Monday, May 28, 2012

Tiny Taut Toned & Tan 2012

Hello there friends!

I can't believe it's Monday again. . . things are starting back up again in my life so soon.  Boyfriend starts his summer classes tomorrow (yay! one step closer to graduation!) and I have my first rehearsal for my summer show. I'm very excited to say that after last week's audition process I got a role in a community theatre (nothing too fancy folks) production of Aida.  We were all informed how teeny tiny eensy weensy itty bitty SMALL our costumes were going to be - especially for us dancing slave girls over here.  Eeeekk!  And of course, the goal is to look as "summery" and "ethnic" as possible since "Aida," is in fact set in Ancient Egypt.  So I was asked to get a bit more tan - spray, self-tanner, sunshine, booth, bed, whatever.  Well there are several reasons why I won't be lying out with baby oil or running to a tanning bed.  The first being you know, skin cancer.  Scary stuff right there and not something this girl is gonna mess with.  The second reason being I tan just like a strawberry: red, bumpy, and freckled.  My Italian/Portuguese/Sicilian/possibly Spanish and/or Brazilian ancestors did not bless me with their tan complexions or burn-resistant skin!  Rather those fair Swedes, ruddy Scots, and pale Brits on my mother's side gave me their genes. . .  so I will be trying some nice, gradual tanning lotions, like the kind Dove & Jergens make.  Probably the CVS brand though, 'cause homegirl's money is all gonna be going to gas. . . .

Now here's the thing.  I'm  not a terrible human specimen.  I am not obese.  I am well within the "healthy" range of any scale, chart, or index you'd like to measure a person's weight and height and body fat percentages against.  My clothes have no "X" anywhere on them.  I am in better health than most of young America these days.  But. . . but I've been in better shape.  And I want to be again.  But I am w-a-y on the large side for dancers (at least the successful ones).  And no, that stereotype isn't just because of looks and aesthetic.  It's because lean, toned bodies are strong bodies and in order to be a truly impressive performer you must have a strong body.  I want that.  I want to be the best at my job, the very best I can be - in passion, in technique, in strength, in charisma, in work, in performance.  I had been using the agents that come and look at our Senior class every fall (eeeeeeeekkkk!  This fall! My class!  HolyLordAboveWhenDidThatHappenToMe?) and the fact that I am genuinely a happier person when I am healthier as my motivators.

Now I have the prospect of being 2/3 nakey on stage singing, twirling scarves, and wearing very heavy eyeliner as a motivator.  And that's coming before the agents.  As in July vs. October.  Holy balls, Batman.

So I am embarking on a little venture I'm calling Tiny, Taut, Toned, & Tan 2012. (If nothing else, I am good for some alliteration eh?).  My goals are as follow:

1.) Get down to a size 2/3 (I am currently a 4/5) in pants

2.) Loose 15 - 20 lbs.  I knowIknowIknowIknow thats the same amount EVERYONE and their mama wants to loose but seriously guys!  My comfort weight is about 15 lbs lighter than I currently am, I've been there before, I can maintain their, my Physical Therapist/accidental personal trainer even approves.  I'm GOOD I swear.

3.) Have a stomach I am proud of.

4.) Earn back my toned dancers legs.  I've been heartbroken  by the toll my hip injury has taken on my strength, let alone my appearance.  I have lost enough to the sad being that assaulted me - I will not loose my strength or my self-esteem to him as well.

The promise I am making to myself is:

Once a week, I will put up a blog post about the steps I've taken to be healthier that week.  This isn't a diet, this is my lifestyle and I want to keep myself honest.  I will weight myself twice a week and record it, so I can see my progress.  I will eat clean - you don't need a lecture on what that means.  I will forgive myself for being less than perfect.  I will "exercise" in some way everyday no matter what, at bare minimum taking a 30 minute walk.  No, my rehearsals will not count.  I will laugh more, because it is good for you.  I will sleep earlier and rise sooner.

Do any of you have summer health/fitness/weight loss goals?  Share in comments or link back to your blog so I can follow your journey too!

Friday, May 18, 2012

They Came, They Saw, They Kicked Ass.

Last weekend was one of the most Happy-Sad Days of my life.  Happy-Sad Days are exactly what the name implies: days of bittersweetness, where you are laughing with genuine pleasure while tears tug at the corners of your eyes.  Saturday was a perfect example: Graduation Day for the Class of 2012.  It was such an amazing, special graduating class and ceremony.  For one thing, I am proud to announce the first ever students to graduate with a BA in Theatre from our college crossed the stage and collected their diplomas. Without that moment, my own graduation as a Double Major would never be possible.  Additionally, the BA Theatre Class '12 has in its ranks some of my dearest, most beloved friends and the most talented assortment of people you can imagine.  I utterly adore them. 

Then there were the dancers. . . my dancers.  More than any other class (including, in fact, the one I came in with) this group of exceptional, talented people took me in and made me feel at home.  Taught me about love, family, loyalty, courage, self-expression, worth, work, and creativity.  My world is so much better for having them in it and I am genuinely a bit nervous to imagine it without their daily presence.  Below are some pictures of the festivities!

Julia, BA Dance '12 & Colin BA Theatre '12
(aren't they a ridiculously pretty couple?)  

I call this one "Family: You're Doing It Right."

My fierce roommate, all decked out in her honors gear and the fabulous Jenna
(Both BA Dance '12)

 Roommate's glee and awkward arm motions in anticipation of graduating.  Also, note our bare walls and empty looking apartment.  I am just so sad.

The boys.  My boys.  Let me tell you, they are more trouble than you can shake a stick at, more fun than is legal, have less sense than your common household goldfish and better hearts than half the Saints in heaven.  I love them to pieces.
{ I didn't take this picture: it belongs to my friend Em, you can find her here}

Woohoo! We did it! First graduating class! Bye-bye college!

Such Ado (About Everything)

In case you hadn't noticed. . . some things have changed.  Most importantly, I think, is the name of this blog.  While I really, really, really loved A Space for Inspiration it was a necessary and painful change.  See, I discovered there is a lovely blog out there called Space for Inspiration.  It is a nice blog not at all like mine, and considerably older, with far more followers.  The titles were too close to each other - literally, just a single letter apart.  I wasn't comfortable with it and would never want anyone to think I had copied them or infringed on their creativity (I hadn't head of the blog before naming my own).  So I had to part with my beloved blog title. . .

Let me tell you, it was tricky.  Because A Space for Inspiration really captured the essence of what I wanted this space to be.  A collection of thoughts, ideas, images, feelings, events, people, quotes, adventures that inspired me.  How to choose a new title?

Well, if you look at the header you'll see I did in fact manage.  Ladies and gents, welcome to . . .  drumroll please. . .  "Such Ado (About Everything)"

First there is the obvious reference to Shakespeare, a connection I enjoy making being an actress and a writer, and on a more personal note because I will be inheriting from my mother the same thing she inherited from hers: Shakespeares Complete Works Unabridged, Oxford Edition each play plus a book of sonnets lovingly and individually bound.  So this title not only touches on writing and performing but on family, lineage, and the female bond as well.

The specific play I'm referencing his called Much Ado About Nothing: within its pages there is a huge, dramatic, hullabloo (much ado) over an even that didn't actually happen (about nothing).  In my life, there is an endless stream of hullabloo - blame it on being in the performing arts.  Pin it on being friends with actors.  Point to my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and the rocky road to recovery.  Consider it a byproduct of my love for adventures.  But in the end, there is just no avoiding a ruckus.  Which is a golden reason to riff of this particular play title.

It also has an air of poking fun.  I think I am a somewhat tongue-in-cheek kinda gal, and acknowledging the madness in my life with a wink and a nudge feels appropriate.

The "About Everything" part of the title gives a hint about whats coming in the blog itself: a little bit of ev-er-y-thing.

Much Ado is also a personal favorite of mine: it's main lovers are the original opposites-attract prototype in western literature.  The first Darcy and Elizabeth.  Of all of Shakespeare's heroines (and I  love and feel kinship to almost all of them) I am most like Beatrice.  I am a Beatrice, a Lizzy Bennett: a little too rambunctious to be a proper lady, quick tongue, quick wit, a love of the absurd and keen to observe life.  A teensy bit wild.  A tiny bit fresh.  Devoted to family, unintimidated by rank/stature.  Well read, not always sure whats good for me. And of course, headstrong, passionate, and a great lover of dancing.

I hope, dear readers, you embrace this title as you have so graciously embraced my other ventures here.  Please click around and explore as I play with the site again!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

More Fun With Formatting

Hello loves!

It is that time of year again. . . time to play with the look and feel of this blog.  It's the change of another season in my life: not the annual season of Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter (or as we call them in New England, Still Winter, Road Construction, Almost Winter, and Winter).  The seasons for me seem to correspond more with what is happening in my world.

For instance, today marks the beginning of what is officially summer for, since I had my last final (a voice jury I am proud to say I did really well on).  It is more than another summer though: it means moving out of this apartment soon, and away from a beloved roommate who I adore and who is soon headed to NYC with others of our friends to pursue her dreams of being a professional dancer.

It means juggling work - my jobs over the summer are always changing - family, and time with Boyfriend.  Like work, Boyfriend-and-Me time is always be renegotiated and reworked around the various demands on our time. It means working on boosting my resume, digging into my New Year's Resolutions.

It means more time for blogging with less time spend studying (although I fear sometime must yet be devoted to it).

It means saying goodbye to not only my Junior year, with all of it's ups, downs, ins, outs, and sudden left turn but saying goodbye to the first semester of my senior year in college.

I only have one more semester let, guys.  15 more weeks of schooling before the rest of my life in the rest of the world begins.  Oh dear.  Oh joy! Oh God.  Oh no.  Oh yes!  Oh. . . I don't know.

And so, as the seasons change within and around me, the blog gets fine tuned.  A face lift, a nip & tuck, a new form to transition into to match the ever changing pace of my life and truly reflect what is inspiring me now.

So if you are a faithful (and beloved!) followed, please pardon the appearance as we renovate.  If you're new to the blog or just stopping by during your internet wanderings, Welcome!  Please pardon anything strange looking, it's probably not done being added.  Do feel free to poke around, explore, and hopefully stay awhile.

Love always,


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Words To Stir the Soul.

"Your epitaph will begin: 'She redefined what it meant to be a good woman.' It will say 'She scaled mountains, in hiking boots and in heels.  She started in her own backyard and then went all the way around the world.  She accepted challenges with curiosity and determination.  She emerged victorious regardless of outcome, knowing both the pleasure of success and the grace of failure.  She tasted long hot days and cool still nights, at home wherever she found herself.  She wasn't always popular, but she was always true.  She wasn't always comfortable, but no one can say she didn't enjoy her life.  She explored her edges, increased her capacity, and lived as big as she could dream.  Moved equally by bliss and pain, she played her heart out one moment at a time.  She was dialed in.  She was courageous. She was turned on.' "
                                 - The Turned On Woman's Manifesto

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Things That Make Me Feel Better (Even When The-World-Is-Ending-BooHoo-Poor-Me)

Sometimes things get messy.  They go wrong.  Sometimes it is when everything is moving along smoothly, your life is humming at an almost industrial pace and the sun is warm and the future is roses.  Sometimes - most times - it is when things are all ready pretty bad.

Too much to do.  No time.  So many needs.  No money.  Every ounce of me parceled out, weighed and measured and carefully divided, poured lovingly and hectically into the various people/places/things/goals that cry out for my attention.

That, for me, is almost always when the storm comes rolling in.  The last crack of lightning to an already fragile structure that stands no chance and simply bursts into flame.  In case you were wondering which you clearly weren't because I am so dramatic  last night was a lightning-strike kind of moment.  Why it was and the details don't matter.

Because less face it. . .  when shit hits the fan, it hits the fan.  The clean up is what matters.  I am still in the defecation-spreading-all-over-the-walls-in-blatant-disregard-of-my-orderly-life phase. . . but even still I realized as I sat here, stomach in more knots than a badly done cat's cradle, I have comfort.

In a Boyfriend who stops his entire world every time my silly fragile world comes unraveled.

A friend who knows from a three word text that something is wrong.  And quietly shows up in my kitchen, arms open to catch my crazy in a bear hug so tight I couldn't squirm away, forcing me to actually let go and . . . cry.

Comfort in jamming my headphones in to study the rest of the night away (no sleep was forseen) and being unable to ignore the ding of Facebook as another friend firmly instigated a totally asinine conversation.  I don't think I was supposed to know I was being checked up on, so. . . sshhhhh, ok?

A roomie who looked me in the eye and informed me of how strong and brave I am in her eyes, and demanded that I try seeing myself that way for a few seconds. I'm trying.

Opening my mailbox, where I have been collecting soft white envelope after soft white envelope, some traced with silver, others tied with dark ribbon, each containing a message of condolence for yet another friend who has lost a parent.  Everyday for two weeks I have gone down and placed my key in the lock, listening to the cool metal click open and expose the sadness neatly packaged in the gaping maw of a metal mouth my mailbox becomes.  Everyday I place my hand inside and offer a silent prayer thanking God for such a supportive community. I place donations in a small envelope and stack the sympathy on the edge of my counter, trying not to let my fingers linger on someone else's sorrow.  Today when I opened the mailbox, a bright yellow envelope greeted me, with cheerful, looping hand writing.  A note from a friend, who thought my mailbox (and heart) might need some cheer.

I find peace in the gently prying questions of my pseudo brother, who is maybe the only person alive who has found the right tone between soothing, insistent, and compassionate that will instantly make me open up.  Sometimes a lot of crazy comes out when I do.

There is the friend who saw me walking and knew from the set of my shoulders that my smile was lying.  There is such a strength in being transparent - the strength of being an Us and not an I.

Finding myself, instead of running my scene from A Midsummer Night's Dream, being squeezed in the papa-bear hug of one of my favorite faculty.  60 seconds - no more, no less - of being hugged and being me and breathing, were required before I was allowed to say a single line.

Joy in the sly smile shared when the last ballet class of the semester holds a mini-rebellion in ballet and the accompanist is a willing cohort!

A sense of hope when I round the corner from work and see beautiful lilacs (my favorite flowers) blooming in the rain, their perfume all the sweeter in the cool damp air.

The pure exhilaration only dancers and athletes know when your body suddenly obeys you.  We're talking a triple pirouette here people!  To the left.  In jeans!

Perhaps most excitingly, my big source of comfort is finding out I have a Cassie Care Package on the way!  I wish there was a way to convey to you the excitement this encompasses for me.  Imagine a a beautiful and female Mad Hatter.  Now imagine her as a former competitive diver.  Now set this imagining loose in SoHo.  This is who is creating my care package.

And that, ladies and gents, is a beautiful thing.