What About The Alchemy?

A Blog By TADA

Glossy Box April — April 18, 2021
Vlog: 11/23/20 — November 24, 2020
Thrift Haul – 11/08 — November 22, 2020
Shut-Up — December 12, 2018


Junie B. Jones ended its run on Saturday. Now I get to enjoy some time off before I jump back into my creative projects again. In less than two weeks, I will be in Naples, Florida with my mom and her side of the family. On one hand, it feels good to have a long break coming up. On the other hand, there is this tiny little voice that whispers to me, “Keep working. You need to be doing something. You need to be productive and always be producing. If you’re not creating, you’re wasting time.”

This voice is always hard on me. It doesn’t have to be about creativity. It comes out when I’m stressed, angry, anxious, when I’m trying on a cute outfit and it’s too small, when I feel unattractive, when my memory blanks and I forget something I used to remember very well. It likes to remind me of my flaws, my failures, add things to my “to-do” list, and replay past moments of my life where someone made me feel like garbage.

I’ve been regularly seeing a therapist to cope with the last seven months and we’ve been working together to reprogram my line of thinking. After nearly 29 years of life, I’m finally recognizing how little I’ve honored my body. I don’t treat myself well. I’m mean in my self-talk and I eat terrible food. I drink a ton of caffeine, which I’ve known for years how it’s bad for my heart (I have tachycardia) but it’s also now proving to be affecting my digestive system.

Earlier today, I came across a quote I liked. It said, “You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.” I know I’ve heard it before, but for some reason didn’t resonate with me until now. To an extent, I think I really heard it because I am finally ready to take care of myself properly. I’m ready to do the work necessary to honor my body. I’m ready to tell that sneaky little voice to shut up, because I’m not doing anyone any favors by running myself ragged. I’m done making myself a martyr for no reason. I finally get it: There’s no glamour in being a workaholic.

I am ready for a break. 2018 has been a quite a year and I’m ready to put it to bed with a fresh, clean slate with 2019.

Every weekend morning, I try to take a picture of the sky because I always think the sky in the morning is at its prettiest.

Day 10518 — December 3, 2018

Day 10518

I find myself with writer’s block tonight.

This weekend flew by with the opening weekend of Junie B. Jones. In the show, I play Phillip Johnny Bob, who is Junie B’s stuffed animal elephant. Being a stuffed elephant has been interesting. Children are either really afraid of you or think you’re awesome. My costume has been incredibly hot! On opening night, I drank four bottles of water and I never had to pee. It was ridiculous how much I had sweat. But it’s been worth it. We’ve gotten through one round of shows, making us more than halfway over with our run.

I’ve done a substantial amount of theatre this year. It’s been good for me as a writer because it’s provided great insight and perspective, which I will then use when writing sketches/plays/stories. It’s also shown me what I’m made of. If you had told me seven years ago that in one calendar year I would be able to memorize numerous lengthy Shakespeare monologues, be in the ensemble and be the understudy for two important roles in Annie, and also be able to flop around as a stuffed elephant toy, I would’ve never believed it. But hey, I did it. And two of those three shows I did it under extreme mental duress and with serious personal issues, so I’m pretty proud of myself.

Also, I want to take this moment that tonight (Sunday, December 2nd) I have been sober for 21 weeks. It’s a good feeling. I made the decision to stop drinking in July and I’ll be honest, there were many times since then where life wore me down enough where I was tempted to drink again. But I found a way to wait and power through. My overall decision to stop drinking was so that I could properly feel and process what’s been going with all my personal issues. It too has been worth it. And I’m proud of me for that as well.

If you are a reader and you don’t already follow me on social media, let’s change that!

Twitter: @tessdevine

Instagram: @whataboutthealchemy

Facebook: What About The Alchemy?

Day 10,046 – Horror Newbie: 30 Days of Horror — August 17, 2017

Day 10,046 – Horror Newbie: 30 Days of Horror

A few months ago, I was hanging with friends and we watched Scream. For me, this was my first time watching Scream. I know, I know, I know. This movie is over 20 years old and I only watched it for the first time earlier this year. Truth be told, I’m not savvy when it comes to the horror genre. Scream was excellent. Very meta (“Turn around Jamie!”) and overall had a good plot. Because of my lack of familiarity with the horror genre, the twist was a big surprise to me. It got me thinking: there’s a whole genre of movies out there that I have never seen. Some movies are iconic and classics. I feel like I’ve been missing out on so much.

So I decided to make a new project for myself. Starting on August 21st (the day of the eclipse here in Missouri), I plan on launching Horror Newbie: 30 Days of Horror. I cultivated a list of over 100 recommendations by asking various friends. The goal is to watch at least one horror movie a day. Every day I will make an effort to discuss about the movie or movies I watched that day.

Stay tuned to my Twitter, Instagram, and my Facebook page for more details!

The spooks begin on Monday.

The Evil Dead trilogy is one of my favorites! 

3am bike ride in the Ides of June (flash) — June 14, 2017

3am bike ride in the Ides of June (flash)

3 am; Couldn’t sleep when I remembered my bike was still locked up outside; I briefly entertained the idea of leaving it overnight but my anxiety talked me into going for a ride instead; the wind felt cool on my skin and was able to quell some of the tightness in my chest; I have so much shit to do tomorrow; I continued to pedal while the music played Leonard Skynard and Brandi Carlile on my phone tucked away in the shelf bra of my black camisole; the more I pedaled, the less I felt the odd crawling sensation in my shoulder muscles I tend to feel when someone is thinking of me; many times I tried to go home only to be redirected with a small flick of my wrist; what does the seven of cups reversed mean in a tarot reading about a man’s feelings for me; I changed the music to that new Katy Perry song, seeking something more upbeat; I pedaled; I thought about what to do next; I thought about letting go; It’s time to move on and stop wasting your time thinking about him; I finally made my way back home and brought my bike inside; It’s time to let go; I fell asleep at 4am. 

Quotes — December 27, 2016
Quotes from other people that I relate to — November 18, 2016

Quotes from other people that I relate to

It appears that the overall theme for November is heartbreak. I was grappling with quite a bit of it with the election. But as of last Tuesday, I’m now experiencing a loss of a friendship. This isn’t the first time I’ve lost a friend, but it doesn’t hurt any less. For me, friend breakups are very similar to romantic break ups: I’m basically out of commission for a few days and I feel tremendously sad and hurt which always comes out angry.

I’m a big fan of Marc Maron and I sporadically watch his show “Maron” on Netflix when I have the time. I say sporadically because I occasionally have to stop watching the show due to its extremely reliability to my life. I am also a comic and a writer with three cats and I also view the world in a strange, over-analytical way. In the pilot episode of “Maron” there was quote Marc makes that really resonated with me:

“But I know one thing about me: If I am sad and its in public, it’s not gonna come out sadness. It’s just gonna come out anger.”

Why did this line resonate with me? Because it’s exactly how I am. Anger is way more productive than sadness. For me, sadness is debilitating. I don’t have an appetite, I just wanna sleep, my eyes get all pink and red (which makes it difficult when I cry at work which I have done more than an employee should due to my panic attacks). Sadness decreases my productivity and makes me a generally sad and useless individual.

The other reoccurring problem with friend breakups are the other friend breakups you end up reliving. You think about the time in April when one of your friends messaged you on Facebook and proceeded to call you “a total bitch,” “delusional,” “a right asshole” and other names of that nature. You think about the friend you had confronted a year ago and they screamed in your face, telling you to go fuck yourself, and cut you out of their life. You think about how in seventh grade you had a friend who didn’t invite you to a ski trip because “my mom said you don’t have enough money.” It hurts. It really does. It mainly hurts as a writer. As an introvert, being alone doesn’t hurt me. I’m really, really good at being alone. I sometimes wonder if I’m too good at it and that it hinders me from knowing how to properly function with someone else in my life.

Being alone as a writer hurts because you lose your muse. You have to find a new source of inspiration, a new person who alights the flame of passion to create. I recently came across a quote that summarizes a writer’s love perfectly: “If a writer falls in love with you, you can never die.” I think this quote applies to both romantic and platonic love. I’ve been equally devastated by the endings of both.

When it all comes down to it, love is just too intriguing  and too powerful to not risk hurting yourself for. It’s why we keep falling for it. We keep hoping the next time will be better but it just turns out the same way. The best thing you can do it just brush it off and move on with your life. Learn to show your best sides to everyone and not just the people you end up loving who didn’t deserve your love to begin with. And don’t let someone waste you time. If someone tells you no, look beyond their bullshit excuses and don’t wait for them to come around because guess what? They will never come around. They will continue to waste your time as long as you let them. And your time is too precious to waste. You have more important things to do with your life than pine for someone who never was honest with you or was ever worth it in the first place.

We were all put on this earth to do some kickass shit, don’t waste it on someone who wears the merit-less crown you gave them.

My feature image comes from the Possom Trot Auction House in Seale, Alabama. I was there earlier this month for my uncle, John Erickson, and his marriage to Joyce Webster. It was a great time!

Human Zoo – 100 Word Story (from 400 Writing Prompts) — June 20, 2016

Human Zoo – 100 Word Story (from 400 Writing Prompts)

If you fell down a rabbit hole,what do you think you’d find?

Years ago, my mom asked me to go to the park with my sister. The park wasn’t far from our house, so my sister and I rode our bikes over and played hide and seek. I looked for somewhere to hide and saw a big tree with roots that I could crawl under. I crawled and crawled, until…I fell into darkness and landed on cold floor. I was in a cage with strange-looking beings staring at me. They had green skin and black eyes. I couldn’t understand their words. They watched me like I was an animal in a zoo.

photo credit: iStock by Getty Images