A new vlog post, now included with closed captioning! Make sure to follow me on TikTok too!
A couple of weeks ago, I went to my local Red Racks with a $20 budget. Here is what I found!
Like what you saw? Be sure to let me know in the comments and check out my TikTok @tesstriesnewthings.
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.
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!
Facebook: What About The Alchemy?
When I was younger, my mom and I would make our own version of a Rotel dip. Instead of calling it Rotel, we renamed it “Cheesy Deliciousness.” I hadn’t had it in a while until for a Halloween movie night last month. I forgot how easy it was to make and how yummy it is. I figured I’d share the recipe on here for anyone who is in need of a quick and easy dip recipe.
- 1 package of cream cheese
- 1 can of tomatoes and jalapeños (I used Herdez Casera Hot Salsa from the Hispanic Food section at my local Walmart Neighbor market)
- A splash of cooking oil (I find it helps keep the dip from hardening when it cools)
- Optional: extra cheese (my mom would love to put shredded cheddar in it whenever she made it)
- Open your salsa and pour contents into a medium-sized pot.
- Place pot onto the stove, temperature on High
- Stir while the salsa heats up in the pan. It will heat and begin to bubble quickly.
- Add one entire package of cream cheese to salsa.
- Stir salsa and cream cheese combo so the cream cheese melts evenly.
- Once the cream cheese and salsa have been fully mixed together, remove the pot off the stove. Let the dip cool for a few minutes and then pour the dip into a bowl (slowly to prevent splatter).
- Ready to serve!
And that’s it! A quick and simple dip for any occasion. If you give it a try, let me know how it goes!
Today I celebrated 16 weeks of sobriety. That’s nearly four months. That’s the equivalent to a fall semester of college. It hasn’t been easy in the slightest. But it gets easier whenever I think about what I’ve achieved in that length of time. I feel clearer. I’ve been creating more. I’ve been reading more books. I’m busy but I still find time for people in my life and support their art too. And I’m coping better. I heard some rough news about my mom on Friday and while I am still experiencing waves of emotion about it, I’ve been taking it in stride and honoring my feelings and allowing myself to feel my emotion.
I’m grateful for the support I’ve received from all my friends during the last (almost) six months in terms of the issues with my mom and with my sobriety. Most importantly, I’m proud of myself and I’m proud of anyone else who’s gone sober this year. If you’re reading this and you’re struggling with sobriety, just remember to take it one day at a time. You got this!
On July 8th, I was at a party drinking cheap beer and watching two grown men (presumably intoxicated) bare-knuckle box. A lot of friends had their phones out to record the fight and one friend was the referee, keeping the fight from getting out of hand.
I sat away from it all and observed. I felt alone and the beer didn’t even taste that good. I wasn’t enjoying myself and it was nobody’s fault but my own. I remember thinking to myself: I think I’m done.
Since that day, I’ve only had a sip of my boyfriend’s ale or a friend’s beverage. I’ve gotten myself a non-alcoholic version of Heineken (meh) and have gotten super into kombucha, both of which had such small amounts of alcohol they’re considered non-alcoholic.
Overall I feel good and I don’t miss drinking. Other times, during a rough day at work or when I see a bottle of wine that one of my roommates put in the fridge, it’s more of a challenge to abstain. But I remind myself the importance of waiting. Sometimes it’s just taking it a day at a time. Sometimes it’s taking it minutes or seconds at a time. Sometimes it’s just saying to yourself “Let me get home from work and see if I still wanna drink then. In that particular example, I usually find a way to decide against it. In that small act of waiting, I find I show up to myself. I’ve been showing up to myself for three months and I’m really grateful to those who’ve supported me and to the art I’ve made as catharsis.
In case you haven’t heard it today:
- You are loved.
- You mean something to someone.
- If you’re feeling sad, you’re not alone.
- If you’re struggling through a vice, you can do this!
Just remember this: if you are ever feeling sad or loneliness or anger, remember this line from U2’s song “Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of”
It’s just a moment, this time will pass.
A lot of changes have happened in the last few months. I figured the quickest and easiest way to share what has happened in my life was to do a vlog entry. I’ve talked about doing vlogging before and I figure there was no time like the present. I’ll *try* to do these on a regular basis. I just posted the vlog to my new youtube channel. I’m thinking about posting other videos besides vlogs to my channel too. Maybe a makeup video series where I try to put on makeup? Let me know what you all think!
Here you go! Enjoy!
This was originally posted on my personal FB and I figured I’d share it on here as well.
Life update time!
1) After working there nearly four years, I no longer work at Gailey’s Breakfast Cafe. I now work at Falstaff’s Local on the weekends and some evenings. I’m pretty excited for this new opportunity. I also have an awesome little part-time job at the OTC bookstore that I’ve had since the beginning of August. I was hired on for temporary employment and am waiting to hear back if I become a permanent employee there as well.
2) I’m super excited to get to show off some of my acting chops and be a part of this year’s performance of “It’s A Wonderful Life: A Radio Play” that will go up at the Gillioz Theatre starting December 8-10!
3) I’ve been writing like crazy. I’m putting finishing touches on a horror script for Grave Tales that I’ve really enjoyed writing. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying sketch writing classes at Queen City Conservatory. I’ve been pretty proud of my work as of late and I look forward to writing and creating more.
4) Barring some unforeseen incident, I will be graduating in December with my bachelor’s and an associate’s degree (via reverse transfer). School has been going really well for me and I’m happy with my progress. I’m really feeling the motivation to get my degrees and finally graduate.
In summary, I’m doing really well and things are going great! I want to give a shout-out to the people who’s supported me, encouraged me, and had my back the last few weeks. I seriously cannot thank you all enough. I also give a shout-out to my mom (Pamela) for all her love and help with my dealing with personal stuff and giving out writing tips too. Much love to all! ❤