Spring 2016 Update
Whew! It has been a while since I updated... The winter was a rough transition, and in times of strife, I have found it best to lean back and take in life. Let it give me some perspective before I jump to conclusions.
In fact, even as I write this, many decisions remain up in the air. For a person with black and white thinking, gray areas are difficult to navigate. However, despite arrows pointing this way and that, I have been working hard to really listen to my heart.
January 2015. I started a list:
-No alcohol for one year
-Perform for a different kind of audience; people who want to feel something, want to relate, want to appreciate what I have to express
-Be part of a team, providing underserved communities with access to music and art
-Learn how to gather resources for nonprofits
-Publish my writing (& getting paid wouldn't hurt)
-Fall in love with my life partner
So... Perfect, by March, I was cast in This is My Brave's 2015 Washington DC cast and volunteering for Music in the Park ATL. Travel, performing, and teamwork all arranged and to be checked off the list by May! Wonderful!
In fact, without thinking about it, I submitted an essay to a book about people of color living with mental illness. I completely forgot it would be my first publication (albeit unpaid) when I got offered a commission to write an article for a zine about my "recovery".
This is where the story takes a twist: After I traveled to Atlanta, Georgia to participate in the music event I helped plan. After I performed in Washington DC, went straight to NYC where I rendezvoused with incredible musicians and a successful fundraising contact... After receiving my first commission for publication; I was still feeling woe is me, taking date after date with guys who gave me no spark.
I began to think, "Oh well, Ev. Maybe you just don't have a life partner. Maybe you just float from this to that... and stay detached. Everything got messy every time you were attached."
Then out of the blue, someone sent me a message. He had asked me to have coffee with him three years before. He had met me just before I checked myself into "the pajama farm" (as some of my diagnosed friends like to call mental hospitals). Although I had a boyfriend at the time, he remained cordial. He was very kind and offered me help on more than one occasion.
So when he asked me to meet for coffee again, I went, quite sure it was not a date. However, within an hour, he had me in the midst of conversations I had been waiting to have for years. Conversations I can not repeat because they generally make most people stop paying attention, where as with him, we both became more and more engaged. Our coffee became a walk... and when he offered to buy me dinner, I admitted, "I didn't think you would stay so long. I was going to go to this food truck pop-up. So, if you want to take an adventure, you can come with me."
He gladly accepted, and that was the beginning of something completely unexpected... Something better than expected!
I did not complete my writing assignment, but after I received notice that my other essay had been published in a book, I was less concerned. I was in love! Suddenly there was another person in my life who wanted monogamy, marriage, a family! A man who was also a musician. A soul connection... and more than him, I loved his family, the way he embraced mine. He talked about how lovely it would be when we joined them all together... and I felt the presence of our future children, playing with cousins that would be conceived. I saw heaven..
Of course, being me, being him; our individual challenges arose. The same attachment issues arose that always taunt me... and this concept of recovery would not let me go forward without considering what pieces of myself I may have lost along the way.
The years behind washed over me, and his past linked in so many ways to the mental obstacles I had been trying to avoid rather than overcome. I felt stuck, corraled into a cosmic confine of my own making. Words were difficult to write. Music was hard to hear. The remainder of 2015 melted away, like ice in my hand, leaving me numb and cold.
When spring began to show blossoms, I was still waiting for my obstacles to disappear... But then something miraculous happened- or actually, I suppose it wasn't really sudden at all but happening all along -As snow fell on an April Saturday afternoon and forced spring to start anew, the map in my mind shifted. I no longer had to climb over or kneel down to navigate the hurdles. Instead they were turned to their sides, and I could see the path through them. I could see all the way to the end of the maze... Where my family is waiting. I could see the completion of the story for which I have been gathering and sharing chapters over the past 3 years. I understood the reasons for every lesson I once considered a mistake or misfortune. I found myself.
2016 and it is already nearly May.
A year of sobriety helped me read many more books, watch less television, and regain a focus on my goals. This year all the time I spent digging has provided a firm place to lay my foundation. The seeds I have been planting have already begun to show signs of bearing fruit over the coming months. Here I am writing! Songs are whispering in my ears... Gigs are booked, jobs are being offered, and perhaps I will even get back around to that recovery essay. At the end of the day, no matter what, it's nice to remember I can occasionally relax with a glass of of something bubbly, knowing that all my decisions will be the right ones <3