This week (9/18-9/24) was all about testing what I can and can’t control (e.g., what happened at the improv show, in the therapy room, or on my birthday night out). All I could do was be aware of my experiences, feel my feelings and see the message within that leads to growth and wisdom.
I woke up feeling very, very snarky and sassy with no time for anyone’s bullshit. But I also woke up feeling like my body is pretty much a dead sac of meat. That’s why I’ve got that picture of Trump in Drag over there, so I’s can illustrate my point.
Anyway, something super cool came in the mail!! My colored contacts!!! I bought grey and blue. You can check them out in my snapchat video below! They’re really gonna pop and make Madame Kiki come to life! I’m very excited because things are coming together. Now I just have to get a wig to match the outfit to match the song… Lots of work ahead, but the momentum is strong and encouraging.
Additionally, I finally bought new podcast equipment and I posted a new episode (“She’s Back and Blasé’d“)!! This mic is the big brother of the one I had, and it was about 100 bucks more. That means I’ll have to lyft way more this week (and probably for the rest of my life), which means I also have to take it to the wash and clean the interior (ugh). The mic is more finicky than I thought so I’m dealing with that learning curve. Also, it doesn’t take the same memory card for the old one, so now I have to go back to the store to get the right card. Keep the expenses coming, shall we? Ya know, I think this is why I need a sugar daddy! Hm.. more to be revealed…
And as if that wasn’t enough, I also just bought a bunch of stuff online relevant to Madame Kiki’s aesthetic. It’s time sensitive because I’m gearing up for the photoshoot this Friday with Kasian. I’m nervous about that because, while I don’t mind seeing myself naked in the mirror, I don’t feel comfortable showing my body to others, naked or otherwise. That’s why this photoshoot is a huge deal because I’ll be coming out, so to speak.
I’ll be reclaiming and celebrating my body in front of others in a big and bold way. It’s an act of vulnerability that I have been afraid of for a long time, especially since my body type/size has been deemed socially undesirable. Luckily, I’ll be with people I trust and feel the most safe with to allow the vulnerability to unfold that I hope will be captured in the photos. So, shout out to Kasian, Meekachu, Boldy Locks, and Quangel for being part of my glam squad!
Lastly, I’m pretty much over Bumble Boy ABJr because I don’t have time for games or ghosting. Yes, the sting of rejection hurts, but straight up ignoring or avoiding hurts even more. It makes me feel invisible and insignificant. These feelings are less distressing only because I’ve learned how to hold them without judgment (i.e., These feelings are bad), expectation (i.e., I shouldn’t be feeling this way), or shame (i.e., I’m bad for feeling this way).
Instead, I’m learning to hold these emotions with curiosity (i.e., Interesting that my mind and heart are experience this right now), compassion (i.e., No wonder I’m suffering, this is really hard to sit with right now!), and kindness (i.e., May I learn to love myself as I am and trust that what’s meant for me will be). This changes the entire trajectory of how long the emotional distress and mental turmoil will last and its overall impact on me. I get to change something that’s in my power and control, even if I can’t control the situation, which feels really good to know that I can tap into my own sense of agency and care taking.
So rather than feeling depressed about ABJr any longer, I decided to sign up for Match.com, Coffee Meets Bagel, and Bumble. I had to completely deactivate and delete my old account on bumble, so I created a brand new account and getting a lot of attention, which feels really, really good! We’ll see who’s coming up next on this journey of dating and “finding love.” Alas, the show must go on.
Mr. A’s Amusement
Because I woke up feeling in a snarky/sassy mood, I knew that I didn’t want to dive deep today in therapy. When Mr. A picked me up from the lobby I told him that I don’t want to be vulnerable today. He joked and said, “would you like to talk about the weather?”
What’s interesting is that the weather is considered small talk but in today’s world, due to global warming and climate change, the weather is fucking angry and scary now. It’s demanding a lot of our attention, energy, and resources, so it’s no longer small talk. It’s a hot socio-political topic. And speaking of.. I felt helpless knowing that I couldn’t do much to help with the recent hurricanes and earth quakes, so I donated $100 to the Red Cross and another $100 to the Salvation Army.
Sometimes therapy doesn’t have to go deep. I mean, sure, what else is the point if we’re not doing “the work,” especially if we’re paying out of pocket for it. (Mr. A doesn’t accept insurance, so it’s become a serious investment on top of everything else.) Today I just wanted things to be light and playful, I didn’t want to feel shame or experience any pain because I was in a good mood and I didn’t want to ruin that. Sometimes therapy can ruin a good mood. It just is what it is.
Also, I’ve been doing the work for a long ass time already and mama needs a fucking break ok? Mr. A doesn’t seem to grasp that. He is very insistent on me sticking with therapy for obvious reasons, but he’s not totally respecting that I am financially kinda strapped already because of drag and whatnot, and I’m exhausted from doing all the psychological work leading up to this point.
Also, I’m a pretty savvy client, as in, I don’t need my therapist to help me get through life but only as a source of support and wisdom. I’m perfectly capable of utilizing my skills, strengths, and support system to tolerate and overcome whatever life throws my way. I wish Mr. A would respect that and just trust me.
Part of me thinks it’d be easier to just never show up again or respond to his requests for connection, but that’s just a form of avoidance that’s not helpful at all, albeit adaptive, I’m sure. Still, the whole point of therapy is to confront the painful stuff that’s hard to sit with and work through alone. I’m just at a point in my life where it’s not as much of a priority because my time and energy is being invested in creative outlets and spending time in nature with my crew.
Today’s session was interesting simply because of the energy and attitude I brought into the room. Plus, I put in my grey contacts, so I was feeling extra fierce. I was channeling Madame Kiki! There were several times Mr. A would just give me this look as if he was amused watching me talk about things. Suddenly the session turned into a weirdly playful confrontation about the relational dynamic and the process of emotion/thought in the room. What’s more, he gave me feedback that I’m an amusing person. What am I supposed to do with that, exactly? I guess I’ll have to wait until next week to explore that, so mtbr..
Today was the last class of Improv 1! We were gearing up for the show tomorrow, so we rehearsed the show about four times. I think it went really well! We started with the game called “Hitchhiker”, then “Poetry Slam”, then “Shift Left”, then “Ask Dr. Know-It-All”, and then ended with “Freeze”.
Side note: I was assigned to play Shift Left with three classmates: Mr. Blue Eyes (my early crush who ended up being a married and gay), Mr. Green Eyes (the intimidating one who has googley eyes for me), and Betty White (an older woman who’s unexpectedly funny af).
Essentially, the four of us stand in a square and the person next to us is our partner in different scenes. We “shift left” to stop one scene with our first partner and to begin another scene with our second partner. It’s pretty random how we line up, but there’s a 33% chance I hook up with Mr. Green Googley Eyes.
For one rehearsal I was matched up with Mr. Green Googley Eyes (GGE). At first I was apprehensive because I sense that he “likes” me.. and has a very interesting way of showing it. It’s awkward and uncomfortable. Since I didn’t want to feel intimidated by him anymore, I essentially took the power back from him during one run through of Shift Left. Our only prompt was that we were cousins, so I ran with the terrible joke of hillbilly incest. It was fucking hysterical and empowering.
Also, it was a bad idea to eat tacos before class. Some class members joined me and by the start of class we were all feeling regret from eating too much. I was super gassy, which wasn’t fun to hold in. As soon as we left I was just crop dusting the entire way to the car. I know, tmi, but that’s life! And it’s all worth sharing because somewhere out there someone is reading this and thinking that happens to me too!
There’s also another person in class whom I wholeheartedly enjoy. She’s got a very distinctive laugh and has this all around good heart and pure soul that just feels really nice to be around. I’ll call her Bunny Beans because she has rabbits and she’s a vegetarian. She’s been instrumental in feeling connected in improv class. There’s something about her that makes me feel accepted and safe, so I’m genuinely looking forward to seeing how our friendship will unfold.
Good News: most of our class signed up for the Improv 2 that starts in 2 weeks!! Yes, Mr. GGE will be there, too. Although, we don’t know who our teacher is going to be, we do know that it can’t be Miss Lit again, which is sad. Whoever it is will have big shoes to fill. Regardless, I’m very excited for tomorrow’s show and I’m even more pumped to go through the entire class series and eventually join a troupe!
Omg it’s only Tuesday and I am tired as hell. Yesterday took a lot of energy out of me. I’m a little concerned that I might not have the same energy for tonight’s performance, especially after a full clinical day.
Also, I met the owner of a dance studio and agreed to rent a space an hour a week for $20. I go back to sign a contract and get the keys next week. I’ll have access to the space starting in October. It’s slowly happening, people!!!
I am not used to full clinical days anymore, especially because there isn’t a lot of variety. In previous places of employment I would have clinical therapy as well as group therapy, outreach events, meetings, trainings or seminars, supervision, or just have access to colleagues turned friends where we could briefly shoot the shit or consult. It’s a bit different having joined a group practice where my day consists of seeing folks back to back. Nothing is wrong with that, of course, it’s just an adjustment.
I will say though that being out of the role as a therapist for just about 2 months is enough to make anyone rusty. I’m like, shit, how do I empathize again?? It’s weird. I don’t want to fuck up and say something invalidating, so today I’ve just been doing my best to breathe into my core and stay as present as I can. My eyelids are super heavy though, and I have to hide yawns every once in a while. I’m hungry and uncomfortable most of the time. Again, just part of the adjustment. It’ll get better with time. I just hope my clients aren’t negatively impacted by it.
I suppose what I’ve been doing more often than before is being completely transparent about who I am and where I’m at in my life. This includes disclosing that I’m new to the practice and am just learning the ropes, and that I’m still a limited license clinician, which means that I am not fully licensed to practice independently but that I’m licensed to practice under a licensed psychologist (my supervisor, Miss HBIC). I also share that it may be harder for me to remember certain details (because I’m human). I want to make sure that the expectations and assumptions of who I am/what I provide are clear from the get-go so that there’s no misunderstanding.
I’ve disclosed that there may be higher chances of bumping into each other in the community because A2 is so small. I’ve even revealed the different settings one might see me, including lyft driving, improv, podcasting, and being a drag queen. This reveal has been met with unexpected interest, surprise, and excitement. Many folks would say it’s none of our client’s business what clinicians do outside of work, but since I’m more involved in the community, there’s just a higher likelihood. Plus, I value transparency and full informed consent so that folks know who they’re working with and what they’re getting themselves into.
I also make an effort to describe and demonstrate my therapeutic style. I don’t want my clients to put me on the pedestal thinking that I’m exempt from having thoughts, feelings, or experiences. In fact, I make it a point to let my client’s know about how I accept and work through my own imperfections as a form of modeling but also to lift the veil that therapists are blank slates (e.g., without personality) and to decrease stigma of mental wellness and illness.
Now, certainly, this is not my personal therapy session, so I don’t abuse this style to get my own needs met. I’m more into leveling out the playing field so to speak and removing the idea of power or expertise. I want my clients to feel like they’re sitting with another human being who’s no more or less than them. Again, many clinicians may disagree with this entirely. That’s what I do like about this profession is the ability to express ourselves as therapists in the way that fits us best. However, there’s still an unspoken expectation that therapists generally are neutral, dare I say bland or vanilla. That’s just not me.
What I like about the private practice I work at now is that they affirm diversity and value self-expression. In fact, I was even given permission to do therapy in drag if I wanted! That permission feels incredibly empowering! Some may see that as a distraction, like those who see tattoos or piercings as distracting. Others might see that as an opportunity to connect on a creative level, which keeps life and therapy interesting (as if it weren’t interesting enough).
These are all things I’ve been thinking about for years but haven’t really had to freedom to explore or experiment with. Who knows what’ll happen, but I’m excited to see how my professional identity unfolds. (I’m not even touching the subject of my licensing exam. I haven’t opened the books since my 4-day workshop almost a month ago!)
I came home from work and tried to take a quick nap. I couldn’t, of course, because I was too damn excited. So I thought to make myself a quick sandwich but I couldn’t eat because of the nerves. That can get really annoying having to feel controlled by my anxiety, especially when eating or sleeping is involved. It can really fuck up my groove and make it difficult to feel relaxed.
I had to breathe deep when laying in my bed, eyes closed. Just so that I could feel my body relax a bit. I didn’t want to go on stage with all this pent up energy either. There are other ways folks relax, we’ll call it manual stimulation. It always helps.
Clearly, the show went great. I strangely felt very comfortable and at ease once on stage. It was like I was home??? I knew that improv was calling me because it was an opportunity to be outrageous and goofy. I never expected it to be a place of acceptance and belonging. Where I truly feel connected and valued. Where I can bring joy or awareness to life in an absolutely ridiculous way.
I did experience one challenge, however. After my werewolf character during one scene, my voice/throat was hurting and I needed water badly. Also, there was a smell of mildew nearby and it just intensified this feeling of needing to vomit. Boldy Locks was trying to get me to chill out by saying that I’d be fine, but I wasn’t and it was freaking me out. I knew that I couldn’t walk off stage to get some water because Miss Lit would be pissed. So, I did the next best thing: I threw up a little bit in my mouth so that I could lubricate my throat. It worked like a charm.
It was lovely playing with all my class mates. We were all so pumped! We call ourselves “Fun with Friends” troupe (even though we’re technically not allowed to name ourselves. Well fuck that. We did.) Before the show, we did some warm up exercises outside and then said “I got your back” while touching each other’s backs as a custom for good luck on stage. I like learning about these little details that make the backstage process of improv even more meaningful and special.
The crowd absolutely loved us. Our teacher, Miss Lit, was so incredibly proud of us. It felt really good to have that kind of support and encouragement. Three of my friends came in attendance, which also felt super good! (So big thanks to Kasian, Meekachu, and Quangel for their love!!) I’m very excited for Improv 2 with the same group of goobers. Boldy Locks and another member won’t be joining the second class, which is sad because they will be missed. It’ll be interesting without their vibes because they added such a richness to improv.
Mr. Green Googley Eyes
This mofo said some real stupid shit after the show. We all went back stage where it was dark. Everyone was congratulating each other on a job well done. Mr. GGE walks up to me, puts his hands on my arms and slightly pushes me back into the wall. He then says quietly, “I’m sorry we couldn’t play [this one scene] together, maybe we can play back at your place.” Where’s the emoji with their eyes poppin outta their head??? It ruined the rush I was feeling, almost like it was a way of dominating me.
Cringeworthy doesn’t even describe it. I felt violated, actually. I don’t like it when men invade my personal space, especially if there is no trust or safety established already. Nor do I like it when men make sexual innuendoes towards me. I was wondering, is this his way of hitting on me?? why is he doing that in a creepy way? can’t he see how uncomfortable I am? what gives off the vibe that I welcome that kind of banter or treatment? I knew that I couldn’t keep it a secret anymore, so I told Boldy Locks and Bunny Beans about it. Both of them were justifiably pissed and outwardly protective over me. They wanted to tell Mr. GGE off themselves but instead encouraged me to talk to Miss Lit about it.
We all went to a local dive bar after the show. Had many drinks, I was pretty tipsy and sassy as hell. I revealed to Miss Lit that something had occurred and wanted to talk with her when I’m more sober. She told me to call her on Thursday, so mtbr…
Another loaded clinical day. Last night took a lot outta me again. I barely had the energy to get out of bed in the morning. Work was difficult because I was having trouble remembering things and I was just exhausted in being able to listen attentively. These are not good signs when working as a therapist. But it’s also very much part of life, regardless what I’m doing the night before. I can’t expect to always remember or have the energy or listening well. It’s unrealistic. So, I needed to give myself some credit and cut me some slack. I’m doing the best that I can with what I have, and that’s enough for now.
I randomly called an old college friend. We were pledge sisters and we have the same birthday. I’m going to call her Dino Twin. Our 32nd birthday is coming up on Friday. We reminisced what it was like to celebrate our birthdays together, but we also commiserated that many of our birthdays were absolutely disappointing. We’ve been let down by folks who care about us, and it’s just a painful affirmation that maybe we’re not as worthy or lovable as we had originally thought.
Dino Twin just had her second boy about a month or so ago. It’s interesting to see how both of our lives have unfolded since separating after college. She’s one of my close and longer friends. I love that she “yes ands” a conversation, and that she cares so damn much about life, people, and the world. I love how adorably awkward she is, and I love that she laughs silently while her eyes squint and her nose flares. We spent a lot of time together in college, to a point where people would expect it and wonder where the other is if one of us showed up somewhere alone.
She let me record our conversation, but I’m such a newb at this new podcast equipment that over half the juicy bits weren’t even recorded. I was very, very bummed about that. She doesn’t know it yet but I’ll be calling her again very soon to re-do that whole thing. It was really informative and insightful about our personalities and just general luck in life.
She is the one who showed me this resource about our birthday. Apparently, September 22, 1985 is the day of “satisfied restless drive.” There’s a shit ton in that description that accurately describes us both, which is very weird. I’d make up a brief synopsis but I barely have time to write out this blog post, so instead I’m adding the link to the page here. If you’re interested in learning about your birthday, I suggest checking out their material to see how aligned it is to your lived experiences.
I shared with her about our numerology life path number 9. It’s also strangely accurate for me, although not as strongly for my Dino Twin. Basically, I’m all about intuition and wisdom. There’s more juicy stuff, so I’ve added a link to the page here as well. How you learn what your life path number is is by adding the single digits of your birthday and then adding together the single digits of the total (e.g., 09/22/1985 = 9+2+2+1+9+8+5 = 36 = 3+6 = 9).
Some folks might not believe in this stuff and that’s ok! I believe it only because I’m into fantasy and imagination, so why not allow myself to play along. What’s creepy is that even before reading any of these descriptions, I totally sensed and felt what it was they were describing. I actually felt relief and validation that what I’m experiencing is real, and that there are others out there who experience something similarly. I feel more understood and less alone, which is all I’ve been searching for.
I was so out of it today that I barely snapchatted anything. I didn’t save whatever I did record, so there’s no video to show for today. #sorrynotsorry
Day to day and back to back clinical work is exhausting. I’m not saying that any one person in particular led to me feeling exhausted or anything, no. I’m just saying in general, it’s hard af to stay energized and engaged all the time. So, this morning I had to buy me some hazelnut coffee, which I don’t do regularly because I’m highly sensitive to caffeine. I didn’t have to drink much before it kicked in and I started feeling the jitters. Also, I think I may have bumped into a Bumble Boy at the coffee shop??? I reached out to him, so we’ll see if it was! (mtbr)
Also, I am learning a lot about private practice so far. Specifically, insurance. Why is it designed this way??? I had maybe one class in grad school that talked about this but not enough to feel competent in or even familiar with. So, I’ve got to give myself permission to not know and to have patience for learning as I go. I’ve also been transparent with clients that I have no idea what I’m doing with insurance and that I won’t have answers for them right away but that I’m in direct communication with our billers.
Unfortunately, I already messed up because I’ve been charging a co-pay amount when really they needed to pay for the whole session in order to meet the deductible. I’ve gotta have this awkward conversation, so I’m waiting until supervision next Wednesday to help me navigate this and more.
Separate Note: I had some time before meeting Meekachu and her co-workers at a beer garden that Kasian usually works at. I was supposed to attend Nerd Nite, which btw, my second performance is coming up in a month (Oct 19th)! It’ll be filmed this time so folks who can’t attend can watch it remotely.
Also, I may have found a song for Madame Kiki to perform to. I’m realizing that I am terribly out of shape, I could barely get through two run-throughs of a 3 minute song. It saddens me because I used to be a professional dancer and I had incredible stamina. Dancing makes me realize this loss of identity, flexibility, movement, and freedom (i.e., I had back surgery in 2007 that derailed my love for dancing).
I’m looking forward to utilizing the dance studio starting in October. I’m in no rush for Madame Kiki’s debut. In fact, I’m thinking maybe next year in the early couple of months. There’s something really romantic about coming out in the winter. I can see myself as the Ice Queen.
I was really excited that I didn’t have group therapy today. I needed the fucking break. It’s too much work right now, and I just don’t have it in me, to be honest. I kinda want others to lead the group or come in with something to start talking about. I’m sick of carrying the group, at least that’s what it feels like. It’s disappointing, I guess, is what I’m trying to admit to myself. This isn’t to say that I don’t like who’s in my group, but I just wish they’d “show up” more, or be willing to lean in to the pain of vulnerability.
If they are (understandably) afraid of vulnerability then there’s not a lot of movement and we end of just sitting here. I’m too advanced for that, like I need things to move now. I don’t mean to say “advanced” as in it’s “better than,” no. I mean it in a developmental way. I’m concerned that I’ve “outgrown” the group. Of course, Mr. A would encourage me to bring this up in group next week, but that’s too scary because it’s somewhat confrontational. I’m not in the mood to do that kind of work, even though I’m well aware how useful it will be. I guess we’ll find out next week. Until then, I whole-heartedly enjoyed the break and loved spending my time with Meekachu at a beer garden instead.
No Body Likes a Tattle Tale
After work and before hanging out at the beer garden, I called Miss Lit to inform her about my experiences with Mr. Green Googley Eyes (GGE), specifically the comment he made to me after the improv show. She stated that there is a no tolerance policy in the improv community because apparently sexual harassment happens a lot and legitimate male improv folks are getting banned from venues for sexually harassing female improv folks.
Miss Lit gave me a couple choices including having her talk with him separately or letting me talk to him individually. I chose to talk with him privately but with emotional support of Boldy Locks and Bunny Beans, both class mates whom I’ve bonded well with and feel safe to be vulnerable. Miss Lit suggested that I need to be very direct with Mr. GGE and warn him that if he sexually harasses me or anyone else again that he’s booted from improv.
She also offered to let our second teacher for Improv 2 class know so that they’re aware of what’s been going on. I’m ambivalent about this offer mainly because I don’t want there to be any drama following us and I kinda want to start on a clean slate. We’ll see what happens, but I plan to confront Mr. GGE next Monday after our final class, so stay tuned!
Friday (9/22 – My 32nd Birthday)
Well, well, well. If it isn’t the day of my birth. Birthdays are an interesting concept. I grew up celebrating mine and other people’s birthdays because it was a Western custom, but my dad never celebrated his growing up. He never saw the point, but also they didn’t have birth certificates. My mom, on the other hand, was born in a hut in a remote village in India but the people from the hospital didn’t make it to her until 2 days after she was born, so she celebrates her birthday on two days. My siblings have celebrated their birthdays pretty big, too.
I’ve had a handful of birthday dinners with family and family friends. Those were probably the most memorable because everyone is casually getting together to eat some good food, have some good drinks, and be in good company. Nothing more, nothing less. And it was less about me celebrating my birthday compared to celebrating life and relationships with the folks in attendance. It felt like it was for all of us, so that sense of connection through community felt very fulfilling and sustaining, especially when I’d have to leave for long periods of time due to school.
I was excited for tonight’s birthday because I made some quality friends in A2 who accept me, support me, encourage me, challenge me, and love me unconditionally. Some of these newly formed relationships are the most healing and transformative I’ve ever had, actually, and it takes a lot of work to establish and maintain them. I didn’t feel deserving of these relationships at first, particularly with Meekachu. But since I’ve been doing the therapeutic work and letting others in (basically by being vulnerable and willing to connect), I am feeling more worthy and deserving of love, connection, and belonging. Also, the stuff I ordered for Madame Kiki came in the mail, and I was excited to try them on!
We didn’t have much planned for my birthday today. All I know is that there were about a dozen people invited. The original plan was that my glam squad (Kasian, Meekachu, Quangel, and Boldy Locks) were going to meet for a photo shoot and just order pizza, and then we’d all go to a local karaoke bar (I met the owner through Kasian a few weeks ago and he graciously hooked me up with my own space for my bday party).
Since life is unpredictable, plans had changed. Kasian texted saying she was asked to work last minute at the beer garden. Of course I support my friends making extra coins, so I was understanding and was willing to adjust the plans. I wasn’t too disappointed about the photo shoot because we rescheduled for Friday Oct. 20th instead, which is better because it gives me more time to prep. So I told the invitees that we’re meeting at the beer garden instead. Since I couldn’t change much, I had to accept and roll with it. Something I’m getting better at, but still, I’m recognizing just how attached I am to original plans. Also, Boldy Locks invited me to her house tomorrow for an impromptu photo shoot in her basement, so I’m looking forward to that.
The whole guest list was on board with the new plans. I got a hair blow out, which cost an unreasonable amount of $60! The lady was cold/aloof, and she didn’t scrub my scalp very well. I also told her that I don’t like a ton of product in my hair, but of course, my hair felt heavy af and I knew it’d be itchy as hell. Mild irritant, but I felt good anyway because it was my birthday. Also, the salon didn’t give me a discount even though it was my birthday. I’m never going there again, even if they serve you ice water with lemon.
Suddenly, the texts, snaps, and facebook messages started pouring in. People were cancelling because they were sick. In total, nine people bailed last minute. I don’t want to shame anyone, clearly, but I was really hoping to hang out with my crew. I couldn’t help but feel a sense of rejection and loneliness. It intensified where I started feeling worthless. I tried to shake myself off and just focus on who else would be in attendance.
I got all glamed up. I practiced contouring, I wore my colored contacts, false eyelashes, a septum piercing, and rhinestone fishnet stockings (all things I got in the mail for Madame Kiki). It was extra af, but it was my birthday! Although, I felt self-conscious when I got to the beer garden because I was over-dressed. While I enjoyed the look I created, I was feeling foolish with a hint of shame. It was an interesting experience because it was so inconsistent with the feelings I was hoping for tonight. I struggled getting outta these feelings because they felt all-consuming, it was hard not to over-identify with them and think people bailed because no one likes me/cares.
So, I already came into the beer garden feeling disappointed and foolish. Boldy Locks was there and she brought two friends whom I had just met this past Sunday. We sat, ate some food from the food trucks, and drank sangria. The sun was setting but it was nearly 90 degrees and humid as hell. My makeup was melting! I was also starting to feel woozey, so Meekachu and I went to the food trucks to get some tacos and water. Little did I know that it’d be shaded and there’d be a breeze by the food trucks, so naturally we stayed there to eat and get some relief from the heat and humidity.
Meekachu and I were considering leaving the beer garden to go inside another bar for some AC. Not just because I was feeling woozey, but also because I started becoming rather irritable and I didn’t want to pretend I wasn’t. This happens when I’m in the heat or humidity, it happens to a lot of us humans, actually. I’d been texting Kasian and Boldy Locks about my desire for AC because I wasn’t feeling good. Both of them responded with disappointment and frustration. Apparently, Kasian had brought a free pitcher of beer for the table. Of course, I didn’t know this, so I was thinking why are they taking this personal? I told them I’m not feeling good in the heat/humidity and I wanted to get some AC, why are they giving me a hard time? Why is this about them?
I was annoyed that they didn’t acknowledge or validate why I needed to leave. Instead, they personalized my want to leave as indicative of them not being cool enough to hang out with. Unfortunately, that assumption was enough for Boldy Locks to leave the beer garden all together. I barely said goodbye to her but I could tell she wasn’t in the mood. I knew that her headlight was out, so I understood that she needed to get home before dark. But still, that was hurtful to hear that’s the way they interpreted it. Of course I don’t want my friends to think they’re not good enough!! Although, in retrospect, I can totally see how they’d come to that perception.
Meekachu and I went back to the beer garden after having our tacos. Which, btw, I could barely eat them because I was getting sick from the humidity and I was feeling frustrated and on the verge of crying. I was in such a down mood and I hated myself for it. I was surprised by the shame that arose when I thought about being all dolled up. I felt that I looked like an idiot. And there sat Meekachu, with compassion in her eyes. Reaching across the table to touch my hand as a gesture of reassurance and validation. She never left my side. She accepted and welcomed whatever mood I was in and she understood why. She remained consistent and available. She held me when I needed to be held because I couldn’t hold myself. That is a true friend. These are the kinds of friends we need in our lives, especially when we’re going through a hard time. She helped me move through some painful memories about past birthdays that were generally disappointing.
We’ve all had disappointing birthdays. The feeling of disappointment is familiar and hurts a lot. Not just on birthdays but just on wanting/needing people to be in my life when I need them and them not showing up or bailing. It hurt too much to remember the details of all my birthdays that felt this way, so my mind just held on to the emotional memories and projected those same fears of being abandoned or forgotten onto new experiences, like tonight.
I don’t want to dwell on that though because there are a handful of birthdays that brought me joy. I remember my 16th birthday when my mom surprised me at driver’s ed school with my cousins in a limo and we all went to Home Town Buffet. I celebrated my 21st birthday at Panda Inn restaurant with my family and some family friends. I wore an Indian sari that made me feel very sexy and sophisticated. For my 25th birthday, my cousins and new peers from my doctorate program went to a speak easy karaoke bar and I got shit faced hammered. I remember my 30th birthday when my immediate family in California surprised me with a combined birthday and going-away/graduation party before leaving for internship in Florida. When I moved to Florida for my internship, I arranged a dinner with about a dozen new friends at an Indian restaurant. All of these memories feel good to reminisce about. I suppose they can’t all be like this, perhaps that’s why these stick out as some of the most memorable and fulfilling. It’s interesting that these were considered milestone birthdays.
Once coming back to the beer garden, Boldy Locks was on her way out. Her two friends whom I had just met a few days prior were still there. I’ll call them Mr. and Ms. Funny Bonez. The looks on their faces lead me to believe that I had pissed Boldy Locks off, so I asked them, “is she mad? waht did I do to make her mad??” Again, their faces said it all. They tried reassuring me that Boldy Locks has other stuff weighing on her heart and mind, and that she had already pre-gamed before the beer garden, so they encouraged me not to take it too personally.
They also briefly mentioned that Boldy Locks is still wounded from a relational betrayal from last year, which I suppose my act of leaving had understandably served as an emotional trigger for her. Knowing this was helpful to gain perspective and to soften my own anger and instead hold the space with compassion for us both. Still, I was feeling like a dick to have made her feel that way. In fact, I was still so overwhelmed by my own emotions that I started tearing up again. I didn’t mean to. I was embarrassed to show my vulnerability to new people. Meanwhile, Meekachu was holding my hand with such empathy and compassion. It was almost like she was absorbing some of the pain for me.
Despite the uncomfortable emotional space I was in, I had to actively choose to focus on the relationships in front of me. So, to help me let go of this mood (i.e., create distance between me and my emotional suffering), I started drinking a lot of beer, very quickly. It helped release some of the tension and allowed me to relax and enjoy myself. We talked about upcoming parties that Mr. and Ms. Funny Bonez wanted to invite me to (e.g., corn maze, clown improv workshop, seance birthday party, halloween party, 30s themed New Years Eve party). They are incredibly welcoming, and they were so understanding, empathic, and compassionate tonight. They sat with me and Meekachu in this weirdly intense emotional space, and they didn’t seem afraid or put off by it. I felt held by them all, and it was enough for me to get out of the funk and into the present.
Kasian brought over two free pitchers of beer and she invited a Bumble Boy she’d just met to join the party (it wasn’t awkward at all…). I definitely felt the love from Ms. Funny Bonez. She was trying to get me to think about ways to celebrate my birthday, or like different places to go. She also wants me to be a fortune teller at her birthday party in a few weeks. Mr. Funny Bonez invited me to his annual halloween party. And there’s talk about a 30s themed New Year’s Eve party that I might be asked to entertain the crowd as Madame Kiki.
Being included in this group feels really, really comforting. Additionally, Mr. Funny Bonez and I will be attending a workshop on using physicality in improv in a couple weeks. I’m super excited for all of these events! He also recommended that I reach out to Boldy Locks to check in with her, so I did. Her response made me nervous about where we stood, so I knew that tomorrow would be uncertain.
Eventually, the beer garden was closing for the night. Meekachu left because she had an early morning the next day to support her co-worker for the Suicide Prevention Walk in Detroit. Kasian and her Bumble Boy and I were going to split off and have some Korean BBQ, but I didn’t want to be the third wheel, so I suggested that the three of us grab a late night dinner at a local diner with Mr. and Ms. Funny Bonez. Oh, and Ms. Funny Bonez randomly invited a younger guy to the party making it a total of 6. We had our food and then went our separate ways.
So, Kasian, her Bumble Boy, and I finally went to the karaoke bar. By this time, I’m feeling pretty drunk and happy and I’m ready to sing. Kasian knows the owner of the karaoke bar and he had accommodated my party of 12 for my birthday. It was embarrassing, to say the least, to have to cancel that because less than a handful of people showed. But, whatever. I had my flask of bourbon, my cigarettes for nights out such as these, and my eye on that microphone.
Every song choice I came up with was denied by the DJ because either it was already sung or he didn’t have it in his music library. About 10 minutes before closing at 2am, I finally got to sing “Tyrone” by Eryka Badu, and it was fucking great. Here’s some video to give you a flavor of what it was like.
It felt good to end the night with me singing to a bunch of college kids, while Kasian and her Bumble Boy were cuddling by the bar. I felt like I could reclaim the night in a way. I’m up here on this stage because it’s my mother fucking birthday and I’m going to sing like there’s no goddamn tomorrow. Once leaving the bar, there was this one dude who was creepily leering and lingering around me. He told me I had a nice dress… this is when Kasian and I had our first kiss, just to get this dude off my jock. I realize that glamming up will give me unsolicited attention. This is a huge issue for me because I don’t like being objectified or sexualized without my consent. Sometimes I really hate this world because of how unsafe women are made to feel just by the way they look.
It was getting late, so the three of us shared an Uber. This driver was pretty snarky, which I enjoyed very much. I came home, smoked a bowl, watched some Cartoon Network, cuddled with the cat, and passed out on the couch. It was a whirlwind of a birthday. Originally, Meekachu and I had wanted to rent an AirBnB in northern Michigan just to relax in nature for ourselves. I think I may do that next year because I don’t want a repeat of what happened tonight. Or perhaps what I should work on between now and then is to let go of expectations and attachments. That seems to get me in trouble where the emotional suffering is at its worst.
I woke up later than I wanted to, so I knew that I wasn’t going to make it to Boldy Lock’s house with some ingredients for mimosas. We had planned to watch the new Kingsman movie and then take time for a photo shoot, but I wasn’t feeling it so Boldy Locks and I postponed it. I was nervous about where she and I stood, so I texted her if I could come over earlier before heading out for the movie.
Once I got to her place, I just gave her this big, warm embrace and said something like:
“We’re both emotional and sensitive creatures who really care about our relationships and who have trouble when we can’t control things, so I’m here to talk it out and hug it out. We’re also just getting to learn more about each other, particularly what triggers us and how we process information/emotions and how we communicate. I’m here because I value who you are and I want you in my life. So, I’m sorry for triggering you, and I hope that we can accept each other’s stuff and help each other correct/repair it so that we can both grow as people together.”
She agreed and that’s all that was needed to carry on. I learned more about why she felt so triggered last night, and she learned why I was in the headspace I was in from a lifetime of chronic disappointment. It felt good to have a new friend who is equally as willing to have those vulnerable and sometimes awkward conversations for the sake of clarity and/or improving the situation or relationship. Plus she’s funny, loving, and creepy as hell, and I like all those things about her, so I don’t want to lose her by attaching myself to my ego.
We went to the movie with her other friends, Mr. and Ms. Funny Bonez. On our way to the theater, I was driving behind a truck with a canoe sticking out of the bed. Boldy Locks warned me to keep my distance for fear that something would come flying out. Just as she was saying that, no joke – the truck’s muffler fell from off and hit my bumper! I slammed the brakes, Boldy Locks got out of the car and kicked the muffler to the side of the road. She told me to catch up to the truck so we could grab his license plate. He was very quick to leave, btw. So we followed his ass until he pulled over.
I wasn’t sure what was gonna happen, but Boldy Locks was ready to take him out. Meanwhile, Ms. Funny Bonez is in the back seat hungover as shit just watching everything go down. Boldy Locks walked towards the truck, and as the dude was stepping out, she said “did ya lose something, buddy?” She handled it like a pro, and I didn’t have to do anything, which is weird because usually I’m the one doing that for myself. I felt very protected and cared for by her, and it felt really good to receive that. She got his number and we went on our way. But before we left, she told him to pick up his missing piece from the side of the road. It was great watching her be a badass.
We saw the movie, which was pretty funny, although I didn’t see the first one, so there were several references I missed. I loved this theater because they have recliner seats and they serve alcohol. I was slightly hungover myself from the night before, so there were a few times I dozed off, but it was nice to be part of this new crew enjoying our time together. Afterwards, I just hung out at Boldy Lock’s house before she went on a Match date. I helped her change the headlight of her Prius, and by helped I mean I looked up videos on how to do it. I also played some songs for her that I wanted Madame Kiki to perform to.
I learned that Boldy Locks has a dressing room for cosplay. She’s got so many different wigs! I tried one on and realized that my hair is just too thick and too long to fit under an average wig. I’m a bit concerned about that if I want Madame Kiki to have a realistic enough looking wig, or at least fit on my damn head. I don’t know how to give myself french braids, so I know that either I have to learn how to do that or I need to learn how to bobbypin the shit outta my head and make it flat af so the wig can just slip on.
I found a few online shops that have some pretty epic wigs, but they cost a lot of money and will take several weeks to make and ship out. I might not have it in time for some of the parties mentioned earlier. Here’s a wig I’ve been eyeing for a while…
I spent the rest of the night lyft driving but I didn’t make as much money as I had originally thought I would. They said that’s because it was an away game. I was getting too tired so I was only out for a few hours. I’ll try again next weekend!
I slept the entire day. I was supposed to have brunch with one of my cousin’s on my dad’s side, but I literally had no energy to spare. I woke up around 5pm and had enough creative energy to make another nail set for Madame Kiki.
I think I like the henna aesthetic for Madame Kiki, too. I’ll need to buy some more because I’m almost out. I’ll also need to practice some other designs because I only know a few patterns. There’s really not much else to report because I’m tired from writing all of this.
It’s hard to explain just how fatigued I really am from all of life’s new adventures. From having to adjust to this new job and Lyft driving, to working hard on my podcast, this blog, improv, and Madame Kiki. Even dating through all the different apps has been exhausting. There’s no real news to report there either, in terms of online dating. It’s kinda disappointing but at the same time I’m like do I even have the time/energy to invest in dating right now?? I just want to hang out, make out, and cuddle with someone. October will bring more adventure because of several different events and new people to enjoy life with. I’ll be starting improv class 2 soon, presenting for Nerd Nite, attending a handful of parties and having a photo shoot that requires Madame Kiki’s look to be in full effect. It’s just a lot, and I’m not even touching my licensing exam because I’m trying to see if I can be a life coach instead. Bah, I’m tired. Goodnight, sleep tight.
Stay tuned for what’s yet to come on more to be revealed. Until then, continue exploring the unknown with a curious heart and a funny bone.