Sharing my life with you, is what I do.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

A Mommy Mistake

Photo Credit: Law of 
I made a "mom mistake" the other day. While it is certainly not the first one, it was one that I really want to tell you about.  It happened when my very athletic 11-year-old nephew came over for a visit, one day. My son, Ky adores his younger cousin and he was thrilled he was coming to spend the day with us. My nephew walked in looking like a 16-year-old with his basketball gear on and out comes my 12-year-old  excited as always with his penguin pj's on and his Pusheen cat plushy in his arms. In that instant, I was mortified. I was afraid that my nephew would judge his cousin and think he was "soft" because here he was ready to go play basketball later that day and there was my son, smiling with a stuffed animal in his arms. (One of many) But, I quickly realized that I was the only one doing the judging. My husband and I have always raised our sons(especially our two youngest homeschooled sons) to not follow the crowd and to be themselves and not worry about what other people think of how they are. But, all I could think about was if I had made a mistake by allowing my son to still sleep with his stuffed animals. Maybe I should have put them in more sports to make them "harder" or left them in public school to toughen them up. I quickly came to my senses and said, "This is stupid!" I really said that, out loud to myself. My son is amazing! He is talented and kind and loving and one of nicest people I have ever known. Why was I (of all people)wishing that he was someone else? I sat in deep thought for a while and came up with an answer. It boiled down to me not wanted my sons to deal with the rejection that I felt all my life. I was either too short, too fat, too geeky or even as an adult, too much of a homebody. I told myself that, I didn't want that for my son. I wanted him to fit in and have people like him and definitely not judge him for having a large collection of stuffed animals or not knowing the latest slang words or texting girls and wearing orange as much as humanly possible. But, had people really judged me like that or had I judged myself? And was I now doing the same thing to my children?  Ky fits in just fine because he doesn't judge. Himself or others. He is just Ky. Happy, well-adjusted, optimistic, "everyday is my best day", Ky. He is secure in the fact that he loves penguins and the color orange. He doesn't care that he doesn't know any popular dances or hip hop songs.  He isn't concerned with the latest slang words or remotely interested in girls, yet. That last thing about girls brought me back to a recent conversation I had with him about whether he understood what his dad was saying to him when he and his older brother were given, "the talk." I remember Ky answering, "Yeah, I heard him. But I'm twelve and not interested in any of that stuff right now." I think he jumped off my bed and went to go play Minecraft right after that. I laughed at my inner moment of mommy madness. I had done exactly what I hate to see other parents do to their children. But luckily I had only done it in my head, but it was just as damaging. Because in that quick moment I wanted to suggest to my son that he should give up his collection of toys for maybe a football or a basketball. I hadn't allowed the words of judgment to come out of my mouth and harm my son but I had looked at him how thought the world would want to see him and that was wrong.  I watched as my sons played and laughed with their cousin. I felt sad that I had secretly judged him a few hours earlier. But I was proud that he was everything I could ever ask for in a son. I made sure to go take a good long look at myself in the mirror. I promised the person I saw in the reflection that I would never make that mistake again. And that I would also work on not judging myself as well.

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Stigma of Having Anxiety and Panic attacks

I suffer from anxiety and depression. But today I want to focus on the anxiety.  It isn't easy to tell people that you suffer from anxiety because most people look at you and say, "But you always seem so happy." or "Well, you would never know it from looking at you." and my all time favorite. "What do you have to be anxious about? Girl, shake that off." But mostly think you just are standoffish so they just stop inviting you to things all together. If you could see my face right now, you would notice an extreme "side-eye" taking place. Anxiety isn't something that I can turn off. It definitely isn't something I choose to have. I would much rather go through life not missing out on events that I really want to attend but can't, because the fear that overcomes me is too much to handle at that time. I would also not like to suddenly feel panicked and have feelings of utter hopelessness settle over me. At given moment I can go from smiling to feeling like I am the worst mother, wife, friend, or whatever in the world. I want to run away and escape from it, but I can't. You're probably wondering or saying to yourself, "So just go to the doctor and get a prescription for an anti-anxiety drug." While I am sure that there is no shortage of doctors ready to thrust multiple prescriptions into my hands. I am not as willing to have to live my life medicated just to get through the day. I still believe that I can beat this on my own. Somehow.

Let me tell you how crazy my life can be sometimes. I can be having a pretty good day and maybe a friend sends me an invite to an upcoming event. My first thought is, "Wow, I would really like to go to that," so I respond, yes. Then, I look at my calendar, to see if my husband is working or if I have anything else scheduled like watching tv or sitting in my recliner. Then I see where the event is located to determine if it is in one of my "safe" areas. (We'll get into safe areas later) Then I feel the anxiety begin to rise and I go into a back and forth fight with myself to see if I can really go. And that's just one of the scenarios. Not going usually wins. And that makes me sad.

I tell you it is exhausting feeling like this all the time. I replay conversations in my head and usually determine that people really don't like me.  (even though they've never said they didn't like me or treated me badly) but they must not like me because I wouldn't feel like this. Right?
I feel like people are constantly judging me or that I am not good enough. (again not them, just me) And I feel like I just want to disappear off the earth. Only I really don't want to disappear because I still really love people and have all of these things I want to do with my life if this damn anxiety didn't cripple me. I told you it was exhausting.

I said I would address, safe places.  Well, safe places are those places I know I can drive to that I have either been before by myself or that aren't that far and won't cause a full blown panic attack. There are exceptions to this rule. There are moments where I can and do go places totally new and far away and not have a panic attack. In fact, I force myself to go a lot of places just so I don't give into the anxiety.

One thing I know about having anxiety is that it leaves you feeling totally alone. I have missed family functions, outings with friends, weddings, birthday parties, and even trips. You feel like no one else could ever understand how you feel. You feel deeply broken and flawed. But most of all you just feel alone. I even feel like anxiety might be one of the reasons I haven't been successful in getting an agent or acting roles. Maybe I give off an anxious energy through the pictures I send in my emails when I submit to agents. I'm kidding of course. (or am I?) Oh well, it's their loss because I am one hell of an actress! I give the performance of a lifetime most days when I feel like I am about to fall apart on the inside, but I go out into the world smiling and doing what I need to do, even if my hands are shaking and my heart is beating out of my chest. Academy Award caliber performance I can tell you that.

 I decided to write about this even if it means people will judge me. I figure they have been judging me all this time anyway so they might as well have a reason. Seriously, though. I hope someone reads this and sees that they aren't alone. I know just today, I found out I wasn't. And that a big thing for me.

Peace and Love 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

My purpose, my life

Lately, I have been in a humongous funk. I mean HUGE! Let me tell you why. For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be an actor. But I have never been successful at it. Now let me say that I have had some extremely amazing experiences while working as a background artist, a collaborator on an awesome comedy sketch pilot and as a craft service coordinator for independent films. But, I have never been able to have that opportunity to live out the dream of acting that I play over and over in my head. And because of that, I fell into a depression. In my mind, by this time in my life, I would have had an agent, been doing national commercials, and definitely, have had a speaking role in a television show or movie. But the Universe in its' infinite wisdom and cruel sense of humor obviously has other plans. And mostly those plans include my youngest son getting an agent, doing a national commercial and having a speaking role in a movie. So, while I am thrilled beyond words at my son's accomplishments, I must admit I get a bit sad every time a new month goes by on the calendar, a new gray hair appears in my head and, I see my friends doing all the things I dreamed of doing.

Do I sound a bit (okay a lot) "woe is me-ish?" Well, stick with me, it gets better I promise.

So, I decided to find out what my "purpose" was. Because I will NOT accept the thoughts that I am just be meant to have all of these dreams in my head or acting, to be tortured by them forever. I mean, I am okay with the possibility that I may never be an actor in the grander sense of the word. But I just have to know what I am here on this planet to do. So, I went on my quest (well it was more of a facebook post, a lot of praying and a day spent in my pajamas under a blanket) to find out where I should focus what little energy I had left. First, I made a list of all the things I really love to do. Hmmm? Acting(of course), cooking, writing, animals, and photography. Pretty good list. But could any of these be my purpose?

I mean, I had done this so many times in the past and every time nothing had come of it. Or had it? In the wee hours of the morning January 9th, 2017 (3 a.m to be exact)I got my answer. Turns out I had been living my purpose (and pushing it away) at the same time. There was one thing I had forgotten to put on my "list of loves." I truly love inspiring and encouraging others. I try and post a few original positive quotes here and there from time to time, and I always feel better after I do so. But I was so drawn into my own depression and feelings of inadequacies recently, that I forgot. It took a dear sweet woman in my life to remind me(just a few hours ago) that I had even stopped writing this blog. She told me she always loved my blog and she even said she saved a lot of them. Why had I stopped? I don't know. I mean writing is one of my loves and I really enjoyed blogging.  I think I got so caught up in what wasn't happening for me that I neglected what I already had. So is my purpose in the short time I have on this earth to inspire and encourage others through my writing? I'm not sure. All I know is, it feels amazing when someone tells me that something I wrote touched them or changed their life. It freaks me out a bit too because usually when I post those quotes, I am just trying to encourage myself, and change my own energy.

Anyway, the lesson I learned out of all of this is, your passion may not always be your purpose. But your purpose is definitely attached to your inner strengths and gifts. Tap into them.

I still hope to get that big speaking role one day. But until then, you can find me writing or cooking, or taking a picture of a cat or a flower somewhere. You get the idea.

Peace and Love 

Monday, November 30, 2015

What's Jocelyn Watching?

Seriously? Almost 2 months has passed since I last posted? WOW! Well, I have been pretty busy with my new grandson. That's right, I am a grandma! 
Anyway, I have been watching lots of movies lately. I had the chance to check out; Tomorrowland, Inside Out, The Peanuts Movie and, I Origin.  All totally different movies, but I enjoyed them all. 

Tomorrowland surprised me. I really thought it was going to be super sweet and sappy and stuff, but that was definitely not the case. Not sure why I thought that but,glad I was wrong. The movie is about some very serious topics and I think that Hugh Laurie delivers an extremely awesome monologue in the movie. It was funny,serious and touching as well.  You know I hate to give anything away , just watch it. This movie is rated PG and is  probably more suited to the 11 and older crowd for some mildly violent situations. 

Next up, Inside Out. 
This movie was great! I watched it with my 11 year old son and we both felt everything the main character, Riley was feeling. This movie took you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions,but left you smiling. The animation is awesome (as usual) and the storyline is clear and straightforward.I can see them doing a sequel for this one. Some of the content might be lost on younger children. But,they will love how colorful the characters are. Recommended for 10 and up. Rated PG
The Peanuts Movie
I thought this movie was wonderful. It was really awesome sharing this new Peanuts movie with characters I have loved forever, with my sons. The makers of this movie did an amazing job finding voice actors for the beloved Peanuts characters. It sounded as if they used the same ones from long ago. The story was classic Peanuts with awesome messages of friendship and perseverance. I even found myself with a bit of a lump in my throat at one point during the movie. But, that's not surprising. Lately,the animated movies have been tugging at my heart strings. It was a pleasure watching a true G rated movie, those are a rarity these days. No sneaky adult jokes in this movie at all. How refreshing! Everybody can see this one, and I hope they do. 
Lastly, I Origin.
I saw a poster for this last year and for some reason, I was attracted to it. I finally watched it the other night and it blew me away. I am not really sure I can describe this movie, except to say that it really spoke to me. I Origins is spiritual in a very non-preachy way. It is strange, weird and magical all in the same breath. The story is not predictable at all. The characters are multi-faceted and open minded and it leads the viewer to follow the same path. I will definitely watch this mildly complex piece of sci-fi again, as I am sure I will get even more out of it, the 2nd time around. This movie is rated R for adult situations and brief nudity. 
Well that's all for now. Keep the popcorn poppin'! 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Why I stopped watching some of my once favorite tv shows

Let me start out by saying that I have absolutely NOTHING against any of the shows I will be talking about today. I wish them continued success and I especially love the fact that Empire keeps filming in Chicago, because it keeps a lot of talented people I know employed(myself included). Okay, now that that is out of the way, I'll start.

I watch a LOT of television. I always have. I love all kinds of shows except for the vampire, witch, zombie ones. Just not my thing. Anyway, I started out watching Scandal, How to get away with murder, Scandal, Empire and totally enjoyed them. But, recently I started really feeling "icky"after watching the shows. I am not sure if it was the constant impending doom, the gratuitous sex scenes    (and I do mean GRATUITOUS!!), the extreme violence,or the combination of all three in the same show.  I'm not quite sure what it was. I mean, I am no prude,okay?  I don't mind adult drama one bit. In fact,I like them. I think I have justgotten overwhelmed by how television has changed, lately. It isn't only those shows. I watched the 3rd episode of Heroes Reborn on my DVR and was shocked by the graphic violence right at the beginning of the show. I won't mention the scene in case you haven't seen it yet, but it was like,WHOA! I think I am longing for a simpler time. The time of my youth. When the entire family could sit together and watch prime time. Now, we weren't without our shows back then. I remember when SOAP came out. Oh my goodness! People had a fit. However, If that show had come out today, it would be shown on Nickelodeon.  The thing is, those shows were few and far between, back then. Nowadays, the majority of the shows are like this. And, like I said before, I watch a lot of them. I have been trying to figure out my change. I think of lot of it has to do with the fact that I can literally watch those shows and then see a lot of the same scenarios later that night on the evening news. The line has gotten very thin between reality and drama shows. Maybe it also has something to do with the fact that I live in Chicago and we just had the most violent September in decades. I truly believe I have a case of sensory overload. It is difficult to take in these situations day in and day out.

So, some of you might say, "Just stop complaining and turn off the tv!" I have thought of that. Believe me I have tried. A better solution for me has been to stop watching certain shows and start watching channels like MEtv. MEtv shows a lot of classics like Laverne and Shirley,Welcome Back Kotter, MASH and so many more. I look for my favorites like; Living Single, Everyone Loves Raymond, Night Court, Barney Miller and A Different World. I have even started buying some on DVD so I can have entire seasons.

The thing about tv is, despite the change in content over recent years, there is still something for everyone. But, Prime time definitely isn't what it used to be. And for me personally at times it can be a bit rough. So tonight, I will probably watch NCIS and someone will die before the first commercial. So knowing this,I will make sure not to watch the news tonight, so I can sleep. I guess I just need to find that balance.And, while I probably still won't start watching Scandal, How To Get Away With Murder and Empire again,because I have grown tired of their story lines. I will continue to peruse what's out there and determine just how much my, "child of the 70's system" can take.