What About The Alchemy?

A Blog By TADA

Vlog: Weekend Recap — December 8, 2020
Vlog: 11/23/20 — November 24, 2020
Vlog: Weekend Recap — November 23, 2020
Shut-Up — December 12, 2018

Shut-Up

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.

Recipe: Cheesy Deliciousness — November 18, 2018

Recipe: Cheesy Deliciousness

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.

Ingredients:

I chose a hot salsa because I love a good spicy kick to my dip. This recipe is really versatile, so you can change it to mild if you’re more of a mild salsa kind of person.

  • 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)

Directions:

  1. Open your salsa and pour contents into a medium-sized pot.
  2. Place pot onto the stove, temperature on High
  3. Stir while the salsa heats up in the pan. It will heat and begin to bubble quickly.
  4. Add one entire package of cream cheese to salsa.
  5. Stir salsa and cream cheese combo so the cream cheese melts evenly.
  6. 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).
  7. Ready to serve!

Finished product!

And that’s it! A quick and simple dip for any occasion. If you give it a try, let me know how it goes!

Enjoy!

Tess

Struggling — November 4, 2018

Struggling

For the last week, all the overworking I’ve done has starting to catch up to me. I’ve been using work as a coping mechanism. Feeling busy is better than feeling sad and depressed. But now, I’m so tired. And for the first time in a long time, I’ve been feeling so alone. I work alone (my boss and I primarily communicate through a work instant messaging service). I generally live alone because my roommates both have their own lives. I see my boyfriend once a week due to other priorities and neither of us having a car. My busyness leads me to not being able to have much of a social life, which I recognize now is my way of staying safe from people who’ve hurt me. My mom has other things on her mind while dealing with her health. Several times now we’ve gotten into fights through texts, so I’ve been trying to keep my communication short and sweet, to not upset her or get upset myself. This leads me to feeling a genuine loneliness that I can’t really shake.

I’ve been seeing a counselor regularly regarding all that has been going on in my personal life. Yesterday, I was talking to my counselor about how alone I’ve been feeling and how meeting new friends and developing a new support system has felt hard to do because I worry about feeling abandoned. Abandonment only has to happen once, but the effects of it can last a long time. It’s funny to think that at nearly 29 years old, I’m still experiencing a struggle with loneliness and making friends and building relationships. It feels so kindergarten. I really thought I would’ve gotten past that by now, but here we are.

So I keep doing what I’m doing. I keep showing up to work and I keep showing up to my responsibilities and creative projects. I keep going, even though I don’t want to, because I least get something done. Eventually, they will either end or come to a resting point. Then I can relax and recharge my batteries fully.

In the meantime, I’ve been trying to honor my mind and body as much as possible and give both the rest they need when they need it. That’s the best I can do right now and that’s okay.

A stained glass window at the Jubilee Theatre in Marshfield, MO, where we have Junie B. Jones rehearsal.

16 weeks — October 28, 2018

16 weeks

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!

– Tess

A close-up photo of a tree I took using the HujiCam app

10465 – 94 days — October 10, 2018

10465 – 94 days

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.

❤️

Tess

Life Update — September 28, 2017

Life Update

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!

Poster for this year’s “It’s A Wonderful Life: A Radio Play”

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! ❤

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.

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The Evil Dead trilogy is one of my favorites!