Arrows Out

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Now, you didn’t actually think I was going to continue with that whole ‘opportunity number’ thing for the next THREE YEARS, did ya? Too constricting. But I do promise I’m trying to look at my troubles through my opportunity eyeglasses. See the silver lining, yadda, yadda.

Scraped my fried brain up off the sidewalk and put it back in my head. Poor thing; it’s all hard and un-fluid right now, and any Dutch gets it stuck in a groove. I be damned tired of mouthing all the vowel and dipthong sounds every time I see something. Oi! And the pressure that builds up (really need a steam release on the side of my head)! You know…I don’t think I WANT to hear how well I speak after a year of study. Just let me stumble through, correct me where I’m wrong, speak slowly to me, and smile. Don’t tell me I’m smart or fast or ahead of other people. It makes me nervous. Like I’ve got something I have to keep reaching for. And I don’t know how long I can keep reaching like that.

In marches my next opportunity: a week holiday from language lessons. No classes, no one on one, no language cafés. I can hit my computer lessons more and do some catch up. Sleep in. Stay up late. Whatever the hell I want; I got the whole week in front of me with no appointments or meetings (or at least none centered on language which is good enough for me right now).

Whew! Just in time.

This past week, I’ve been cutting back on four essentials: smoking, caffeine, food, and exercise. I never planned to, just found myself in situations where I couldn’t smoke, didn’t have so much coffee, didn’t have any hunger, and didn’t have any time to go and waddle around the neighborhood. Hip hip for the first two. Good on the third, but I gotta watch it; I’m tending to eat only about 1200 calories a day right now. We all know how I feel about the last one. This week will be a blast back to my routine, and I’m sure there will be at least one post about how much my ass muscles hurt. But I’ve been having on and off headaches again; withdrawal from both smoking AND caffeine at the same time. Not that I can drink more coffee or smoke more. I just can’t. I can’t have another cup of coffee. I can’t take another toke. It’s almost like my body is shoving out a splinter, only the splinter is my need for caffeine and marijuana. And food is a TOTAL rejection. I haven’t actually been hungry for days now. Make myself eat, of course. Something. But food is just fuel for the machine; I find no joy in eating.

Well, this is a dry run. This is me seeing if I can manage to just get out and socialize more. First step: can I do things, be with other people, keep to a general schedule, and stay healthy? That’s what I’ve got to know. If I fall ill every other week I’ll know I can’t do it, no matter what anyone wants to tell me. There is NO WAY I’ll take on the responsibility of an acting role or a language helper or anything else if I can’t just be out more and stay bleeding healthy. And I’ve been thinking hard over the possibility of me NOT being able to do it. My life has so centered around my need to perform, my need to (I guess) be recognized. Now I’m thinking behind the stage is cool, too. Now I’m wondering if I should find some small one scene play scripts I wrote and bring them to the group to workshop. Or maybe they’d like some atmospheric music for some of their plays. Something I can do from my seat. Something that won’t fall apart if I fall ill. And I’m thinking that maybe I have something to give back in the language department, too. I feel I’m getting a lot from these free community programs, and isn’t it awfully mean of me to not offer to pass on my knowledge of English to someone who wants to learn?

Dear Goddess, I think I’m coming out of my shell.

Been trying with that one. My classes are one thing; I tend to be a star there without trying or wanting to. The theatre group is another. The other night I found myself sitting between two people, both of whom were turned away from me in conversation with people sitting further down the line. I felt I had three choices: sit there and feel ignored, get up and try to find someone to converse with, or stick out where I was and stop feeling so sorry for myself and just join in on one of the conversations to either side of me, asked or not. A quick glance around the room showed me that everyone was engaged in conversational groups, so I it came down to feeling put out or just joining in somewhere. And joining in was simply turning to one of my sides, listening but not participating, laughing at an appropriate moment – which, btw, made the others in the conversation turn towards me to include me a bit more from then on. It worked to an extent, tho I still felt like an appendage. I know I can’t really be a part of the theatre group unless I begin to put myself out there with them. Join in, raise my hand, speak up, volunteer, talk. In this matter, I feel like I’m back to being five years old again. Terribly shy. So I tend to stay quiet. Listen more than speak. Not raise my hand – tho the one director caught me out on that, got me up to participate in an improv scene, and I really, really enjoyed it.

I guess the one thing that’s become evident to me is the whole arrow issue. When my arrows are pointed in, when I’m worried about my age or what I say or how I look, things don’t go right. When I surrender and give all that up, when I let myself think more about other people than myself, good things can happen. They don’t always happen. But the opportunity is there (ah, there’s that new trigger word for me).

And that’s the key. Arrows out, and opportunity comes seeking YOU.

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