Friday, March 28, 2014

We are pleased to announce...

I am honored to announce I will be presenting three times at the Autism Society of Ameica conference in Indianapolis, IN. The presentations I will be a part of are listed below.  

  • "Social Impairment?! NOT! the Role of Friendship and Mentoring in ASDs" with Chloe Rothschild, Jennifer O'Toole, Stephen Shore, Sondra Williams, Dena Gassner, and Brian King. 

  • "Music, Art, and Theater; Different Artistic Approaches to Support the Autism Community and Beyond" with Stephen Shore and Gayle Fitzpatrick.
  • "Hear Us Roar! Young Women on the Autism Spectrum" with Haley Moss and Kassiane Sibley.

I am very happy to be presenting with so many friends and colleagues. The Autism Society of America will always have a special place in my heart and I'm so excited for how it has grown since I first went there 10 years ago.

 For more information on the conference, feel free to check out their website below. More information will be released when it become available.

I'm also still looking for other conferences to present this year and next so if you know a great conference, please shoot me a message or post on my FaceBook page.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Fear of the professional waitress

There is an unspoken fear in artistic communities. It's the fear of doing the job you use to support your creative soul, like being a waitress, and ending up doing it more than your creative passions.

This happened to me last year.

I woke up one day in June and realized it had been months since I went to an audition. It had been months since I saw a play. Even my flow arts wasn't as flowy as it should be because life had gotten in the way.

The change to live my life to my fullest creative pursuit was not something I did lightly. It was, and still is, a big choice.

In the past week, I've been tested as to what I want. The choices are literally piling up on me and it is my responsibility to sort through the different options. It's not an easy choice, so luckily the universe sent me reinforcements.

While taking a nap the other day, I felt my phone vibrate. Even though my phone was set to silent, something told me there was an important call I missed. It was from one of my Otter friends. He's an amazing guy I've only met once in person, but we use to talk all the time. Things got crazy and my computer is pretty much on life support, so we haven't talked in a few months. Still, he called me at the right time. He makes a living off of freelance drawing and commission pieces. We talked a bit about how much time it takes to make a living off of our passion projects. He'll work 6 hours a day at least and some days much longer. He does it because he loves it and is great at it. There are days I'm putting in 12 hour days working to support myself and still get 3 hours in of my passion projects.

This past week, I was offered the opportunity to work full time at my job again.
I had to say no.
I said no because it was way more important for me to continue to follow my passion.
12,14,16,18 hour days don't affect me the same if there is a spark of passion.

Pretty sure I've mentioned "The Question" I ask everyone who is discontent with their life.
"If money was no object, what would you want to wake up and do every day?"
My answer has changed into one simple word that reminds me I'm on the right path.
This is what I want to do every day.

Friday, March 14, 2014

When the wave breaks

There are days when it is an achievement to shower and get dressed.

There are days when eating or remembering to eat enough is a victory.

There are days when the safest place in the world is my bed with my stuffed animals.

Having depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) does not make a person weak. It means the weight we carry is just more invisible. It is a weight sometimes only we can see and sometimes other do not understand.

Some people won't understand why my blood pressure spikes when I see a blue Volvo drive by.

Some people won't understand why I can't listen to My Chemical Romance's song "Poison".

Some people won't understand why I get a debilitating migraine and sleep 14+ hours a day from around February 27th to March 6th.

It doesn't matter so much if people can't understand why I struggle. The important thing is to realize I do struggle at times and it takes a tremendous amount of work to look like nothing is wrong. There are days when I'd rather spend my energy feeding myself and trying to do something I enjoy.

Sometimes I trap myself into thinking showing my true self is a sign of weakness. This is wrong and this is from years of conditioning from many different people.
I am a strong woman.
I became this strong by failing, by breaking and picking up the pieces after the dust settles.

My strength comes from pushing myself to paddle on in the rough waters and keep my head above the crashing waves. Going beneath the crest does not mean I've drowned. Sometimes the water is cool and is needed to wake me up.

I'm not drowning; I'm just going for a swim.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Dear Me

Dear Brigid,
I'm traveling back from the mystical year 2015 to talk to you about being 25. I'm sure You are already aware you are in a completely different place then when you turned 24. I'm sure you would have liked a little heads up this year about what happened and maybe I could have saved you some heartache. Maybe I could have warned you to turn left instead of right and things may have ended up different. Maybe I could have brought you more happiness.

That's not how it works, B.

You were supposed to feel this pain. You were supposed to be betrayed so you will know how to treat others better than you were treated. You were supposed to fall in love and lose it to let you know how beautiful it is to care about someone on a deeper level you didn't think possible. You were supposed to get angry at how you were treated because that was what you needed to rocket your life in a whole new direction.

So I'm here to give you a glimpse at what this year will bring you because you need to know you are on the right track.

This year your TA experiences will bring you down a new path. You've been hearing the whispers of people praising your teaching skills, but you haven't paid it much attention. This year you will be able to call yourself an instructor. The things you may be teaching won't be learned in a book, but that is okay. It's time for you to pass your knowledge onto others as people have passed information to you.

You wanted to be a performer, so here's your shot! Literally, you are calling the shots. So run with it and you will be really surprised where it will bring you in less than a year. Audition for everything, try everything, and don't be afraid of falling. You've never been afraid of making a fool out of yourself before so don't start now. Follow your passions and remember: this is what you want to do so don't you dare make excuses! Also, Practice. Practice every single day and don't ever stop trying to improve. That being said, some things will always be a work in progress.

Relationships. Ahh.. This year...well... you already know this, but you need to push yourself out of your comfort zone sometimes to make friends. It's okay. It will be scary, but a good scary. A rewarding scary. You will meet some amazing people this year who will stay in your life for a long time. You will also have some people who were on the outside become more important to your life. The big thing for you is to figure out what type of people you want to surround yourself with. There is no wrong answer, but you know you surround yourself with creative characters with loving hearts. Find more of them and promote each other to greatness.

I have to go soon, the penguins are getting restless, but before I end this there is something you must know for the sake of your own future.

Be kind to yourself.

Take it easy and relax. Some days will be battles to survive and others will be victory marches. You will mess up and some relationships may become strained. Know that nothing you say will ever fully push away the people who really care about you. If they run from your true colors, as difficult as it is to admit, you are better without them in your life. Be strong and celebrate the life you have built for yourself. Others are already celebrating your victories, it's about time you join them. You're a good kid like myself.

Take care and until we meet again, I hope you are happy.