Run to the Sea

She walks by and arches her back in hopes of attracting attention. 

The other lays down, coyly airs her towel, beach wrap still hugging her body and eventually places herself in the sand with ease, cautious of exposing her skin to the dozens around her. 

I lay on the beach chair, breasts protruding from a triangle bikini too small for me, but not small enough for my awkward tan lines. 

Who determined one of the three of us was wrong? Who decided we were too much or too little? 

Many would argue no one. No one determined what our worth compared to the next was.

Then again, many would argue the opposite. 

Whether I argue or not is not what gets under my skin. 

What makes me unsettled at 3pm on a 85 degree day on the cape is whether or not the idea of insecurity is valid or straight up bullshit. 

The idea one’s muscle gain or another’s weight loss is possible of triggering another woman? Or another man for that matter. 

I don’t think it will ever make sense to me. The way we look at women with adoration and appreciation because to be frank, the female body is capable of badass things outside of giving birth to children. It will forever amaze me. It should bewilder anyone. Particularly those without a birth canal. But, what amazes me even more is the constant fear I have of other women. I am asking, begging, and crying out for acceptance of my own female body when they themselves may not be able to show themselves that same love. I am in recovery from a disorder I should be over, but, cannot cross the threshold of acceptance because of an invisible boundary I do not know how to push pass.

When does it start and when does it end? 

When does resilience begin and acceptance declare itself? 

Call this what you want. A rant. A chance for me to air dirty laundry – though it could certainly get dirtier than this, nonsense thoughts strung together in a blog post. Or a case of the Sunday scaries. 

Either way, just take a second to think about it. 

Yesterday, I looked at my reflection in mirrors, glass windows, window shop reflections, and in the mirror of a whitecaps sea 64 times. 

64 times I sought validation. 

What is wrong with that? 

Is it you?

Is it me? 

Or, is it us?

What She Does Not See

She has this way about her. They gravitate toward her. Maybe it is intentional on her end, maybe she is blind to it. 

Looking at her now, I think she is blind in it. She is so lost within herself, I don’t think she notices the outside world’s reaction to her living presence anymore. 

I see her talking to this shadow lurking behind her. 

She looks better now. 

Not the same as before and not where she should be. But, better. 

Whether she notices it or not, we notice her. 

We see her smile from ear to ear when Drew runs over and scoops her up, Alex and Cam following suit. 

The girls and I hang back, smile, and run over to her after the boys find it in them to let go of her.

Each one of them.

She’s always been a boy’s girl. I used to think she wanted the attention.

I still do.

But still, I run over and hug her. I celebrate her being here. 

Here in the apartment, yes, but really, I celebrated her being here, on Earth.

She is small. But, she is here. 

Her voice booms the way it used to. The last time I saw her, her voice shook. 

4 months ago.

The last time I saw her was four months ago and I hadn’t seen her since. She disappeared.

Some say rehab, others say drugs. Looking at her in the entryway of Andrew’s apartment I think if I asked her where she has been the past four months she would say “I don’t know.”

“Finding myself,” maybe. 

Now she is here, though. 

Different.

And, still the center of attention.

Let Her Speak

The featured photo on this post is a photo of Martha and I – a photo of her and I together, inseparable.

Common decency? Not a thing in Martha’s book. Never has been, never will be. 

“Hey Meg, schedule a panic attack, binge and purge session, and three days of restriction to follow for next week. You fell behind last week with three cheat meals and two missed workouts. Okay?” Martha asked. 

Bitch wouldn’t even wait three seconds for me to answer. 

“You are killing it, Meg,” she followed up. 

And by it, she means me. 

I was killing me. 

What do you think about when you want to kill your worst enemy? 

Do you think about walking into their house and shooting them point-blank? Do you think about following their car down a dirt road and ramming into them harder than the head-on collision in the poorly recreated Footloose movie? Or, maybe you’ve got that creative mind that takes it back to the 1700s and you watch them drown, from afar tied to a wooden post in the middle of a lake. 

Which is it? 

How would you kill?

Martha chooses to drown her worst enemy. 

I’ll let her explain.

*

I wait for her eyes to seek me out, make me feel wanted. We lie looking at each other, my eyes analyzing her body, her eyes gazing up and down mine. I reach for her waist and let my hands fall to Meg’s hip bones. Traveling side to side, I let my hands glide up her waistline into the curvature of her collarbone. Meg arches her back inhaling and eventually sinking into the bed. Her exhale is slow, and breaths delayed. She looks at me, waiting for my hand to cross her body into a threshold of acceptance. 

I pause. 

I pull back. 

“Please,” she begs.

I retrace my steps, starting with her hip bone, following her waistline, and onto her collarbone. 

“No,” I whisper. 

“Please,” she is desperate. “Go slower this time.”

“Slower,” I whisper. “Okay.”

Once more, she turns me on while I pray to her needs.

“Okay.” I sing into her ear. 

The crease in her brow eases and her body releases tension better than any orgasm I have seen her experience in months. “Okay,” Meg repeats back to me. 

*

“Get dressed, Meg,” I tell her. 

She jumps out of bed, jubilant and jolly. Springing to the shower and leaping toward the walk-in closet. She bounces in front of me to Niall Horan’s Slow Hands, retracing the lines I drew on her minutes before.

“You love it when I trace you like that, don’t you?” I ask.

She doesn’t answer. 

Meg learned early on, no reply is the best reply. 

“Meg. Please, go get dressed,” I whisper. 

A song and a half later, she opens her closet door and steps out in an over-sized blue crewneck sweater and leggings. 

“No,” I whisper in her ear. “Do better.”

Two minutes later, I watched my girl walk out in the Lululemon leggings that hold her ass just right and compress those boobs her mom passed onto her just enough. 

She searches for the same acceptance she sought earlier in the morning, looking for some sort of approval I was supposed to give. 

“Meg, why are you looking at me?” I asked. “I am a direct representation of you.”

Meg shook her head, apologizing profusely.

“I didn’t mean it that way,” she cried. “I’m sorry.”

Damnit, Meg. She pulls this shit, plays the victim, and looks at me with tears in her eyes. I know she talks about me with others. I see her carry that damn red journal around with the tack Jane Austen quote on its cover. Lately, she confides more in the journal and less in me. Bullshit. 

She looked up one more time, searching for forgiveness.

“I’m sorry,” she murmured. 

I won. 

You see, when Meg woke up earlier that morning, there was a moment where my hands paused somewhere below her bellybutton and between her hipbones. I felt the inconsistency. 

We both did. 

Typically, Meg lets her hands sit atop of mine on those early morning rendezvous, but that morning, she shied away. She faked it. It’s that therapy thing she is doing. She is letting them fill her head with lies. 

She was ashamed this morning.

She failed me.  We both knew it. 

She knew the punishment. 

When she went into the closet earlier that morning and threw on the oversized sweatshirt and leggings, it was not an act of defying her size, or that bullshit body acceptance her friends tried to preach to her. 

It was shame for gaining. 

It was shame for growing. 

Meg was failing me. 

Fat Jeans, what a bitch.

I wrote this a hot minute ago, back when I lived in East Nashville, where the Sun was warmer and the days were slower.

For the past month I have been in a writing workshop with one of my favorite authors – I feel spoiled to be apart of this group of women. So. Dang. Lucky.

Any-who! I wrote this two years ago. Recovery is still recovery and life goes on. None the less, when I read my writing from two years ago, my heart breaks for the pain I felt and at the same time wildly appreciates the honesty I managed to get onto paper.

My fat jeans last year are my skinny jeans this year.  

Hung from hangers in my closet are lifeless moments from years past. 

Size zero pants from the dirtbike in Western Massachusetts. 

A medium dress I wore partially because my body swam in it, unable to fill it out from Nicole’s wedding. 

Size two boyfriend jeans from the stuffed and bloated feeling that overcame me after dessert – one scoop of lowfat, non-dairy Halotop ice cream. 

Looking at my closet now, the hangers have more space in-between them. 

Size four, the fuschia Anthrpologie jumpsuit I wore for graduation with those strappy blue leather strappy heels Mom bought as a graduation from Able. 

27, the J.Crew jeans short my body quickly was growing out of, into something greater. 

My fat jeans last year are supposed to be my recovery jeans this year. 

My fat jeans last year are supposed to be ok with growing.

My fat jeans last year were never meant to be a size two from Gap. 

My fat jeans never should have existed. 

But, here we are, on my front porch in East Nashville, grown out of my fat jeans. 

Fat is a feeling my nutritionist tells me. 

Fine. 

I’ll rename that pair of jeans – my ‘I detest recovery jeans sometimes’ jeans. 

Is that better? 

My fat jeans last year do not fit me any more. 

That is okay. 

Because, I am okay. 

I am here. 

Thirty-pound Body of Tears

I don’t remember what season it was, or the time of day. I remember crying when my three-year-old self pieced together she was leaving.

Maybe it was 9am, maybe 4pm, I’m not sure.

She looked at me, gave me a long hug and held on tight. I latched on, unable to let go.

Most three-year-olds would do the same.

She walked out the door and got into her car. A shadow of abandonment cast on the driveway.

Standing in our entryway I faced the grief of abandonment for the first time in memory.

As she started to get into her car, my feet carried this thirty-pound body of tears out the door. My screams turned to wales, asking her not to leave.

Why did she leave?

I watched her pull out of the driveway, waving and smiling back at me. I was not smiling.

She drove away, and I ran.

I ran across the lawn to the corner of our yard where the grass meets the road, and the road turns to stone. I watched the gray minivan drive down Claude Road.

I called out for her between the sobs, my own eventually replaced by tears. The further she drove, the more pungent the loss felt.

I have to imagine she was crying too.

I texted her after I wrote this bit, needing to know she remembered it the same way I did.

She didn’t, she said she couldn’t recall a memory like it.

She mentioned my kicking and screaming whenever playdates at my best friend’s came to an end, or the fits I threw when my dad left the house.

Nothing for her.

“If anything,” she said, “I remember me crying when I pulled away from you guys, I hated leaving you.”

A few days later, she called to let me know the memory came to her.

She remembered.

Hold your Heart with Two Hands

We sat across from each other at the farm style dining table in her dining room. She sipped on her glass of chardonnay, I talked about upcoming plans for New York. I sipped on my glass of Bordeaux while she talked about working for the United Nations and parading around New York City.

The almost weekly ritual, talking about life while drinking wine became a staple the Summer of 2016.

Deep into the conversation she paused, raised her glance from her glass of wine toward my eyes.

She asked if she could change the subject.

“No Mimi, you can’t,” I laughed.

Who tells their grandmother they can’t change the subject?

“Of course you can,” I said.

Her blue eyes smiled, her blue eyes spoke for her most of the time. So, she paused, took a sip of wine, and started her weekly sermon I looked forward to.  

This week we would talk about love.

To be honest, most weeks we talked about love. It was a thing of ours.

She started in on Poppi. He passed away at 51 or 52, I can’t quite remember, from a heart attack, a common thing in the 80s when everyone started to realize three packs of cigarettes a day won’t do the body any good.

Mimi loved the man so much she never remarried, never dated again, never allowed anyone else to touch her heart.

Mimi’s love for Poppi paralyzed her.

She asked me to find a love capable of paralyzing me. She asked me to hold my heart with both hands and never let go. Love is precious and once you find it with the right person, you’re supposed to hold onto it for fucking life.

I nodded and assured her I would.

Mimi died suddenly six months later.

It paralyzed me.

Sent me into shock, turned my world upside down, sent me into an eating disorder that captured each ounce of my being from my toes to my heart.

She told me to hold my heart with both hands but, months after her death, sitting at the very same farm table she asked me to find a paralyzing love at, I had no idea what the hell she meant.

Jesus Christ.

What did she mean?

Sorry.

Pardon my french.

I started writing in my journal overwhelmed by grief. More or less the grief I neglected to care for in respect for outlining situations.

I  wrote, two glasses of wine in and emotions at a high.

I flipped back to last year when she told me to hold my heart with two hands.

Mimi, what does this mean?

How do you hold your heart with two hands?

How do you hold your heart, keep it from breaking, and go through day-to-day life without letting it fall through the palms of your hands?

Cue the tears, a Meg staple.

I walked up to her room, it still looked the exact same, down to the smell of her Lancome perfume and daily pills on her nightstand.

I searched her nightstand for traces of her.

I  held a note from her she had left me.

It held her heart all those years after Poppi’s death. How she kept her heart from breaking again. How she learned to stand on her own two feet after a loss.

I sat on her bed skimming through pages, pausing in-between to run my hands over the lines she wrote, hoping to feel her presence just a little bit more.

I held the letter with two hands, turning each page with care, reading through the days of grief, the days of hope, and the days of joy. I read through her questions to God, her demands for answers, her need eternal rest.

I held her heart in both hands and answered so many of the questions I had only an hour earlier.

Find a love capable of paralyzing you. Check

Hold your heart with both hands and take care of it. Check.

Find a way to move on and grow with your heart. Check.

And We’re Back.

It has been a while, to say the least.

Moment of honesty: I have had zero desire to write this Summer.

None.

Zip.

Squat.

Between moving from New York to Boston, then Boston to New York, I was beat. Now, I am back in Nashville, officially,  and feeling some solitude.

Thoughts are slowly popping into my head, ‘where will I work?’, ‘what city will I welcome into my life next?’, or in the possibilities of taking time off, ‘what road trip do I want to embark on?’.

Keeping lists on my computer, I’m trying my best to push those thoughts aside for now. If New York taught me anything it was opportunity constantly enters and leaves our lives

I’ll jot my ideas down, I’ll keep note of them on Trello (LIFESAVER tool if you are a list person in need of an online tool), but I’m trying not to glue my attention to what is not worthy of my attention at the moment. 

I say trying because that’s simply what it is, I am trying. Not always succeeding.

Publically, I hardly publish anything. Personally, the pages of my journals have filled as the emotions and processing my new reality.

This post, coffee inspired and thought driven, has no main point other than to share where I am at.

And a side note to my family – Thank you for continually supporting my ever changing ambitions and imaginative pursuits. Your faith and love for my well-being do not go unseen.

xo.

The PA Diaries, Refusing Anxiety & Choosing Fuel

My mornings are fuel for the body. They are a chance to start the day the way you want to end it; on a high note.

When my alarm goes off, it means I have the decision to rejuvenate my body, work out, make breakfast I’ll enjoy, or sleep a bit more. More often than not, I choose to put my body to work. It sets a precedent for the effort I will put into the rest of the day.

But, the mornings I’m traveling for shows, out of town, onsite, or simply, not home, I’ve often said ‘adios’ to the part of my day I considered sacred.

The environment of constant change, particularly in production weeks, usually means the looming of anxiety. What will catering be like? How will I cope with the long days? What will I do to stay clear-headed? How will I cope with stress?

In years past, I gave up on routine under the belief it was not attainable.

After a summer of working shows consistently last year, awareness stepped up and pointed out my weaknesses. What sends me down in spiral mentally, what builds me up physically, and where I can find comfort in balance amidst no set routine were no longer this giant mystery.

The answer was to maintain ‘morning time’.

I choose to wake up 30 minutes earlier to work out. I choose to walk to Trader Joe’s and pick up a few snacks catering won’t have to subside the anxiety of eating food that will make me uncomfortable. I choose to be in touch with my thoughts early in the morning and allow myself time to mentally prepare for a day.

My sacred time, despite stares I might get from others, is what keeps me aware of myself and how I’m doing.

Working in production, traveling, adjusting to new environments, it is all still new to me, I’m finding what works for me. 

The PA Diaries: Fostering Humility

MAY 2ND, 2017 | Life takes a step ahead of us sometimes and decides to leave no time in our calendars for hobbies. Written on April 10th, this has been sitting in my drafts file for a few weeks. But alas, I rediscovered it, and its original purpose has now been fulfilled. 

APRIL 10TH, 2017 |I have 7 weeks left.

7 weeks until I leave for San Fransico to work on the festival. Until I move back to Tennessee. Until I leave the life I created here.

There are elements of life in New York I expected, changes I knew would come my way. This beckoning for what I thought I deserved. Then there is the realization, through insane circumstances for anyone living in this city. 

Life is not predictable to the point we are comfortable to admit.

Sometimes the amount of change going on in my head is too much. A sip of wine after eating coffee for breakfast and a salad for lunch – too much too soon.

I need humility. Neither a strength nor a fault of mine, it is a term I’ve come to know. Humbled by experience and graced with a community of thinkers & do-ers, I don’t see my situation any different than other aspiring production kids my age.

At the end of a day, we’re all kids running around on-site, putting together a string of musical acts, finding our sense of ownership in a craft we fell for.

The small act, small or large, reminds us, while we’re collecting our own successes. It’s personal. It is ours. So, stay humble.

A few successes from a year with myself.

  1. I fell further in love with love. The kind you don’t find in another person.
  2. I experienced loss of immediate family. It sucked.
  3. Friendship comes in all shapes and forms.
  4. Emptying out the filing cabinet and sorting through your shit thoughts leaves room for growth. Sort it out. Find a way.
  5. Furthermore, I need to stop planning so much.
  6. Adult life, or the little I have started to experience, is not a walk in the park.
  7. I’m not done here, there is more work to be done.

The 3 R’s

My weeks have been filled with routine lately; wake up, go to the gym, make breakfast, go to work, go home, do homework, go to bed.

On certain weekdays, I add a shift at my part-time job before work at Superfly.

My schedule is what it is. 

That’s what I tell myself.

In reality, a routine is my jam. I look forward to day-to-day rituals. Others, I’ve noticed, don’t see a positive power and potential they have, rather they see them as an inconvenience.

Who needs breakfast? That’s what protein bars on the go are for. Who needs a walk in the park after three meetings in a row? Fresh air isn’t my thing. What’s sleep? I have not gotten the bit of that since my last hangover.

The excuses go on and on. So does our inability to gain back control.

Three weeks ago, an iconic and influential woman left this earth to spend the rest of time with my Poppi. As somber as it is, change often makes way for possibilities. I found my change.

Recognition.

It’s about damn time some habits in my life take a hike. Going to bed earlier because no sleep is NOT better than more sleep. Laying back on the wine and picking up water instead. Finding the joy in working out to feel better not because there is something wrong with me.

Refusal. 

I love the word ‘yes’. Possibilities come from ‘yes.’

They also come from ‘no’.

What I am not a fan of, is being taken advantage of. I’m in a position currently, where yes if preferred, especially when your work ethic has been praised and people recognize strengths. It’s a pat on the back, but it’s a step up for the other person, and guess what, usually I’m the step.

I’m in this limbo with no plans for this summer. I’ve heard the word ‘no’ more than I’d like to admit lately.  This surprises people, especially after coming off of a year and a half of working, but the reality is, I don’t mind it all that much.

Revive.  

Breathing in, breathing out. Letting fresh air into my life where it was polluted before.

This is where that limbo I mentioned comes into play. Maybe it’s time I take a small break. Do I want to? Not really. I would much rather be working. But, there is knowledge to be gained working on myself, away from the distraction of day-to-day schedules.

What if all this time working leads to great achievement but, no fulfillment outside the office? What good could come of that? But, what greatness could come from time spent wandering without much of any plan?

My brain wants structure, but sometimes, the soul plays tricks on the brain, leaning toward uncertainty.

 

Photos [1] [2] [3] [4]

The PA Diaries Feat. Pen & Paper

Happy Monday!

Pausing during a busy day to recognize how COOL it is to work in a field where I can call my dad, and chat over new ideas, and processes, and learn from his own experience.

It’s easy to lose sight of your mentors offer. We get so wrapped up in ‘knowing it all,’ or coming up with our own way, we forget others did it perfectly well before.

Want to know what worked well before? Pen and paper. Good ole’ fashioned pen and paper. Write it down. Write your notes from your meeting in your notepad. Set aside your laptop in exchange for doodling and notetaking. Pick up your journal instead of a scroll through Instagram. Write IT, whatever IT is, down before you take the chance to hash out the details or over-analyze to perfection (if it even exists).

Ideas come to life over time. They deserve a chance to live on paper for a bit, to live in their own separate world. 

City life has been hectic and crazy, to say the least, so last weekend’s trip home to Boston was much needed. Of course, as it seems to be a repeating pattern, every time I  head home, a snowstorm hits, or three in my case. Boston and New York experienced three glorious days of winter weather which made for well spent time with my family.

More than anything, my time in New York has allowed me to spend more time with my family compared to when I was living in Nashville. And they were missed, more than I realized.

Weekends home, time spent at our kitchen island catching up on life happenings, car rides to and from the bus station, my mother’s home cooked meals (oh my gosh, how I missed those, shout out to you mom), continually remind me how lucky I am.

Lots of reminiscing happening on this sunny Monday afternoon and feeling simply grateful.

xo.

 

 

The PA Diaries Feat. Esplanade

The Key takeaway from the office today; every decision being made is not going to be made at the office. Those decisions will be made at bars, parties, outings, coffee breaks, almost any place but the office.

Creativity fails us when we least expect it, and in my experience, it tends to be when I’m at work when I need that bottled creativity to unleash the magical powers I have imagined it to have in my head.

Creativity knocks on our heads when we are at a show when we are reading the latest edition of The Lenny Letter, listening to our favorite morning podcast on the subway, and the most reoccurring one for me when I’m laying in bed trying not to think.

Being the intern, the production assistant, the entry-level position, is your chance to be a sponge.

Soak it all in.

But, everything has its limits, everything does not mean you overwork yourself. Isolate yourself.

Go to happy hour, talk about the diabolical plans to jumpstart your own company with your like-minded and creative friends, go see a show and forget about the meeting you have in the morning.

The meeting isn’t going anywhere, but you are.