longer nights, and for our own personal reasons.

We had the opportunity to say our goals or what we wanted. My words still ring in my ears.

"I want to jump in and have my splash be just the right size."

Since June, I've had so many transformations in my life it is really surprising. Things are going really well for me and the future is only looking brighter. I'll be moving into a new apartment with two friends I've known for about 9 years since High school very soon.

Things are really shaping up. Life is good.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Out and Proud

Since last week, we have seen the emergence of two major advocates for Autism and Aspergers; Susan Boyle and Dan Aykroyd.

I'm not sure some of my friends who are not as involved in Autism politics understand my excitement.

The easiest thing I can do it cite what Anderson Cooper said when he "came out".

"It’s become clear to me that by remaining silent on certain aspects of my personal life for so long, I have given some the mistaken impression that I am trying to hide something - something that makes me uncomfortable, ashamed or even afraid. This is distressing because it is simply not true. I’ve also been reminded recently that while as a society we are moving toward greater inclusion and equality for all people, the tide of history only advances when people make themselves fully visible."- Anderson Cooper; July 2nd, 2012. Read the full email here.

By having individuals who are public figures speak out on who they are, it breaks down so many different walls. It stops many of the preconceived notions of "People with Autism can't          ."

We can         and we do        . Some of us          more than others and some people need more support to        .

This is a huge step forward toward breaking down stereotypes and educating people on a large scale. I'd like to believe this will change things quickly, but it won't. It just adds a new layer to the ongoing conversations about advocacy. This is big! So if people don't understand why I'm so excited, this is why.

Be loud and be proud. You are awesome just the way you are!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

One Year Later

This time last year, this was a huge week of my life.


Monday afternoon I was sitting in my car having lunch between art modeling jobs. I was thinking a lot about moving up to Portland, but had not really done any research. I was spending so much gas and time commuting, the move was inevitable. So I causally check on Craigslist, also the place where I've found almost all of my jobs, and decide to call people about the listings.

Wednesday afternoon I decided to head up to look at about 5 different places which all had leases beginning soon. Actually, I was going to look at every place online. The first place I looked at was right downtown without parking nearby. The second place I looked was an apartment building managed by a woman I was in a theater production with the year before. I fell in love at first sight and nothing else could compare.

Friday I took a lunch break at work to run over and sign the lease. With the keys in my hand, I had my first apartment.

Saturday night I sat around my unfurnished apartment when a friend came over to bring me a footstool she did not have room for and we sat around before heading to a friend's holiday party.

Now I sit in my decorated apartment, typing on the same footstool and waiting for the same friend to go to the same party, preparing to say goodbye to it in a few weeks. I look at where I've been and where I am going; I almost don't recognize myself.

This year I fell in love, got hurt, and learned relationships are not a one size fits all box.
I lost over 40 pounds and have made huge strides in taking care of my health.
I just completed my first semester of Grad school.
I stepped back from my full time job to focus on other career goals.
I became a business partner in the amazing Dark Follies.
I gave a solo presentation on my passion at the Autism Society of America conference.
I began to take writing way more seriously.
Through the support of my friends, I removed a lot of the negative influences in my life and have become way more confident in myself.
I did lot of traveling to see old friends, family, and meet new friends and family.

Things change and grow, it's the nature of the universe. I'd be lying if I said I was not afraid of what is right around the corner. I could never imagined the wonder of my life this past year and even though I have plans for the future, plans change. New things are always popping up and I'm very much one to go with the flow of things.

I've been putting the pieces of my life together, or at least trying, and I want to thank everyone for their patience with me. I also want to thank every one of you who takes the time to read these posts. You have been along for this journey and I could not be more grateful for the support. Thank you.

So even though we have a few more weeks left of the year, I'm already preparing for 2014. I blew 2013 out of the water so let's get pumped about what's to come!

Monday, December 9, 2013

By Any Other Name

The Showy Lady's-slipper (Cypripedium reginae) is a rare flower. It is a type of orchid found in Northern North America. It is a beautiful flower and has vanished from many places. I saw one earlier this summer on the Eastern Trail and was educated on it by the specialists I was walking with. He told me even though he wished he could move the flower to a safer area away from the threat of trail walkers, it was impossible. To transplant this flower from it's original location would almost surely mean death. It is very difficult to grow this plant naturally and they have become even more rare as the time goes on. So there it sat on the side of the trail. Waiting. Surviving another day.

It was a cold and icy night in Portland, Maine. There were very few cars on the road with even fewer people. Those venturing out were bundled up, shuffling along quickly from warmth to warmth.

A young man and young woman were not rushing on this night. In fact, they took their time talking about all matter of terrestrial and extraterrestrial. From suns to stars to fungi to cars, they chatted as they walked along. Both seemed oblivious to the cold snapping at their faces.

They were walking down the street when the girl felt a chill. This chill was not from an elemental force, but from a connection much more intimate. From out of the shadows came a shape lumbering down the street towards the pair. Although it looked like a man, it was in fact the monster from her childhood. This creature had the wind at its back and seemed to gain power from wicked winds snapping at the tree branches above.

But the boy did not notice.

Instead he talked about a very common plant which grew tall behind a historic house they were passing. The boy looked to the right as the creature passed on the left. The monster looked straight at her unmasked face, but did not seem to recognize her.

The monster under the bed had forgotten her.

The girl stood between the two forces and once her monster had vanished, it was as if it had never happened. She asked the boy if he had seen the man, but the sidewalk was empty by the time they turned around.

They walked back chatting about genetically engineered foods and robots while still never feeling the cold. She told the boy about the monster when they reached warmth and as he reached for his tea asked if she was alright.

A few months ago she was not alright. Back then, it was only the help of her friends and furry companion which gave the girl strength to be herself. Now though, she had grown. She had remembered who she was and the power she had.

"I'm fine," said the girl before heading for home on the icy sidewalks. Taking care with each step, she made her trek along the ghostly streets with only the sound of forthcoming snowplows to keep her company.

She entered her home, knowing her monster was only a few city blocks away and turned on the over. She began to cook dinner and then sat down at her computer. She thought of her friend and wondered if it was all just a dream, a figment on this winter night.

But men are real and monsters are real.

However, this did not trouble the girl. Instead, she went along her night as if it was all just a bad dream. It's as if she was once again a little girl running to the safety of her parent's bed only to be tucked back into her own bed. Looking up on those nights, her father would brush her hair back and say "Shhh, Brigid. Go back to bed. It was all just a dream and monsters aren't real. They can't hurt you."

But monsters are real and father knew best.

Peace Lillies are a species of Spathiphyllum. They need very little light to survive and grow many different places. They can grow in swamps or with very little water. When blossomed, they are beautiful plants. Given the drastic types of conditions this plant can grown in, it's easy to say it's a Survivor.
My first plant: Henrietta the Peace Lily


I totally failed at the one blog post a day for this month, but I'll try for a compromise. I'll be doing at least two blog posts a week for the rest of the month. Hey, if I like it and people react well to it the blog posts may become twice a week.

Monday, December 2, 2013

The people you meet

I've spent the past 3 weeks traveling around via Prius and reconnecting with people who mean a lot to me. I've spent time in Ohio, Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, and I'm on my way to Massachusetts right now. I am aware of how cheesy it is to say, but the more I travel the more I see some of the same things.

What do I mean?

I see people falling in love and sharing a chaste kiss walking down the street.
I see fathers beaming with pride as they walk down the street holding their young daughter's hand.
I see the business employee who has been worn down, but tries to keep their appearance up.
I see performers who put their heart and soul into their work.

Traveling recharges me like nothing else. It restores my faith inhumanity and lets me take a step back to see the beauty all around me. I get to walk into a place where I've never been before and meet people I may never meet again.

I'll be coming back with lots of ideas and thoughts buzzing around my head.


Sunday, December 1, 2013


So today I am venturing on a new adventure as I am currently in a car venturing to Vermont (don't worry, I'm not driving). I'll be trying this National Blog Post Month and the theme for this is More/Less. I'll be having daily blog posts and when I get back to Maine, I'll be working on a bunch of new material.

Yay for writing!

Right now I'm riding shotgun in my Prius as my friend Jacob and I make our way East bound. We spent most of the day driving through the midwest and looking out at the farmlands.

It is always interesting driving across the landscape of America and seeing how it changes as the miles roll by. Soon the silos will give way to pine trees. The horizon will not be visible just across the land, but instead it will be behind a mountain. The smell of the midwest will give way to the cool ocean breeze and I will be back home.

This trip has made me realize more and more that home is where we choose to make it. It may be in a long familiar bed adorned with our favorite sheets or in an unfamiliar hotel room. Home exists wherever we take it and whoever we chose to share it with.

Here I sit in my car and doing my best to be productive as I'm listening to a new podcast called Welcome to Night Vale. I've had a few people recommend this to me and I am very into the humor of the show.

I'll be back with more tomorrow but tonight take care, be warm, and have grand adventures. Even if those adventures only exist in your head, have them.