2014 has been an interesting year, that is for sure. Pretty much a game changer for me.
The most interesting super big thing I did? I got sober. I won’t go into the details of what drinking was like for me because it still feels rather nuanced and personal, but what I can say is that ultimately I was very unhappy because of my drinking. My health, relationships and productivity all suffered because of it. I have had phases of sobriety these past few years and decided at the end of 2013 that it was time once and for all to go for it – take booze out of my life for good. Drinking alcohol, even one drop, just isn’t worth it.
Sobriety for me has been a most humbling and life empowering gift. It has also been a heck of a lot of time consuming work. Thankfully, I have been in therapy since 2010 and immersed in exploring life skills and philosophies that make sense to me (I am a huge fan of the work of Tara Brach and Danielle LaPorte). All of it has helped me get clear on my desires and set goals.
I have created for myself a toolbox of incredible strategies to deal with stress, anxiety, depression, anger, annoyance, resentment and fear. It is not that I do not feel these things. Wow, do I ever. Now though I know how to deal with these feelings in healthy, life affirming ways. Before, not so much. I was always in a panic. I was all freeze, fight and flight. I also lived in my stories. The stuff you tell yourself about yourself, others, the world. Some people call it the trance. I still go there. It is a human quality to do so. Now I am routinely aware of when it happens and I get out of the story trance much quicker than before.
Yes, I am in the NOW in a whole new way and my toolbox has come in very handy. There is more to my experiences (isn’t there always?), but I will leave it at that for now.
Taking time and energy for this process meant putting many work related things on the back burner. My bank account certainly has suffered and the credit card companies love me, but it was very necessary and thankfully very gratifying. Because without sobriety I don’t think I could have done these other great things (or rather, done them very well)…
Making Being an Aunt a Priority
I became an aunt for the second time. I now have a wonderful nephew along with an incredible niece. I spend quite a bit of time visiting them and nurturing our relationships. I feel really blessed to have them in my life and I hope to help enrich their lives with my presence and contributions (stability! mindfulness! joy!). I love them so much. Being an aunt has also brought me closer to my sister. I am so impressed by her as a mother. I admire her so much.
I did some major organizing of my apartment and my belongings. I gave away many items of clothing, costumes and household goods. Having a more minimalist approach to my everyday life has been very satisfying. I highly recommend it. If it is something that interests you check out Be More With Less. The blog is great as are Courtney’s mini courses. Zen Habits is great too.
My Professional Theatre Debut
Another amazing thing I did is make my professional theatre debut at the Segal Centre for the Performing Arts. A big thank you to all that helped make The Graduate such an amazing experience for me. Your belief in me was inspiring and invigorating.
The Return of Team Burlesque
Team Burlesque returned to the stage in November. There is something so powerful and delightful that happens when Elle Diabloe, Miss Sugarpuss and I collaborate. It is unique and rich with love, depth and sisterhood. I am so glad we are working together again. I think the Montreal burlesque scene is stronger and better for it.
Now I am thinking about what I want to accomplish in the next few months and years. What I have decided on is…
I am finally going to write a book. I have been scribbling away for two years and I have decided to get serious about it. The main issue is planning out my time so it gets done this year. I signed up for Your Big Beautiful Book Plan to help me. I am working with my friend who is an editor and writer herself. She gets me and my book. I am open to her critiques and suggestions. A good match I think!
I am also more formally taking all that I learned in my two careers (education and strategic thinking and doing + adult entertainment and sexuality) and creating workshops and other tools to help people navigate the often overwhelming world of sex, pleasure and wellness. Yes, it will be tied in with the book. So exciting!
The butterfly is emerging from her cocoon.