Danger Girl’s Sanctum of Solitude

26 Dec

For the past 6 months I have been spending most of my time alone. I am not sure why exactly, but I seem to crave it. And I should qualify this and say that I do have feline companionship, but cats are very mellow and as long as you are cool with them, they are cool with you.

Of course solitude is always enjoyable when it’s a choice, and often a living hell when it isn’t. And it helps to be a lover of cerebral pursuits and not someone prone to team sports. I suppose “avid about”, would have made my reference to team sports sound less like a chronic illness, but I since that reveals something about myself that I may want to explore later in a short story or as part of a character profile, I’m going to let it stand.

It’ not that I have anything against athletic peeps, I actually admire their discipline, but I think I have spent far too much time detached from my body, to build that type of relationship with it now.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate my body, it’s more like just the place I sleep.

And I do have friends that I love hanging out and having adventures with. Plus my current job is very social, kind of like being a bartender only with food instead.

But there is something incredibly free about having expanses of time that are all mine.

Time that I can do anything I want in, without having to explain, or compromise with anyone. I love to do things that drive most people crazy, like spend an entire day watching movies, or reading. I love to go on youtube and explore it for new and unique music.

My tastes are eclectic, so I love everything from Mongolian Metal (The Hu Band) to Lebanese violin virtuosos (Ara Malikian), Viktoria Modesta, the first pop star with a prosthetic leg, actually many, who uses them, the way Gaga uses costumes.

I recently lost my cat Mick, (I still have his brother Sid) I thought maybe my need to be home was a psychic thing, that I knew somehow that something was going to change, and I was hanging on to what was for as long as I could.

I have no idea if that was true. But because of it, I spent hours snuggled up with Mick on the couch, watching films and old black and white tv shows like Perry Mason, listening to him snore.

I love that we had so much time together. And no, I don’t think I am getting another cat, Sid seems to enjoy being the only cat and I don’t have the heart for it, at least not now. Besides, I still see Mick in fleeting glimpses whenever I spark up a spliff.

I think there are some people who find their soul mates with people, and others, for whatever reasons, with animals. I don’t think it matters which, as long as you are happy.

I had an incredibly, satisfying relationship with smoking for over 36 years, until we parted amicably 15 years ago. It was nobody’s fault, the passion just wasn’t there anymore.

There’s a song from a FredAstaire movie called The Bandwagon, that kind of sums up how I have felt most of my life, even though just like his character in the film, I have lots of amazing people and support. https://youtu.be/Xi94AT72CAc

I don’t know if it’s age, or a benefit of solitude but I have noticed lately that I am more at peace with what is. I am able to let go of things that I have no control over, things that make me unhappy. I still react but I don’t hoard it. And it is no longer necessary for me to be hip to what’s “really” going on and share that hipness, so everyone knows how insightful I am. I’m not perfect, I still go there occasionally, but I no longer live there.

I no longer need a specific community, just the company of individuals who share similar cultural interests. My identity is no longer defined by sexual orientation, nationality, gender, religious beliefs or politics. My art can play anywhere or nowhere.

I am in the last quarter of my life. And although I am 63, I am also 15 and 30 and ageless. Sometimes I look in the mirror and see no changes and other times I am startled that I no longer look like an adolescent. I am not afraid of aging. I am only afraid of being unable to make a living so that I can’t live alone.

For me the only tragedy of age is being forced to live out your remaining years with no privacy. That, and the realization that many things I held to be absolute, are in fact no longer true.

Things change radically when you are no longer aware of them. Kind of like when you haven’t bought Scotch for years and you go to a liquor store to pick up a bottle only to discover the price has quadrupled.

It’s especially disconcerting when those things change in ways that seem to make them less effective or completely inhumane. This is one of the negative things about solitude, it is easy to become out of touch with the present. I call it the Rip Van Winkle effect.

This pretty well wraps up 2018 for me. It has been a pretty introspective year but a good one. I have laid some pretty solid groundwork for a really creative 2019. No spoilers.

See you all in the New Year XO

#blackcats #writing #selfcare

 

 

 

 

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My Community Is Huge

2 Dec

Community is a word that evokes warm feelings of camaraderie and belonging. To be part of a community is like having family, only without having to eat the tomato aspic at Xmas. It is comforting knowing that you all share something important to each and every one of you, whether it’s sexual preference, gender, local, spirituality, ethnic background, skin tone, a proficiency for making bombs out of empty whisky bottles, music… the list is endless.

I have been a part of many communities and at times none, depending on what facet of my being, was being discovered or explored.

Initially I found the experience of being a part of something shared with many, to be everything I was looking for. And then I would develop an interest in something that was outside the community values or I would start to feel suffocated by the rules, politics and outlook and I would drift away, looking for something closer to who I had become.

For a while I thought maybe I was just a loner.

As I get older I find myself craving solitude and only share my spare time with people I connect to, creatively, intellectually and who want to keep growing in all areas of their lives. And I am ruthless in eliminating people who drain my energy or I have to be someone else with. While this may seem cruel, I don’t have 40 or 50 years to play around with anymore, so yes I am being selfish with my last 20.

I think when I was younger, my identity was forged by being specific and now it is defined by removing all restrictions. So instead of being a part of any community, I find community in moments and experiences. Like being in a room filled with strangers all sharing the beauty of a Sufi love song, or talking to a person on the street, who is wearing the same kicks as you, about shoes and life and… Or sharing a look of sheer joy on the Great Wall of China with a little girl and her family.

I don’t know if it’s the times we are living through, the despair, the fear, but for me the communities have become armies complete with labels and slurs for everyone who veers even slightly from their manifestos.

I have empathy for their pain but no desire to enlist. I believe there are many ways to create positive change, just like there are many ways to define community. And one thing that is vitally important for us all to carry with us “no matter what don’t lose your sense of humour, because then the revolution is truly meaningless”.

Worthy

21 Oct

Part 5 of Agnes Kowalski’s Subconscious Smackdown was the toughest segment. The questions aren’t really any more difficult, but the rationalization is tougher to cut through.

Do I have what it takes to make my dreams come true? The answer is complex because I know exactly what it takes because I have been there. Oh, not all the way, but close enough to know I had the talent and the charisma to go all the way. What I didn’t have was that unshakable belief in myself that you only get from a nurturing, supportive family or ten years with a really good shrink.

One of the most harmful things about growing up with an unhealthy family dynamic is that you develop a set of equally unhealthy survival techniques.

I managed to let go of most of mine except one. It is going to be tough to get rid of because it is so second nature to me because I have been doing it since I was a toddler, but I will never get to where I want to be if I don’t.

When something happens to me that makes me feel so devastated, or hurt or lost, or scared that all I want to do is disappear, I do. I walk away. I start over and live a life that is so incredibly simple and solitary, that I have as much control over it, as anyone possibly can have over their environment.

This does not work. Yes. It works in the sense that for a while you are able to forget what you are walking away from, while you re-establish yourself, but eventually you become haunted by all the things you should have done, should have said, should have been.

What do successful people have that I don’t have or that I suppress? What did I have that I don’t have now?  I am too ready to take no for an answer. I am too ready to walk away from a creative opportunity if it involves competing for it or fighting for it. Energy. And even though I developed my alter ego, Danger Girl, to help me do the things that scared the shit out of me, I am to afraid to take the leap of cutting back on my work hours or find a less demanding job, in order to give me more time to invest in writing my future.

I think it’s likely more simple than that. I think highly successful people don’t live in their head because they are too busy moving forward aligning themselves with their desires and saying yes to everything risky or not that gets them closer to their dreams.

Throughout this Subconscious Smackdown, I have found myself letting go of layers and layers of thoughts, beliefs and behaviours that don’t serve me. I have a plan. It’s going to take a lot of discipline to get rid of some of the things I talked about in this post but writing them down made them seem so undesirable that after I re-read them I found myself getting angry that I ever allowed them to stand in my way. I also found myself feeling excited about the adventures ahead.

I can’t wait to fly.

If you have found any of these posts helpful, check out the Aggie K’s videos for all 5 parts on my FB page or look them up on Youtube.

#subconscioussmackdown #p2p #moneymindset #aggiek#abundancearmy 

Too Me

20 Oct

As you all know at this point, I am taking participating in Agnes Kowalski’s 5 part mini-seminar Subconscious Smackdown. Today I am on part 4, which is all about the stories other people tell about you, that effect your ability to succeed because it is often these very things that are your greatest assets.

In my case most of the “too” stories are told by people I am in a relationship with or my family. According to them, I have been too independent, too strong, too individual, too well adjusted, too decisive, too unreadable too resourceful. And I have been the recipient of a whole lot of “Oh Marcy’s” in that head shaking, tut, tut, tut way.

Strangely I have noticed that I never get any of this from strangers (I talk to strangers), acquaintances, clients, the majority of my friends or the people I am currently working with. I only get, or have received this, from people who benefited more, or felt more secure, if I was compliant.

When I was a child, all of the “toos” were cemented in place by “people don’t like you because you are too…”

Like many people, I did try and become less, of all the too things listed above and it was the worst mistake I have ever made. I learned a lot but it took years to recoup from those lessons. Because all those things that made me “too” have always been the things that made me magick. They are the things that allow me to see the world in ways that no one else does and they make my voice unique.

#subconscioussmackdown #p2p #moneymindset #aggiek#abundancearmy 

 

My Partner In Crime: Money

20 Oct

This third assignment is about my relationship with money. As in, what is it? Are we madly, passionately in love? Are we pen pals, perfect strangers, strangers on a train, room mates in a psych ward? What?

It is also about investment; both my own and others investment in me and whether or not there is ever any return on that investment.

Of course I am condensing things and if you really want to get an idea of what this entails, you should go to my FB page and check out the Agnes Kowalski Videos I am posting there. But I digress…

One of the biggest insights I had regarding my relationship with money happened in my first post about this whole process, when I realized that I had the exact same relationship with money as I had with my mother, right down to the no relationship at all part.

As of that moment, I decided that I was going make money my partner in crime. The Tom Sawyer to my Huckleberry Finn, the Butch (pun intended) to my Sundance. I even have a new daily ritual to help me find this new groove. Every morning with my first cup of coffee, I throw on Money by The Flying Lizards and dance. In fact, I will be making a youtube of this dressed in a black cocktail dress, fascinator and, if I can talk him into it, some Alan Anderson bling.

I have never had problems getting people to invest in me. My problem was always in acceptance and choosing the wrong investors.

That changed about 12 years ago, I asked myself a lot of the same questions Agnes asked in this segment, and did a 180 in the way I looked at life. I stopped trying to second guess everything and just trusted the universe, to have my back like I did when I started my writing/performing career back in the day. Only I take risks now,  that I would never have taken back then.

I also forced myself to stop being cynical. Occasionally I slip but over all, I am a much more positive person than I was. And I am still blessed with people believing in me, in fact there is no one in my life, not even casual acquaintances that don’t believe I will have a career writing and performing. They even believe that if I wanted to throw myself fully into my day job, which is cooking in an Italian grocery store, I could make a huge career in food, either a cooking show, a restaurant, or a line of products.

Now, I need to invest in me, as heavily as everyone else does.

I’m not afraid of failure. I’m afraid of running out of time and sometimes that is paralyzing. But I am moving forward slowly but surely.

#subconscioussmackdown #p2p #moneymindset #aggiek#abundancearmy 

Dream Big, Bigger, BIGGEST!!!

19 Oct

It’s the second assignment in Aggie K’s “Subconscious Smackdown” and this video is all about not dreaming big enough. In other words being so sensible about our fantasies that it’s a pretty safe bet that they’ll come true. One of her examples is wanting $5,000.00 instead of… a million.

I am guilty of this myself. The idea of wanting to have millions of dollars seems greedy, when you know you could live without having to sacrifice too much, on 50K a year. Hell, I’m doing it on just over half of that. But why should I? Why shouldn’t I want to have enough money, that it didn’t matter who became the leader of the country I was living in? Would I really be completely fulfilled having my novel be published by a small, yet distinguished publishing house in Canada, or would one of the huge American or British ones, that put out all of the books I’ve spent my life reading be much closer to reaching orgasm?

Because in the end, don’t we all deserve to have everything we ever wanted in life? And has settling ever made anyone happy?

It has never made me happy and I’ve done it my entire writing career. Hell, I’ve done it my whole life for way too many things, to even count.
And the thing is, when you don’t believe 100% in your dreams, not only are they never going to come true, but every fear you have about your future will, because that’s the energy you’re putting out. Yes, that’s exactly what happened to me, and it really didn’t have to. I chose small.

The good news. I’m not dead yet and the person I am today is a far better writer.

What are my biggest, hugest, dreams?

Let’s start by having my work represented by a very connected, powerhouse of a NY Literary agent.

Then I am going to have a novel listed on the New York Times bestseller list.

One of my books will be made into a film that shows at Cannes. Actually it wins the Palm D’Or.

I live in a loft with an amazing view of the NYC skyline. Architectural Digest features it along with the home of Laurie Anderson. We have the same vet. We become friends and get high together and riff an opera. It’s performed at Carnegie Hall and they film it.

I spend half my time travelling. Australia, Vietnam, Egypt, Capetown, France….

Neil Gaiman and I collaborate on a three part miniseries.

One of my books is the prize of an enormous bidding war which not only pus me in the same financial bracket as J.K. Rowling but I also get final say in casting.

I build an apartment complex in downtown Toronto for the “working poor”.
Which enables them to turn 30K into a comfortable living wage.

I have a play on Broadway and the West End.

I’m a guest on The Graham Norton show.

I travel to New South Wales and spend a month at The Cedar Creek Wombat Sanctuary. I donate a million dollars.

Vivienne Westwood designs me a little black creation to wear at the premiere of my film at Tiff.

I will get a back tattoo by Xoil.

I never miss a performance, concert, opera, symphony, play lecture, opening, festival of anyone who’s art I love, no matter where they are in the world. Front row seats or whatever is better for the event.

My life is, and will continue to become, more and more fucktabulous with every passing year. I’m ready. Are you? What are your Godzilla sized dreams. XO

#subconscioussmackdown #p2p #moneymindset #aggiek#abundancearmy 

Money

18 Oct

I don’t know about you but I have always had a love/hate relationship with money.

I am not a capitalist. Although, like most people of my age, I was brainwashed to believe you could not have freedom or democracy without it. Then came the dawn and I went in the complete opposite direction, not communism, closer to an Abbie Hoffman, Revolution For the Hell of It, thing.

But if my shrink gave me anything, (she gave me the tools to live the life I have and love now) it was how to leave the world of black and white and embrace the grey.

So what was my grey area with money? Why couldn’t I find it? And even more importantly, why did I have such an intense emotional reaction and feel so threatened by the 1%? Like I’m talking, waking up in the middle of the night feeling like they were going to take everything from me, twirling their moustaches and laughing; threatened? Why, when I’ve had opportunities to be financially solvent, have they all fallen through?

If you know me, you know that regardless of how entrenched my belief system is, if it is making me unhappy I will re-examine it and try to find a different approach.

I am doing this with money. I am doing this with my career.

I am a Dora nominated playwright, and published author. I have no financial security and work minimum wage jobs to make ends meet. Currently I have a great job, with fabulous customers, where I can be myself. I love it more than any job I’ve had and it has really given me a lot of blessing but it’s not what I love more than anything, it’s only part of what I was born to do. And there’s no guarantee that I’ll be able to do it forever. I needed a plan.

My first step was to approach my friend Shaun Proulx, who is an amazing career, financial and life coach, about the Law of Attraction and book a session with him.

Now for those of you who think all this is going to get “woo” let me just say that a lot of the philosophy behind it is not unlike therapy, buddhism or the practice of magick, and it isn’t about taking accountability for everything that has happened to you in your life. It’s about not letting those things keep you stuck in misery.

I walked out of there knowing that things were going to change.

So now I had a philosophy but I also needed some concrete money advice, enter Agnes Kowalski, recommended by my friend Stephanie.

Aggie is a very successful money mindset coach and I find her videos give me a lot of insight. So when she posted a free mini workshop based on the 5 things that can hold you back from making money, I was very interested.

It’s called the Subconscious Smackdown. There are five videos, with 5 topics and questions for each one. If you want to read more about the specifics of the contest check out her FB page.

The first topic was Family. As I listened to the first video “Family” and Aggie speaking about co-dependancy, I had a huge aha moment. Money in my family was used as a substitute for emotional support and nurturing. It was also withheld as a means of rejecting the things that were important to me, that they did not approve of, or as the carrot dangled if I just shut up and behaved like a good little girl. So I rejected their money and have spent my entire life proving that money meant nothing to me. Which is why my money pattern has always been just enough, but never enough to have any real security or I sabotage it so that I am walking the edge between have and homeless.

This was so deeply tied to my identity because it helped me survive my incredibly dysfunctional home.

Afterwards, I felt such release, it was like letting go of the enormous boulder, I had been carrying uphill for decades.

When I answered the questions I also realized that I equate money with my mother. By rejecting the need for lots of money, I will never become her. Having money or prioritizing it equals emotional unavailability, narcissism and little or no empathy for anyone but oneself. My mother had BPD. I gave money the psychological profile of BPD but with the added superpower of changing who I am.

Crazy right? However, because I write dark comedy, I also find it hysterically funny and am going to use these insights in either a one woman show or a story. Thank you Aggie K. Can’t wait to check out Day 2.

#subconscioussmackdown #p2p #moneymindset #aggiek#abundancearmy