You better not be reading other blogs out there…
You better not be reading other blogs out there…
I hope you don’t compare this blog post to other blog posts.
I hope you have time to read this.
My blog. It's high time you knew...
This weekend I will be taking a lead role at Ladies Rock Camp in San Diego. It's all about empowering women through music. A lot of these women have never touched an instrument and by Sunday early evening they will be performing as bands at Queen Bees.
The theme this year is "Enough." Taken one of two (or both) ways. We are all enough and we've all had enough.
I realized these camps are designed to push and challenge the limits of the rockers. What I didn't realize is it pushes my own limits. The limits I put on myself.
Will I give them what they need? Will I say the right things? Will I try to take too much control? Will I be enough for them?
Enough of that. It's time to step into my own power and be an example to set other humans on fire in their own power.
I've taken a teaching role in much of my adult life. And what I've come to realize is it is the place in which I learn the most. More than I learn when I am a student.
SO we are gonna plug it in, rock it out, and feel the love! I'm so fortunate to be a part of such a thing and I am proud of myself for taking this leap.
Time to rock hard.
This blog was a breeze to write.
I have a situation in front of me. Or actually nothing in front of me at all. Playing to another empty room. I can look at this two ways:
1. A. Being a musician sucks. B. You have to pour your heart, soul, mind, and money into something that doesn't seem like a safe bet. C. You work hard and for what? You've been doing this for years and still feel like you haven't made any traction. D. People are constantly telling you how to do it better and you just end up feeling overwhelmed. E. You give up.
2. A. Being a musician is awesome. B. You get to pour your heart, soul, mind, and investments into something that is risky. Something you actually believe in. And living outside the comfort zone in risk is when life really happens. C. You work hard and for what? For new connections to people you wouldn't have met otherwise. To that person in the room that comes up to you in tears after a show saying a song made them feel. Made them reconsider doing something stupid. You've been doing this for years while others are sitting behing the counter of a convenient store, in a factory, in a 40-hour/week job that doesn't feed them in any way. You are so fortunate. D. People are constantly trying to help along the way with suggestions because they believe in what you do. E. You give up your expectations and go for it.
My mom once said, "If you don't play you can't win." Before I cross the next intersection I'm going to look both ways and turn toward the choice that makes me feel good. Either way my situation is set. It's my mindset that can set me free. My circumstance might be an empty room, but my voice, my music, my passion will fill the entire space.
End of the month. I know you've been expecting my blog.
The cow is officially stoned.
Good to the last drop
This blog is especially for you.
I hope you have enough time to read this.
I hope the result of this blog is a positive one for you.
Gogh ahead. Read my take on the mind of Vincent.
A true story. Education on the difference between hyper and hypomania.
My antipsychotic med is a champ. It has done it's job very well since I got on it about 9 months ago. For me, it wards off delusions (beliefs that aren't based in reality) and paranoia (that thought that someone is talking about me or plotting to hurt me). It seems to greatly decrease what might be a hallucination I experience when looking in people's eyes specifically at night.
I recently had a show. I grabbed my keys to leave for my gig. I noticed the pill holder on my keychain (which doubles as my earplugs holder...gross), was still full from the night before.
"I forgot to take my meds last night...dammit."
Key in ignition and off I go to the gig.
It could have been the mere realization that I hadn't taken my meds, but I observed tiny delusions in my thoughts here and there on the road. I saw a license plate that started with the letters GDD. "GDD...that is a sign that God is here...I am God. The one true God."
*Snaps out of it
"That's not real."
*Turns up radio
This is my question: Am I seeing magic or madness? My passion or my plight? I have surrounded myself with people who are following their dreams. They tell me synchronicity happens in their lives. Unexplained coincidences. Signs. I feel like i can tell when I really do have signs reminding me that I'm on the right path. But sometimes I can't tell if I'm inside a delusion. I so badly want to follow the sign to see where it leads, but it might lead me into the belly of the beast.
In sync or out of my mind? Hard to tell.
What do you get when you cross The Holy Trinity with Kim Jong-il and Satan? A blossoming friendship. That's what.
I finally made a friend who also has a pretty gnarly case of the mental illness.
We will call my friend "Kim" from here on out.
Because that is someone he is when he's manic. The infamous Kim Jong-il. Kim also has Bipolar 1 Disorder and he's the only friend I have that does. Really the only person I personally know who has also had several psychotic breaks.
Kim and I decided to have a jam. Or should I say...Kim and Jesus. I was skimming my own surface at the time of meeting Kim. My delusions of grandeur started getting the best of me. He had just gotten out of the hospital and I was struggling with staying in my own reality as Veronica.
We will call me "Jesus" from here on out.
So Jesus invited Kim over. Kim brought an electric guitar. Jesus had two amps so they both plugged in. The first thing Kim did was crank the amp to its full capacity. Heavy, driving metal music. Punk. Loud. Chaotic. Awesome. Jesus had never played like this. It was new and felt foreign but Jesus prevailed. Jesus felt things he had yet to feel. The jam was great because all they had was water, but Jesus didn't care. *Waves hand. Makes wine.
Ok that last part didn't happen.
Kim shared more of his story. Other times he felt like Satan. His entire landscape was dark in mania. Jesus' landscape was generally light in mania but dark was always trying to get in and take his light away. Kim and Jesus had a long discussion about it. They have talked about it since.
Jesus explained that dark felt "bad" to him. The trident-toting Korean of chaos said that it just wasn't so. One night after a conversation, Kim was able to give insight in a text:
Don't be afraid of demons. They are really your ancestors. They are the unheard, unresolved energies of yourself and your environment. They are the source of your creative power. You already have the light, so by accepting the unknown, you will have the power to heal the dark. The angels are already with you. I can feel it.
I still have reservations when it comes to the dark. Maybe someday I'll be able to sit in it without feeling like it's taking something from me. For now, I'll leave it to my friend to lead in darkness. It's a side of me I need to get to know. I think it's just as important.
Years back I went to a spiritual center for a total of three whole consecutive Sundays. The minister was great. I'll never forget what she did one of those three Sundays. She held a crisp $20 bill in her hand and said, "How much is this worth?" We of course said, "$20." Then she crumpled it, smashed it on the floor and picked it up saying, "Ok...now how much is it worth?" We of course said, "$20."
I remember thinking, "Don't forget what you learned today." A reminder that we are all worth the same. No matter what we may look like on the outside or how we might feel about ourselves on the inside. Admittedly, I don't think I find myself as worthy as others. Because of this my true potential seems to be lying dormant, waiting for me to wake it. I know in my head, and often times in my heart, that I'm a force. I know I am a great human. I just don't think I understand it enough to 100% believe in myself at all times. To alway look in the mirror and say, "You are worthy."
What would our world look like if we all felt worthy? I guarantee the majority of our culture would look at someone on the streets next to a man on wall street and have the thought, "This one is worth more than this one." And as a society, we tend to treat these two people from totally different upbringings and experiences with a different amount of honor and respect.
I hope this blog was worth your time.
I had the fortune of empowering girls all week at rock and roll camp for girls san diego. Last year transformed me so much that I accepted a position on the board for the camp. This year I led three talks. One of the talks was called "Image and Identity".
Developing this powerpoint was challenging. I saw my own "stuff" come up. I got to a slide touching on the idea that we all have what I called "identifiers". That it's not our image that matters at all. It's all the beautiful ways we identify ourselves. How we can look in the mirror and say "That's me right now". Our descriptors. I talked about how different we are.
As I was building the powerpoint I dragged in the image. It was an image of me rocking hard. Then, I brainstormed. I just started writing down the first things that came to my mind. What am I? These were my gut responses:
Female. Musician. 34. Caucasian. Lesbian. Bipolar 1. Change Maker.
I looked at the slide. A picture of me to the left with my list of identifiers to the right. My first thought? But...what would they think. The kids. The parents. I backspaced two descriptors. Lesbian and Bipolar 1. I looked at this new, shorter list. My first thought? But...that is not all of me.
I felt like there was a tiny part of me somewhere thinking there is something wrong with being a lesbian. That there is something wrong with having mental illness.
I stared off. I felt conflicted. I cried. The theme for rock camp this year was Power. I had to find mine on the day of that talk. My re-revised longer list showed up on the screen. I didn't go into too much detail on any descriptor. I just stated the facts and moved on. Female. Musician. 34. Lesbian...I thought... "Cool. I got through it and no one asked questions".
I thought it ended at that. I asked them to share some of their own descriptors. A few were mentioned. 15 years old. Loves basketball. Swimmer.
Then my worst fear happened. Gender and Orientation were brought up. Bisexual. Non-binary. This was a kind of vulnerability I had never experienced. Is this ok to be talking about right now? What will they think? What will they tell their parents? And then I felt something inside me stir. A voice that said, "This needs to be talked about".
Who knows what next years camp will be like.
It was a space of vulnerability with one another. A space where everyone could just be themselves. A space where everyone totally rocked.
The C word. We all know it. It's a word I feel we need to take back. A word that more people need to know and to support:
It's the eloquence of vulnerability. It's that beautiful marriage of trust and love.
When I drew this picture just yesterday it was inspired by a woman I love. But it went deeper than that. It's a picture of two humans facing each other. Connecting. The shirts are different colors because they are individuals. The roots are not tangled because they are rooted independently. Grounded like a pillar, but connected to an equal.
This blog was gonna be awesome and poignant and beautiful but after todays events, this picture looks different right now.
My dear friend is dying. It's happening. I am accepting that. At this time he is on life support. I have asked to be there when they disconnect him. As I stood by his bed today rubbing his arm I thought of all the times we connected. We all have the ability to connect to one another and I'm so glad he and I connected on so many levels so many times.
The hardest thing about connection is that eventually, we have to disconnect. The easiest thing about disconnecting is knowing that eventually, we will reconnect once more.