Everything Happens Eventually: a farewell and thank you to Bones

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Tonight FOX’s longest running procedural crimedy, Bones, airs its series finale.

Bones and it’s groundbreaking 12 season run has become one of the constant, greatest comforts of the messy journey I’ve taken these last 11 years to navigate life as it should be.

Confession: I did not know this show existed when it started. This little gem of a show came to me via my best friend during Hollywood’s writer’s strike ten years ago. She had watched Bones while all of television was on hiatus and then proceeded to get everyone she knew to watch it. (Seriously, she mailed her season one DVDs all over the world so our friends could fall in love with this show.) I will never forget the day she made me watch the pilot. We had just had a movie night and then I watched the pilot in the car on the way home, on her iPod. I was so into it, she circled my neighborhood until I finished the episode.

I was in.

After viewing the pilot, I watched the then three seasons in two and a half days. Yes, I did absolutely nothing but binge-watch three seasons of Bones before binge-watching was really a thing. This show became my favorite, and it’s been my favorite ever since.

This show is responsible for so much in my life. Bones made me a vegetarian. In season one when Brennan asked how you slaughter a pig, we both responded with “I think I just became a vegetarian” in unison on my first viewing. It stuck and I am ten years strong this August. It’s responsible for friendships and making memories. I made a handful of Bones “soundtracks” with the incredible music from the show. It’s even responsible for something as simple as my social media identity – chaoshopelove.

“We make our lives out of chaos and hope. And love.” – Angela (Season 2, Episode 2: “Mother and Child in the Bay”)

Thank you to executive producer and former showrunner Stephen Nathan for those words that have stayed with me for the last ten years.

Two months after my three season binge, I saw Emily Deschanel and Eric Millegan perform as Sonny and Cher at an AIDS benefit in Hollywood. I got to meet Emily after the show and tell her how much I loved Bones and how it made me a vegetarian. She talked with me and my friends for a pretty significant amount of time and was the kindest, loveliest, most humble, down to earth human being. I will always be grateful for the way she so generously shared her time with us. I got to go to two of the three panels that The Paley Center for Media held for Bones over the years, where I briefly met Stephen Nathan and T.J. Thyne. I also met Kathy Reichs on one of her many book tours. Kathy is the real-life forensic anthropologist, writer and professor that Bones is loosely based on and inspired by. Of all of my Bones related experiences, I wish I still had the photos from that day. And for extra fun I’ve had numerous adventures at the Natural History Museum and California Science Center in Los Angeles, the site FOX used for the Jeffersonian exteriors and some scenes, with some of the dearest people I love most on this planet.

Bones has brought me nothing but joy, inspiration and helped me to find my inner-badass in the time it has been here to entertain us. I am grateful for that. Actually, gratitude probably isn’t even the right word. I hope that someday what I’ve taken from this show can help to change the world.

To the Cast, Crew, FOX and everyone who has ever been Team Bones: 

Thank you. Thank you for elevating stories about a real-life woman of science and believing those stories to be important enough for the world to see for an extended period of time. Thank you for holding a space for women scientists, women writers, producers, directors, artists and women of authority. Thank you for showcasing that women breaking the mold can be a normal thing but they can also exist in the way society “expects” them to without sacrificing who they are as human beings. Thank you for shedding light on the fact that EVERY woman is a woman of power. You’ve all changed the game, there was no show on the air like Bones when it began and their will never be another.

To Kathy Reichs, Hart Hanson & FOX: There would be no Bones without you. Thank you for changing the world a little more than you know. To Michaela Conlin: Thank you for Angela, who consistently showed us that art could make science her “bitch” but that the two could coexist without lessening the importance of the other. And for portraying that sharing your feelings and your heart with other people makes every woman stronger. To T.J. Thyne: Thank you for Hodgins, who made “bugs and dirt” way less creepy and gross and a lot more fascinating. Also, in these last couple seasons, portraying a disability with such care, respect, dignity and authenticity… as someone with a disability, I thank you for that. I can tell when an actor has done the work when it comes to that. Thank you. To Eric Millegan, John Francis Daley, John Boyd & all the Squinterns: You brought me so much joy in your own ways every time you were on the screen. Thank you. To Tamara Taylor: For 11 of these 12 seasons, you had such a pivotal role… playing a woman running a forensic science lab. Cam was vulnerable but her badassery never waivered and she made women harnessing their own power and executing it in their position in the world seem doable, and though scary, made for a generation of fearless women. Thank you. To David Boreanaz: Thank you for Booth – who was a man that held every person to an equal standard no matter their  job, gender or class as set forth by society. Booth always did his best to protect and fight for everyone as human beings and his country at the same time. The current state of the world could learn a lot from Seeley Booth. To Emily Deschanel: As Booth would say, you are the standard and the center by which this show held its own. Thank you for showcasing that love was okay, that science is the coolest, that a woman can be whatever she wants to be and everything that she already is, is what makes her unique in this world. Thank you for inspiring an entire generation to find their voice, to use their voice and to recognize that they matter. You inspire me every day.

To my friends:

Janice: Thank you for circling my neighborhood so I could watch this pilot. Thank you for not judging when I watched all those seasons in 2.5 days. Thank you for doing everything possible the night we met Emily. It’s been ten years and I am still on cloud nine from that night. Thank you for going to the Paley panels with me and being the first person to take me to “The Jeffersonian.” I also loved most when our nieces were little and we played “dancing phalanges.” Those writers had no idea they were creating tiny human magic.

Kyla & Becky: Thank you for pulling my wheelchair through the grass at the rose garden so I could participate when Kyla wanted to re-enact the “I think I could be a duck” scene from the pilot. Thank you for sitting on the fountain in said rose garden and listening to my Bones soundtracks with me. That is one of my most favorite memories.

Kyla: Thank you for… everything. You already know. But most recently, thank you for talking with T.J. about the important work he’s done. That meant a lot.

Annie & Anne: Thank you for that one Christmas when you watched all of the Christmas episodes with me. That particular ten day Christmas was the best of my life and I am grateful Bones was a small part of that.

Bones is going out at a time when the world needs a passion for science and humanity more than ever, but it’s still going out on top. And that’s how you do it.

Thank you.

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“This is almost touching what the beauty is.”

A thing happened this past Friday.

I saw Kelli O’Hara on stage for the first time.

It was a real thing that actually happened.

For those who don’t know, Kelli O’Hara is my favorite voice. There is something about her voice that is so clear, calming and soothing to me. On top of that, she is a talented and passionate performer and has always seemed like a genuinely good human to me. As it turns out, I was right. She went above and beyond anything I could have ever expected.

When we were walking to the venue entrance before the show, we saw what we thought was an accessible path to the stage door. We all definitely wanted to stage door after the show, so once we went inside and were settled in our seats, Shimaali went to talk to someone as to how we could do that. They told her to come talk to someone in the lobby after the show and that was that.

Please note: Our seats did not suck and I was about to burst with joy everywhere.The excitement I had, had been building for years. The concert hadn’t even started yet and I was smiling like a big goofy kid with a heart full of wonder and magic. It all just spilled over the second Kelli walked onstage.

Newsflash to nobody: When Kelli O’Hara opens her mouth, the sound of the angels fills the room. It was like we were in this cozy cocoon of music for an hour and a half. My friends and I could have stayed in those moments all night. Everything about it was perfect.

The two songs that were the biggest highlights for me were “The Light in the Piazza” (The Light in the Piazza) and “To Build a Home” (Bridges of Madison County) – All I have ever wanted was to hear her sing live from those shows. During “The Light in the Piazza” I couldn’t believe I was finally getting to hear her sing from that show. I couldn’t look away. It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard. On the other hand, during “To Build a Home” I had to look down and close my eyes. I couldn’t even look up and witness that this was happening in front of me. I NEVER thought I’d get to hear her sing from Bridges. I was bawling. It was stunning and transcendent. So much so that I came home and thanked Jason Robert Brown for writing music for Kelli’s voice. Seamless perfection.

The whole concert turned me into a giant ball of emotion, which is a surprise to no one. I still don’t have all the right words, the ones I’m using don’t seem like enough.

And then something completely unexpected happened…

After the show we went to pick up my walker and talk to someone in the lobby. They told us they were just going to see if it would be ok to just bring us backstage. We were cleared and a few minutes later we were in the hallway backstage with Kelli and all of her other guests.

You can guess what happened next… Yep. I cried. A lot.

I mean… I’d never seen Kelli. I don’t know her, she doesn’t know me. But sure… come on back and say hello, Kimmie and friends. What?! I still haven’t fully wrapped my brain or my heart around the fact that someone could just be that easygoing and kind.

So. I met Kelli. We all met Kelli.

There was a joke circulating between the girls that I wouldn’t remember my name. The last time I met someone who inspires me and has a piece of my heart, I couldn’t remember my name or even speak words. I’m proud to report that with the help of My Person text-chanting my name at me all the way from NY, I remembered my name. HA! Take that, overwhelming emotions!

Not only did I remember my name, I got to tell her that I’ve been trying to see her on stage since Piazza, in several shows, but for some reason or another, something always happened and it never worked out until this concert. I told her that this was the first time and it was more than I ever could have dreamed. She was grateful I was there. She asked me if I lived here and when I said yes, said she’d try to get out here more and when she does, I’d have to be there. Well yes, Kelli O’Hara, I will be there with bells on. And then I gave her a card I wrote just in case I had forgotten my words. She talked with Shimaali, Emelie and Bianca. We took photos. We laughed. She told us we collectively had the best hair she’d ever seen. We laughed more. It was all a beautiful whirlwind that I never wanted to end.

I hope this happens again. The joy I feel is filling my very weary soul. To say that I am grateful would be an understatement.

To Kelli: You are the warmest, most humble human being I have ever met in my life. Thank you for your unbelievable kindness and for sharing your time with us.  We’ll never forget this night. Those moments are everything. I will cherish them forever. I apologize if my note was a jumbled awkward mess, I had a lot of feelings.

To Shimaali: Thank you for doing the work to get our tickets and then making the night extra special for all of us. I never thought this would happen so I appreciate it more than you will ever know. I love going to things like this with you, we always have the best time.

To Emelie & Bianca: Thank you for coming with me. I’m so glad we got to share this together. It was something special.

I love all four of you.

To the VPAC house manager: You’re awesome. Thank you so much for making our night even more incredible than it already was.

(A note about the Valley Performing Arts Center: This may be one of my favorite venues I have ever been to from an accessibility standpoint. There was no fighting with stairs. EVERYTHING from the grounds outside, to the lobby, the house and the walk backstage was flat. The doors were wide. Our seats in the orchestra were incredible. And the accessible parking was right outside the front entrance. When we were leaving, I desperately wanted to walk through the whole building again filming a video with my phone to show other venues how they SHOULD be doing accessibility. Maybe it was because it was a college campus, but even still, venues like this seem to be rare and I appreciate them all the more when I can get around in them without stress or frustration. If anyone else I love ever does a show there from this point on, I may just have to make the trek to be there.)

To my friends & family: Those of you who, over the years, have made plans with me to see Kelli, those who have sat with me and made travel plans, those who have tried to get me tickets to shows, those who got tickets and then something happened for it not to work out – I thought of every single one of you on Friday night. I wished so hard that you had been there with us too. You were there in my heart. Thank you for always reminding me when I was sad that it would happen when it was the right time.  Given the state of my world, now was definitely the right time. I love all of you.

My heart needed some hope. Right now hope is all I have and I will hold onto it for as long as I possibly can. Music heals what’s broken, if you let it.

Dear Friend: A Note On SHE LOVES ME

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My life is a mess. Changes are happening faster than I can keep up with them. Most of these changes have and continue to be extremely difficult for me. I’ve had to detach from the majority of social media to be with myself, to meditate and pray through every turn life seems to be taking.

For now I’m going to put aside my messy life and the added devastation over the state of the world, to talk about something that brought with it more joy than I ever imagined possible.

Last year for my birthday, my Gramma handed me a check and told me to “go have an adventure with it.” I was completely shocked. My Gramma has never done anything like that. In true “me” fashion, I got on a plane to NYC as fast as I possibly could to be with my heart family. This trip was truly the most magical I’ve ever had in that city. Maybe one day I’ll write about it in more detail here, but right now I need to discuss the power of theatre.

On May 1, I went to see SHE LOVES ME at Studio 54 with three of my sisters. Let’s be real here, I went to this show in the first place because number one, seeing Laura Benanti on my NYC trips has kind of become the thing that My Person and I do together. Number two, the accessible seats are in the front row and I desperately wanted to hear Laura Benanti sing “Vanilla Ice Cream” right in my face. This is a thing that actually DID happen, but I was not prepared for the experience I was going to have in the theatre that day. I wasn’t prepared at all.

Leading up to this day, this particular trip had been pretty hard on my body physically. The flight was harder than usual. Once I was there, I was in a constant state of adjusting to what felt like a million different kinds of pain. Never once did I complain, because I was with my family, in my city, I was taken care of and loved. Real love means someone sits with you through pain and breaks out funny Benanti videos to make you laugh through your tears and get you pumped for the next day’s joy. (Thanks Diana. Love you.)

And joy was had that day, indeed.

From the moment we got to our seats, the excitement was shooting out of my face. I was smiling all the way up to my eyeballs and I don’t think that smile left my face for at least a week afterwards. I held My Person’s hand and as soon as the show started it was like I left the theatre and was taken to another place. There are many kinds of transcendent theatre experiences and SHE LOVES ME is transcendent joy. (Well, aside from the part of the end of Act One that depresses you right before intermission. Thank goodness for a later happy ending. It is a “romantic-ish musical comedy” after all.) There was a moment in Act Two when Zachary Levi sang part of “She Loves Me” on the steps of the stage right to me and Janice and I melted into my chair. I was pretty sure I’d never come back from that. It was the most perfect moment.

That said, this cast is wonderful. Laura went above and beyond for me when she did not have to.  My heart will remember her small act of kindness, that was much bigger than she’ll ever know, forever. Then we were escorted to the stage door where Nick Barasch was adorable, Jane Krakowski and Zachary Levi were both equally kind.

There was tangible magic in the air as my sisters and me walked away from 54th Street. We were goofing off and singing our conversations to the tune of “Vanilla Ice Cream” and practically skipping in the rain. If real life were a musical, this has been my favorite scene in mine without question.

It was hardest it’s ever been to say goodbye when I left the city this go-round. I got home to LA and was doing everything I could to try to get back to my family and this show before it closed in July. At the time, I didn’t know that it was just a “see you later.”

On June 30, SHE LOVES ME was live streamed on BroadwayHD all across the world. History was made that night as it was the first show to ever do this. I am so grateful for this and I will never understand how it was THIS production that got to make this feat. All I wanted was to see it one more time. Instead for the last week and a half, I’ve gotten to watch it as much as I want to. (Don’t ask me how many times I’ve watched, the number is high, but the joy… The joy will never leave me.) On the night of the live stream, my sister Diana sent me this text:

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I am so thankful I experienced this show with human beings who understand the power of live theatre.

To the cast of SHE LOVES ME: Thank you. The time I spent in that place with you changed me. I can’t imagine another theatre experience being as special as this. The world is so dark and broken right now and you have been a light that has shone through the darkness. You all made the world better with the gift you gave to us through your hearts and passion every night.

To the Roundabout Theatre Company and everyone at Studio 54: Thank you for this show. Thank you for every single helpful, accommodating and kind human being who worked to make that one day extra special for me and my friends without being asked. I will never forget it.

And finally, to Laura Benanti: When I got back home, I wrote you a letter. I never do that, so I’m not sure if you received it, but in case you didn’t… Thank you. There’s nothing I can say to you that will ever be enough. You didn’t know me, but you gave me your time and that is precious to me. You made me feel appreciated for supporting you. I have a very sensitive heart and soul. I am big on human connection. I believe we are all here to uplift and celebrate each other in this life. What connected in my heart that day, opened the sky for me. You made me feel like I am worthy of something wonderful. You made me embrace my own humanity when I wasn’t really feeling it at the time. Thank you for being so real, so kind and so human. You’ve forever changed me. Your place in my heart has grown beyond a capacity I never saw coming. Just… Thank you. Please continue to take care of yourself and do your own thing. You make the world brighter just as you are.

She Loves Me ended its run today. My heart doesn’t even have room to break because the joy and memories are holding it strong. And yet, this isn’t goodbye. In November for my birthday, I’ll get to see the show again in a movie theater. I don’t know how things like this keep happening with this show, but I’ve learned not to question it at this point. My Person calls it a connected invisible thread. Nothing can break it. I know, I just know, it’s God telling me it will always be here and be a reason to believe in something better.

I love you, you beautiful, joyful little sweet show. Thank you for bringing out my joy face.

Welcome to my Anxious Brain. 

I am grateful for two things right now:
1. I’m grateful this day is over. 

2. I’m grateful this day was not as bad as I thought it would be. 
My bad mental/emotional days are extremely few and far between these days. However, I still get triggered by anxiety. If my apartment is too cluttered/messy and things aren’t where they are supposed to be, I get anxiety. If I have to deal too much with other people or there’s a ton of things going on, I get anxiety. 
Last night I got hit really hard by the anxiety train. 
I signed some papers last week so the investors in my complex could come look at my apartment today. Only I had to go food shopping yesterday and by the time we got back, there wasn’t time to clean. There were dishes in the sink, the floor needed to be vacuumed and both the bathroom and my bedroom needed to be organized. Coming home and not having the time to fix all of this started to push me over the edge. 
When I came home from the store, my CLS person told me I had to interview six people today. Six. We are (still) trying to find someone to take my mother’s hours so my CLS person asked me last week when she should schedule more interviews. I told her today before I found out the investors were also coming today. But six interviews seemed a bit excessive at once to me.
All of this after spending the whole day being interactive in three different stores was way too much for me. 
After B left last night, it started to sink in that there were going to be a crap ton of people here today. There would be a crap ton of people here, my apartment was a mess, I was overwhelmed by the day’s events and the day to come’s events and it wasn’t even here yet. 
Welcome to my anxious brain. I had a MASSIVE anxiety attack that morphed into a meltdown because sometimes adulthood is just too much. I realize in the grand scheme of things all of this doesn’t matter, but it sure was suffocating last night. I couldn’t breathe. I got sick. It was the worst it’s been in years. 
And then today happened. 
The investors came to my building but never showed up to look at my apartment. 
I then conducted the two most awkward interviews thus far. The other four people didn’t show up. 
I MAY have hired the first person I interviewed. This means, I told my CLS person to hire her, so it’ll be up to her if she wants to take the job. Fingers crossed this works out. She was super lovely despite my awkwardness. The second person gave off too much a vibe like the person I had to let go last year, my CLS person noticed it too. She was nice, but I knew immediately we wouldn’t work well together. 
My point of all of this though is, anxiety is a damn roller coaster. Why does whatever you’re worrying about end up going better than how it goes in your head? I mean, I am grateful it’s always easier, but that’s just cruel. 
Time for deep breathing, sleep and a new day, please. 

Sorry if this posts weird. My cat broke the S key on my laptop so I have to write from my phone and every time I do that, it formats wrong. So I just haven’t updated. I needed to vent somewhere though so there you go. 

Big Magic (In real time) with Elizabeth Gilbert

“You have to be childlike in the pursuit of your life, but you cannot be childish.”
– Elizabeth Gilbert (from this interview with Marie Forleo)

As I mentioned previously, I spent a huge chunk of the summer writing a thing.  I wrote this thing and it did not go how I planned.  I was going to post it here just to… keep it somewhere.  Then I got my copy of Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book, BIG MAGIC: CREATIVE LIVING BEYOND FEAR and I started reading it after I wrote that last post and when my pal Sus commented about life and creativity informing each other and existing together, it was like this book was talking back to me through her words. (Thanks, Sus!)  So, instead of getting discouraged I combated the nagging idea of failure by going to see Liz Gilbert speak this past Friday in Pasadena.

Confession:  I love Elizabeth Gilbert.  There is no one whose words I love more than hers.  She is truly one of my favorite humans on this planet.  I was reading EAT PRAY LOVE when the first door to my own life opened nearly ten years ago.  That book changed the way I saw the entire world and softened me to the idea of letting the family in that I have now. I just become so empowered when I read her words that I run off a cliff without a parachute with my creativity and the intention to fly. It lights a fire, for sure.  So getting to see her speak? Forget it.  I knew I needed it and it was something else.

I have to say, it was the first time in my life that I sat in a room with a group of strangers and it seemed as though all of our brains were wired the same way.  It was the first time I didn’t feel alone as far as how I live and see the world.  My lovely Kyla calls me a “childlike wonder” because I can exist in a solid reality, but so much of my life is engulfed in magical thinking.  People tend to lose that as they get older, in this room there were the people like me, the ones who hang onto it for dear life, and we embraced the others who wanted to exist there with us.  I just… I went to a completely different place the other night.  For someone who loves words so much, I can’t seem to find the right ones capture what this night was.

I’ve never seen connection happen between people the way it happened on this night.  The whole room stopped for each person.  Not only were they growing in wisdom as their questions were answered, but there was a little morsel that EVERYONE could benefit from as well.  Did I ask a question?  Before I got there, I had planned on it. However, I did not.  Once I was sitting in that room, my brain activated “little sponge” mode and I ended up just soaking up everything going on around me.  It was seriously something powerful just to behold.  (And now Kyla is reading this wondering if I thought of something to ask at all… Yes, Kyla.  in the middle of reading the book last night, there was my question on paper, so I got an answer anyway. Funny how that happens.)

Also, Liz loves karaoke so someone asked if we could end the event in song.  (Because who doesn’t love singing out of sheer joy at the top of their lungs with other people?! I hear those people exist, but I don’t know them.) So we sang John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” together.  I honestly felt like I could have jumped out of my chair and ran across the world afterwards.  It was SO MUCH FUN. This was Big Magic in real time, and I was so grateful to experience it.  I was so filled with joy and inspiration after this that I finished the last page in my lyric art journal, which sat unfinished on my coffee table for months.  I’m kind of proud of myself.

The one thing Liz said that seems to be lingering with me?  “It’s so weird to be a PERSON. It’s the hardest job I’ve ever had.”  She’s not wrong.  In these moments I was grateful to be the person that I am, living this life, no matter how hard it is sometimes.  Thank you, Liz.  For everything.

From the Outside Looking In

(When you can’t sleep and you HAVE to write stuff down at 1AM so your finger swipes upwards publishing things prematurely, that’s just obnoxious. I apologize to anyone who got an email with all of  the fragment of a sentence.)

ANYWAY. MOVING ON.

For the last year or two, I’ve been practicing not looking back on the past too much. As it has been pointed out to me from a place of truth over and over again, looking back doesn’t serve me, my future, or the moment I am in right now. So, I’ve been doing the best I can to be more present and to keep looking ahead. Looking and moving forward is like walking into a room filled floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall with sunlight. There’s such a gratitude for life in that room of warmth, but still there are days when the door to that room is locked and it seems as if I’m alone in a never-ending darkened hallway. This is the can of worms that was opened this week.

Remember when I said I was in a creative drought? Well, it seems to have manifested into more of a life drought. Granted, most of it is due to situations out of my control and I sit here and fixate on things I can control… But I think in that case, it just seemed to make things worse.

I created one thing all summer. Just one thing, during my internet hiatus when a project dropped itself in my lap and I spent a whole month devoted to it away from everything. You want to know what happened next? Nothing. It didn’t accomplish what I set out for it to accomplish. (More detail on this specifically another time.) I knew going into it this outcome was an enormous possibility, I was ok with that and did it anyway, then when it came down to it, when it didn’t go how I’d hoped, I got really discouraged. I think as the cloud of failure formed and hovered above me, it started to affect everything else going on around me. But like I said, the rest of it has been completely out of my control.

Around mid-August, B got a second job unexpectedly and we are nearly in October and still trying to work out her schedule with me. The schedule changes every week, and most of the time it changes daily, so the shake up and lack of routine is really getting to me. Every day it’s like someone comes in here and flips my world upside-down. Like I’m living in Wonderland with nothing but a handful of nonsense. The situation is giving me crazy amounts of anxiety and I’m not so sure what to do about it. I know you’re probably thinking, if it’s that stressful, let her go. I can’t do that though, I wish you all could see how good she is for me. I am better because I have her help. I just need to figure out a way for a sense of normalcy and stability to return to me.

Aside from this, it feels like there is not a single human around me with the ability to follow through with their words into actions these days. It’s quite simple, right? If you say you’re going to do something, you should probably do it; or don’t loosely commit to anything at all. When someone doesn’t follow through, it makes me feel like I’m not worth enough or good enough and I’m not doing enough. I beat myself up. I know I shouldn’t, but it’s what happens and then I go back to the fact that I can only depend on myself.

The other night ALL of these things collided together and in a moment of shame, I fell apart. I reached out and told my Kyla that I was struggling and I needed some help navigating a way out from under the pile of pressure and stress I was buried underneath. She told me what it was like watching me carve out a life for myself the last few years. (Using the most epic Wizard of Oz analogy ever to exist…) I told her how I felt like I’d never be enough or doing enough and I felt like I hadn’t done anything at all. I told her how it feels like I can’t ever catch a break. So what was her response? She wished I could see my life right now from the outside looking in, so she gave me an assignment. She said to me, “Write your story five years ago; then write your story now. Read them both.”

Okay then, let’s give this a shot, shall we?

Five years ago: September 2010: I’d grown restless of living with abusive, neglectful chain smokers where I seemed to be sick all the time. I ran away from that situation over that summer. I moved in with old friends in Orange County because we wanted to be able to help each other. I was truly happy there, until one day several months later it caught up to me and I wasn’t emotionally equipped to deal with reality. When you run, you don’t take the time to pay attention to the lessons life is trying to teach you. But now I wonder, how could I be of any kind of help to anyone if I couldn’t even help myself? I lost friendships that were family to me then. I will always love them and deeply cherish our time together. At the time I took it incredibly hard so the fact that I ended up back where I started was devastating to me. I lost myself for longer than I care to admit. I’m so grateful to every little thing that kept me afloat.

Now: September 2015: I live alone with my cat in my own apartment. I have a team of people who work with and for me to help me navigate adulthood. I may have had to grow up at a very young age, but it’s true what my pal Cady says — when you aren’t taught the simple things growing up you don’t know how to do them as an adult because no one took the time to show you. Now people show me those things. I may not have nearby friends, but I have a massive encouragement and support system that spans all across the world. I am creating again, even if Creativity and I may be on a break at the moment. I have a huge creative endeavor in the works with my sisters that could really be something special. I am going out and doing things because I want to. I am planning a family reunion with my heart family. I am going back to physical therapy for the first time since I was a toddler. I do my physical therapy every day at home.  I am starting aquatic therapy next week. I am seeing doctors. I am trying to be patient and gentle with my body as it adjusts to everything I’m doing to make it stronger and healthier. I am talking to every social worker who steps into my apartment without a shred of anxiety. I am doing everything I can to help myself be the best I can be in every way possible. Maybe it’s not as broken as I think it is. All that matters is that I give this moment the attention it’s asking for and then I must continue moving forward.

Ah, Kyla, I see what you did there. Once I got into this part of this post, I let go and just let my fingers type whatever they needed to. I am pretty sure you did not mean for me to post those on my blog, but I wanted you to see that I did it. I also felt like posting them publicly holds me more accountable. So, you were right. From the outside looking in, I’ve done more than I ever imagined I could. Nor am I finished changing the landscape of my life and then the world.

Inhale. Exhale. It’s all ok. Take another step, Kimmie.

Summer Stuff

It seems I can’t go an entire summer these last few years without losing my hearing at least once. My doctor looked at my ears two weeks ago after I told her of this issue and everything looked good. My ears are just that damn sensitive and now here I am on Labor Day weekend not able to hear anything. Doctor’s appointment on Tuesday cannot get here soon enough. So let’s do some writing about the summer, shall we? BECAUSE I CAN STILL WRITE. I’m all about being grateful for what I CAN do.

I spent December of last year all the way through the entire month of July fighting my medical insurance and ultimately I won. So this was both an uneventful summer, but it has also been a summer of getting stuff done. I have a new social worker, a new doctor, and a physical therapist now. Currently working on getting an optometrist and a dentist. My doctor has given me medication for things every other doctor I’ve ever had would not. Thanks to that, I am already feeling much better. This doctor is not messing around. I like her.

I had my physical therapy evaluation last week. I have two exercises I do at home for now and my first regular appointment is next Friday. To be honest, I am a little (ok, more than a little) afraid for my therapist to work with me. I had PT until I was three years old and my parents stopped taking me because my old therapist tore the Achilles tendon in my left foot. I may have been very small at the time, but I remember that day and that pain like it just happened yesterday. I’ve made the new therapist aware that happened so I’m going to be spending this week telling myself I’ll be safe with this person and it’s her job to help me. I’m sure it will be just fine. I am so grateful to even have this help. I’ve wanted PT my entire life and I’m so on top of it. Even though my ears are causing me to feel not so great at the moment, I’ve been doing my exercises every day. I’m so excited about all of it. And yes everyone who has said “take it slow” — I promise I’ll never overdo it. I’ve never been that person.

On the summer fun side of things, here’s a list…

 – I took a social media break and spent an entire month just writing. And reading. Mostly writing.
– If you’re a creative type, listen to Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Magic Lessons” podcast on iTunes. Trust me. Just do it.
– I’m obsessed with Inside Out because sometimes I am a child. Well done, Disney/Pixar.
– Bianca and I took the train to LA to see my Kristin get a star on the Walk of Fame. It was worth the longest, hottest day if only to hug KC on her birthday, truly. Also, Carol Burnett was one of the guest speakers and that really doesn’t suck either.
– There is now a couch in my living room. My Person is good to me and I am grateful.
– Speaking of My Person, Janice was back in LA for the month of August. We took the nieces out to play. We had our favorite tacos. We went to our favorite vegan restaurant. I was introduced to shaved ice. Basically, when Janice is home, we eat.
– My Jessica from Orlando booked her flight to come visit me for a week in November. Happy Birthday to me!
– I randomly won free tickets to see Kristian Bush and Rita Wilson in LA last week. That man’s music is soul-changing. And Rita Wilson is pretty classy too. Her new album is going to be fantastic. (Side note, B is now kicking herself for not telling Tom Hanks when we saw him that she played Woody at Disney World. I am just amused over it.)
– I am now mourning the loss of the mango black tea lemonade at Starbucks. Damn you, pumpkin spice latte… It’s barely September!
– I have the best cat on the face of the planet. Just a reminder.
– Playing House is the funniest show on television.

All is well. I need a nap.