Category Archives: Adventures

What would you do?

There is a question I ask friends who come to me with existential questions about their life.

“If money was no object, what would you wake up every day and do?”

Today I got a rejection letter for a job I applied for. It actually was my first job rejection and for that I am grateful. A part of me knew I may not get it, but there was a sting at a different level in the e-mail. It hurt me because I almost threw away everything I’ve been building.

My job as an in-home support worker can be tough at times, but it is one of the most rewarding things I have ever been a part of. During the summer, I also have the privilege to teach a film camp with members of the autism community. Things are going very well for me with performing and, weather permitting, I have a few gigs already booked for this year.

I applied to the job on a whim. The pay wasn’t the best and it would have meant I would have needed to give up some of the travel and conferences already planned for this year. It’s also not a job I would have stayed in for the rest of my life.

After getting the rejection email, I had a conference call about the online classes, arranged another conference call for an upcoming writing project, and finished a posting for a class. Soon, I’ll work on playing with my levi-wand and filming myself for a short fan video.

It takes some perspective to remember I’m not interested in the 9-5 life. A life of adventure is more my speed. Next month is my birthday and I am gifting myself a tattoo which is a very fitting reminder. It’s the phrase Hannibal said while crossing the Alps and it’s also a quote on my business cards.

Aut inveniam viam aut faciam
I will find a way or make one.

Danger Double Standard

Last night my brother took the wrong bus. He’s never been on a bus and he got on the wrong one which took him to the other college campus instead of heading towards our apartment. I was very concerned about his safety and was worried about him until I heard he had gotten settled. I’m very protective of my brother!

As I write this I’m staying in my accommodations for the conference in what some may described as an “unsafe” area. To get to my motel, you leave the metropolitan area and head over a bridge. From there, continue on the main road past the pawn shops and cash advance stores. Continue on until you see a Burger King next to Wendy’s across from a strip mall. In the strip mall there is a Taco Bell, Arby’s, McDonald’s, Planned Parenthood, Plasma donation center, and a Subway. If you drive behind the strip mall, you will find the motel I’m in.

Now, I’m perfectly fine with these accommodations. I’m staying in a place with free parking, free breakfast, free wifi, and there are not noticeable stains or smells in the room. When going to conferences, the conference centers are often connected to giant mega hotels. One night at one of those hotels is more than my entire stay here, not including necessary things such as wifi and parking.

I’m not really a high-maintenance type of girl, if you haven’t been able to determine. So far on my travels I have slept on the floor and two separate couches. Falling asleep anywhere is one of my super powers. My other super power is the ability to untangle chords, which is extremely useful. It takes the simple things like a roof over my head and a warm bed to make me happy. Since tomorrow begins the conference, I’m going to get some rest. See some of you tomorrow!

Into the Woods

The month of July was a whirlwind. I spent time in New York, Ohio, Indiana, Chicago, Pennsylvania, and starting the month back in Maine. Literally, I drove into the state today. It was an intense month of personal growth and professional development. It will take me a few days to process everything with a clear head, but there were some important things I learned that I am able to convey now.

I realized I am a lot better under pressure than ever realized. When real life do or die things are going wrong, it is my default to take charge and delegate things that need to be done.

Sometimes it takes listening to a song when you are the only one on a long stretch of highway at 3am to realize why it speaks directly to your heart.

Men-folk are wonderful, but nothing I’ve ever known compares to the feeling of having women friends support each other and help each other each their personal best.

Driving 2,628 miles in 31 days is not my personal best, but I still managed to retain some sanity. (haha)

The world is bigger and scarier and more beautiful than you could ever imagine.

Gossip is horrible and can cost people their jobs. Even letting it happen in front of you and saying nothing can be just as hurtful to a person. If you really want to know something, go ask the person directly.

Friendships can be formed just by saying “Nice bracelet”. It’s the littlest things.

So to process all the things in a relaxing space, I’m running off to the woods of Maine. I’ll actually be spinning fire all weekend at an EDM festival, but it’ll be the perfect conclusion to this month of adventures.

I know it’s been said multiple times, but there are big things coming. I can see them on the horizon and soon everyone will be able to see them.

Reflections on Camp

I’ve been M.I.A. these past two weeks as I was working at the S.P.E.A.K.S. camp in Columbus Ohio. It was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had so far, but it was also very draining for me on a personal level.

I was the Film Instructor and helped the campers make and edit their own films. I also worked with the theater camp closely and made a ‘behind the scenes’ film for them. The videos they made were easy “how to” ones such as “how to make chocolate milk” or “how to go on a trip”. The editing process was a lot of fun and I learned everyone loves adding sound effects to movies. (Michael Bay, I’m looking at you.)

The reason why the camp was so difficult for me was, in a large part, due to my inexperience of teaching. I’ve always enjoyed helping people learn, but being actively involved in the learning process for 7 hours a day, 5 days a week is a lot of work for me. Some days, it was difficult just to get my TA, freelance, and graduate work done.

Despite the exhaustion, rewards of the camp far outweigh the energy loss. For me, having the campers ask me about the next movie we will make made my heart glow. Seeing them pose for pictures in front of the sets they painted themselves with such pride is a feeling I can’t describe. Hearing stories about these kids having behaviors and quitting other activities, yet they stayed for the entire two weeks in camp every day was really eye opening for me.

This was a camp run by Autistics for the disability population. We found ways to help support each other in self-regulating while helping solve some of the communication issues that will always come up while working at a camp. It was such an open and accepting environment. When someone would do something or get upset, we’d just let them know it’s fine and we ALL understand getting overwhelmed.

At a personal level, it took a couple of people saying things (sometimes repeatedly) to realize how far I have come in just a short year. I’ve been able to handle complicated and urgent crisis with a grace I never knew I had. Solving problems quickly and effectively while making sure everyone feels safe and taken care of is not something I think I could have done as well last year. It’s been eye opening to see where I am now and how much I have grown.

This also completely sets me up for my next two weeks. I’ll be getting a chance to talk about why art really matters and how it can help people communicate. Needless to say, the universe hand delivered some answers to me. As one parent said to me, their child learned more than just the film or theater skills we set out to teach.
They learned so much more.
Me too.

Greetings from St Louie!

Last night I arrived in St. Louis to stay at a friend’s place and leave early this morning for the trip back to New England.

It’s nighttime and we are still in St. Louis at the City Museum.

Things for me don’t always go as planned. That’s life!

I’ve recently tried to let go with some of my stresses and enjoy the unplanned moments even more. Some of my favorite moments in life have been the ones I did not plan. These are the moments we share with friends and those moments which create friends. Most of my life has been a series of walking into the right door at the right time when I had no idea what was behind the door. I try my best to plan out some of the bigger things in life like my job and where I am living, but even these things are not always in my control.

So take a deep breath and try not to stress when things do not go the way you have planned. It is entirely possible the plan you thought was right for you is not the plan you are destined to have right now. We don’t always get to see what the universe has planned for us, but we do need to have a little faith in things.