Monday, December 1, 2014

AN OPEN LETTER TO MUSICAL THEATRE

Dear Musical theatre,

Hi! How are you? It's Megan. I know it's been a while. I've followed you here and there on social media, looks like things are going well for you. (Sorry to hear about that Spiderman thing though, ugh. Happens to the best of us). Word is we even have some mutual friends - Tim Minchin and Glen Hansard! Say hi to them for me, love those guys!

Ok, Um. I feel like I need to explain my disappearance... I know a lot has changed since you introduced me to Idina Menzel and Lea Salonga for the first time all those years ago (remember when you made me keep that cd on repeat ? Lol you kooky Kat!). I mean, I know it didn't help when I realized you lived in NYC and I might never be able to live there with you. But we sure tried for something real in London together, didn't we! And what we had was working pretty well, wasn't it?

But then my car accident happened. I needed a time out. I get it, you couldn't wait for me. You made wonderful lasting relationships with many of my friends, who got to hang out with you in SOLO leads - on cruise ships, in West End and Broadway theatres - you even introduced one of my classmates to Whoopi Goldberg in that nun musical based on the movie! What fun you kids had!

I got jealous, though. Ugh, I'm sorry. You came back for me, but not how I had hoped, I'll be honest. Of course it doesn't help that you do flounder here in Vancouver - not only is your income meager at best in this city, but many of the people you hang out with here - while lovely in their own right - tend to rub me the wrong way. Not to mention I thought for a while that maybe you were more my ex's friend than mine, so things got really weird when that ex and I ended. That distancing was totally from my end, and I'm sorry.

I've tried to find what we had with others. There was that fling with pop/r&b, those flirty connections with hip hop. Things got a bit serious with comedy for a while, and the Fringe circuit community and I have a really great thing going. I have also recently been throwing myself into work, partly to numb the pain, partly to learn how to be an independent woman. I've been doing a lot of childhood pattern healing and learning how to make proper relationships. 

But... Musical theatre... I miss you. I think of you every day.

Hey, I know we have things that will need addressing. I know you're really god damned nerdy. You don't make very much money, even outside of Vancouver. No one really takes us seriously if they don't run in our circles.

And then there are the tough things that made me walk out in the first place: The beautiful girls in their early 20s singing "Fine, Fine Line" with way more gorgeous riffs than me. The expensive headshots and classes you make me buy - money I just KNOW I won't get back, and your demand to have me keep proving my talent  repeatedly for friends and strangers alike. And once you decide I am worthy, you require me to perform to that level 8 times a week on your schedule while I'm still working full time.  Not to mention the extra work and money involved if I decide to be the one bankrolling the whole thing. To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure if I'm ready to take all that back on, yet. We're going to have to work really fucking hard and get some new perspective to get through some of this.

But... I really think we might have a chance. As I snuggle in to bed here, I've cued up a JRB playlist to fall asleep to. I've dusted off my "Angels, Punks, and Raging Queens" to do a small plunk-through sometime this week. And you'll be proud of me: I'm even trying something new, and even writing some of my own stuff. It may not be up to your high standards, but it's a start.

My love, I'm ready to take the first step, if you are. I think we're worth it.

With all my heart,

Your Megan.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Where are you being a selfish asshole?

Today, I need to talk about a real fucking inspirational human being. It has taken me longer than I care to admit to comment on Lu's situation, because when my gremlins showed up this time, I listened to them for longer than I should have.

Let me tell you a story about a real fucking inspiration. Meet Luisa Lyons, everyone.



One of the most cheery, upbeat, positive, sweet people I know. An uber-talented singer, performer, teacher, and all-around human.

 Lu and I have travelled extremely similar paths. Both of us are from commonwealth countries. Both of us have recently turned 30. Both of us have craved to work on Broadway, and we met working at a creative performing arts camp. We both have fancy graduate theatre degrees from prestigious London colleges, and we're both pretty smiley. (Not gonna lie, people kinda love us.).

Then Lu went and did a big thing… she found a way to move to NYC LEGALLY. She "surpassed" me in her life. Naturally, I got jealous… She was living her dream, but since that dream also happened to be mine, and I was stuck in this 'shitty ol' place called not-New-York', well I couldn't handle somebody else "stealing" my dream. I did what I do when any of my non-US friends move to NYC… I unfollowed her on Facebook, then continued to binge watch Netflix. In short, I listened to the Scarcity voice that said "be jealous because if she has it then you cannot".

<>

And then, a few months ago, a mutual friend's post came across my feed. They had written on Lu's Facebook something about "get better". Being the curious cat I am ("maybe she got a bad cold from New York pollution, won't that serve her right for living her dream"), I clicked on her wall. And what I was confronted with slapped me in the face harder than that weird Monty Python fish-slapping dance.



Because, guys, Lu. had. cancer.

cancer.

CANCER.

You know, that thing that kills you. You know, CANCER.

She had been diagnosed with this insane leukaemia that gave her one month to live if she didn't pursue treatment. Out of the blue. OUT OF THE FUCKING BLUE, GUYS. 6 weeks before her 30th bday. This is a girl who would put the dalai lama to shame when it came to clean eating and living. This is a girl who gave me guidance and instruction on meditation because it's something she's been doing regularly for years. ummm…. WHAT?!

So here I am, feeling sorry for myself in my beautiful apartment in my beautiful city with my beautiful healthy body … and my good friend was fighting a beast of a fight to LIVE.

And here's what ensued of my thoughts.

"Well, I had to fight pretty hard myself, I was hit by a car and couldn't live in London anymore you know. Lu gets to live in New York City with a nice husband and has surpassed her crowdfunding goal, so I don't feel bad for her".

ummm…. WHAT???

WHAT??

.. no really, …

WHAT??

First of all, I had to fight pretty hard to be able to dance/move/work jobs on my feet again, to adjust to a life with a disability, and to be able to live without things I used to be able to do easily, I don't deny that… but cmon,  not once did I have to fight for my life.

And second of all… REALLY, MEG???

^^our gremlins show up and we don't even know they're the ones speaking to us ^^



So why I am sharing this with you, you might ask? (I'm kinda asking myself the same question right now).  Because I don't think I'm alone in recognizing that there is a shadow side of ALL OF US. To say that we are all wonderful, "good" people, all the time, is nonsense. So how am I going to buck up and make friends with my shittiness so I can move forward and take the next right action?



1) I NEED TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR MY SHITTINESS ABOUT THIS. I was paralyzed about thinking of ways to help my dear friend in a massive time of need, because I had shitty feelings about the whole thing. "she's fine, she has all these friends who are helping her, bad things don't happen to good people.."  … maybe that's true… but what if all of her friends were like me… shitty, too stuck in their own emotions to even post on her wall… where would she be? Nowhere.'

2) I'M GONNA LEARN FROM LU. When I was in the hospital and for years of recovery (and even now, in some ways…), I couldn't watch Broadway clips, or shows of things that felt inaccessible to me, because they felt impossible, and my self-pity is one strong Kraken.

Lu continues to be a positive force of nature. You should see her Facebook page. This girl is still watching all the things that make her happy like Broadway clips on youtube … even though she is in a gross hospital undergoing gross surgeries and stuff… her Facebook looks pretty similar to the way it was even before the accident… upbeat, fun, and happy. INSPIRING.

3) LET'S DO WHAT'S IMPORTANT HERE. Let's, universally, be better people. I know I'm not alone in making past shitty choices. Just for today, I refuse to let my selfishness win. Even if I have to turn it over 10 times a minute, so be it. Being selfish has not served me. I may not be able to give the way I wish I could, but refusing to help when I know I can at least share her story online? … #notcoolmeg

Help Lu, if you can - donate to her gofundme. Read her blog. Help her become a Broadway star. Send her some healing light. Whatever's available to you right now.

Or maybe you have someone near and dear to you who you have a way of helping but are just not willing to because of your own stubborn selfishness. All I ask of you is… what are you missing by not being the bigger person here?

Because I can't help but think… how much did I miss by not following Lu on Facebook earlier? By not supporting her in her dreams?

I'm just glad that I could come to my senses in time to be able to be her biggest fan. And I hope you can too. I'm sorry, Lu, and I love you with my whole heart.

With all compassion for everyone else fighting the gremlin-struggle...

Meg

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Why I will never use the word "gay" as synonymous with the lesser AGAIN.

Hey, world. Been a while. Guess it's time for a post eh? Good thing cuz this is a loooong one.

I got into a pretty deep conversation a few nights ago with a couple boys in their mid-20s. To be completely honest, the fact that handsome young bucks were engaging in conversation for me without finding reasons to immediately run away was a marvel in and of itself, let me tell you. Not to mention the fact that our conversation was about deep shit.

I was really grateful for the opportunity to have such a frank conversation with cool kids… growing up, I certainly wasn't one myself (a cool kid that is... A shocking I know), and it's really only been in the past few years that I've started to come to appreciate men in their mid-20s for what they have to offer. I'm working on a blog about that right now but, suffice it to say, I'm getting way better at having real interactions with people without judging them for who they are.

We talked about a bunch of stuff… feminism, equalism, gay rights… and the words we use to slander others. In particular, the one word that we touched on was "faggot".





I can remember using this word once, as an insult. I was maybe 11 or 12, and I was bullied pretty hard that day by, um, let's call him Tony LaTelda. Tony was a terror in his own right and would often call me horrible names; but this one particular day, he was particularly mean. He hurt me so deeply… I wanted to hurt him back. I was not one to swear, though, and I didn't really watch many movies or read many books with insulting words so I had no idea how to insult. So when he called me a "Fat big Kahuna Dog" for the umpteenth time, I tried a new word I'd heard some boys say, and I screamed… "SHUT UP, YOU FAGGOT!"

He got quiet. A bunch of people got quiet. I don't exactly remember the sequence of events after that, or now long it took, until a teacher came over and said, "we don't say that word, that's a bad word", and I remember I got in trouble for using a word which meaning I did not know.

Now, upon reflection, I took a couple things away from this.

1) I totally understand how hate perpetrates hate. In that moment, I was so stung and shocked, all I could do was seek out the most hateful word I could think of so my pain would be distributed evenly. This could be elaborated upon in a future blog, most likely.

2) But more importantly: in that moment, I wasn't calling this kid a gay man and expecting him to be offended by it. I have an uncle who had lived with his husband for what must be 15 years now, Gay was always OK growing up, and I never heard any antagonism in my school or from immediate family towards homosexuality. Truth be told, I actually had no idea what this F-bomb meant... I guess I had just heard someone say it once at school or something and the other person had been offended or hurt or something... So it sounded insulting. At that point in this situation, all I wanted to do was insult Tony, what better way than this seemingly hurtful word?

I had an argument once in 2009 with a friend who identifies as a gay man, and he was saying using the words "gay" and "fag" and "queer" as a bad thing - even though they're desensitized - are terribly offensive. After all, the story goes that a "faggot" is really just a bundle of wood... That was used to burn people alive if they were thought to have engaged in homosexual activity. (WHAT!?)

At the time, I argued vehemently for being able to use these words now that "they're desensitized". "After all," I declared in my full 24-year-old sheltered Hetero white girl glory,"I may not BE gay, but I am an Ally, so I don't mean any harm by it!" AND, c'mon guys, these words are pretty fun to pronounce... I mean, really, how often do we get to say words that start with the letter "q"?

God bless this man for being so patient with me, in hindsight. His argument was that we may call these words "desensitized"... but are they?? As Macklemore so aptly put it: "A word rooted in hate." Which it is! As with the word "retarded" (slow in thinking), "lame" (limping/slow), "gipped/jipped" (how a gypsy would cheat you back in the day). Perhaps we have lost our origins... But does the use of these words in a derogatory manner not glorify their origins in some way?

"Heck no!" Said I, "When I say these words, I am not saying 'PEOPLE WHO IDENTIFY AS GAY ARE BAD,' I am saying, 'this word has lost its original meaning and now it just means bad in a silly way. I don't mean it hurtfully!"






I now see how this argument sucks, and I apologize to you, my friend from that convo 5 years ago, and anybody who has had to put up with these words in their lives. Let me share my reflections why:

1) it is still being used by people in its original intention of "GAY PEOPLE ARE BAD". As long as this happens, how on earth can we say this word has lost its meaning?!? It's not like we're using the word synonymously with "awesome" or "gorgeous" or "supaflyyyy". It's still used in a negative, deragatory manner?

2) Ok, and fine, assuming if - and a BIG "if" at that - the (let's assume) heterosexual person using this word does not even remotely associate this word with "GAY = BAD", (this jackass has lived under a rock, apparently), what about the homosexual (or otherwise) who has to hear this word in conversation? What about that person who WAS called these names in a hateful manner as a child, and had to bear the brunt of others' ignorance and malice?

Me, I was called "fat" a LOT as a child. There's more to be said about that; but for now, suffice it to say, I hear the word in ANY context, and I flinch. Sensory memory.

What if the word "fat" was actually a word we used in the same way?

I can only imagine... every time I would have to hear that I'm certain I would cringe. Just hearing that word in my head reminds me how I was led to believe I was bad for something I had no control over - and no idea of how to change. So, If that were the case? I would be on a CRUSADE to tell people to never use the word "fat" as a derogatory term again.

I don't self-identify as gay. I love me a good set of male washboard abs and I think vanilla male-female sex is the best. I don't even pretend to know what it's like to be criticized for the gender I'm attracted to… for generations, at that.

So who am I to say what offends those who do/have had all those things, and what doesn't?!?!? Shame on me for thinking I had a right to toss these words rooted in oppression, social ostracizing, and inhumane torture. And shame on all those Heteros who feel they can just drop some words and not feel responsible if they cause pain.









So when these super cute boys were arguing for unapologetically using this word in conversation as it has "lost its original meaning", I almost agreed with them. After all, we all learned that math equation in high school right? 1 uncool kid + 1 cool kids' table = 100% conforming.

But I took a sec to think, before delivering a (less eloquent and highly abbreviated) version of the above thoughts. I listened to their point of view, and shared what I thought. I'm not certain I convinced them, but I'm positive I made them think. Isn't that it's about!

Moral of the story: from now on, if you ever hear me say the word "gay" or "retarded", slap me across the face and call me a fat slut please.






Happy pride, everyone. Big hugs.

M

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

10 Reasons Why Snowboarding is a metaphor for Life.

Ohhhh Haiiiii everyone!

Hope everyone's holidays have gone swimmingly. I won't pretend like mine weren't all over the place (maybe you read my previous blogs?) - but I WILL say that this rough spell is proving that I am stronger than I ever thought possible… as we all are. Mama Universe gives us just what we need! And I'm so grateful for the lesson.

A couple days ago, while snowboarding with my buddy Linds, I had some insights that I felt compelled to share. Maybe you can relate to them?

WHY SNOWBOARDING IS A METAPHOR FOR LIFE

1) The brain sure can make a mountain out of a molehill… self-talk will make or break your experience.
So I have this heights-thing. I can look at a hill that looks just fine one second, and then my brain will suddenly - out of nowhere - make it THE SCARIEST HILL EVER. Honestly, I had this one time earlier this season where I suddenly got stuck on a steep run after bailing and had to get down. And OH MY GOD was my brain not on board! I was certain - CERTAIN! - that if I moved an inch, I was going to tumble and die. I started to hyperventilate and give myself a minor panic attack.

In that moment, the only tool that I had available was self-talk. There was no one around me to coach me through it. All I had was I could say, "You can do this, you can do this, you can do this" over and over and over again. It was, for all intents and purposes - my mantra.

When in LIFE are we put in situations where we need to become our own cheerleaders to get us through a situation?

2) It's all about velocitization… Confidence is EVERYTHING.
Honestly, if you take away one bit of this blog… this is what I recommend. This big AH-HA! on the mountain was somewhat of a game changer, and kinda influenced the rest of my day.

Urban dictionary defines "Velocitization" as: The condition where frequently driving at high speeds affects your overall sense of speed. You become permanently velocitized.

Meaning, my internal speed is determined by how fast I've chosen to go up until that point. I recently returned to boarding after a 7-year hiatus, partly due to a car accident. When I became physically incapacitated all those years ago and was healing an immense injury, I totally halted my speed - both physically and mentally. I got 'off the fast track' - because I needed to - and I slowed. right. down.

Now, all those years ago, this was the right decision. But then I began to stick myself in that slow holding pattern. Do you know that story of how the circus would keep elephants in captivity? They would chain baby elephants to a pole, and as the baby grows up learning they cannot free themselves, the circus handlers eventually completely remove the chain -- the elephant holds herself captive all on her own. I've recently noticed that I'm the same. Saying "no" to things - physically, emotionally, energetically - all those years ago was the right thing for then. But it's started to become uncomfortable.

Same with snowboarding. I didn't snowboard for all those years, and about 2 years ago I recently started up again. I had to go slowly - had to retrain my body to do things it had all but forgotten how to do.

That being said, the muscle memory came back WAY quicker than I expected… but the brain confidence took a while. I would notice myself starting to go fast, get freaked out… and start slowing down. I literally held myself back because even though my body could physically handle anything that came my way, I was just not used to going fast.

That's life. As I started to heal -- emotionally, energetically, mentally -- life started to throw more things at me. But I wasn't prepared to submit for all those auditions, write every day… because my internal speed pattern was slow.

4) You DO get better the more you do it!
This is the good news! That velocitization is staying with my body and mind, and every time I go up the mountain now, I feel myself get more and more comfortable with going faster and faster. I find myself taking more and more calculated risks… because I find them enjoyable, NOT because I feel like I "should" do them. And that's the difference, isn't it? Living life from FUN - not from other's expectations.

Like life… I find that I'm writing blogs, I'm starting to take more life and career-affirming action because I WANT TO, not because I need to prove stuff to anyone. Not anymore.

5) When things get scary, don't stop - keep going. It's easier… I promise.
Whew, this was a big one. There isn't a lot of snow on the mountains here in Van this season, so there's a bunch of ice hidden under man-made snow. When Linds and I approached a slightly steeper hill than we were prepared for, we noticed that it was essentially straight ice. Our first impulse was to full on pendulum down the hill… but this is a terrifying ordeal in itself (see #1).

And so, having all of these previous experiences under my belt, I tried a new approach - instead of stopping full-stop when I started to get scared, I acted "As If" … I decided to just barrel down the hill (again, with calculated risk… still felt somewhat in control of my body), and carve instead of flat out scraping down the hill.

And guess what?? IT WAS EASIER, GUYS!

That's right. Going with the flow - even when it's freakin' scary - was actually the answer. Who knew?!

4) Have your body Action-Ready for ANYTHING.
Keep your knees bent. Not only do the pros have to keep their knees bent as proper technique… I would argue that it's BECAUSE they have soft knees that they become pros! No matter what the landing of that jump, or conditions on the mountain, or size of the hill… curveballs can come at any time. So stay soft and open and you'll land more than you think.

7) You're gonna bail.
Kinda goes hand in hand with the previous one. So keep those knees bent.

5) Engage Your Core.
That shit's important.

8) Keep your eyes trained ahead on where you DO want to go, not directly in front staring at where you DON'T want to go.
You've all done this, right? Even if you don't snowboard… maybe you bike, or drive, and you're staring at the pothole that you know you shouldn't drive into… and 10 seconds later, there you are, driving into it. Or if you're riding, that one jerk who's fallen in front of you, you're caught up staring at them… and barrel straight into them?

It's so hard to train our brains to move from what we DON'T want to what we DO want… but doesn't it make all the difference in the world?

10) You may go up with friends, but you ride alone.
This one was a biggie for me. All that self-talk, all that inner game on the mountain… these are all MY musings. Sure, I have some company going up the lift, and standing in line, and sure Linds was there to appreciate the comedy as I rode straight into a rail (seriously it was ridiculous)… but at the end of the day, her experience that day was her experience, and mine was my own. Maybe that could be construed as a lonely part of life… but I don't think so. I think it's pretty magical, actually.

Well, there you have my musings over the past couple days. Comment, share and/or post if you feel so inclined… but mostly, keep living the dream, lovers. You got this.

With all love,
Meg

Monday, December 23, 2013

30!


Hey everyone, I'm 30 now!!

Hey there, my lovelies, I'd like to add a bit of clarification from my most recent post. I've received a whole bunch of whole-hearted, loving messages in response to my previous blog, and I recognize that this can be construed as a bit (as one friend lovingly pointed out) "spoiled-brat-ish". As difficult as it is for me to concede that I can live from ego often, I was writing from a bratty, complain-y place. I've been feeling a lot of pain and unsure of which way to direct it, and the pain can sometimes cancel out the joy and elation that is our natural state. Funny, that.

I am writing to validate that I DO feel very loved and very lucky. I do have a bunch of things going for me, and I have a really rad support system who have seen me through all emotional states over the past few years. I live alone in a beautiful apartment in a beautiful city in the world and I've done some pretty cool creative things. The people who came to my birthday events were AMAZING, and special, and they took time out of their days last week - the busiest freaking time of the year - for ME. For me! Some of these people I'd only met a few months ago!

Anyway, my perspective a few days ago was grouchy. And I'd like to own that that's where I was at. I'm not saying I live in that place, nor should any of us Live there, but sometimes I visit and the only way out is talking through it. Not Complaining, not Gossiping, not Demeaning myself or Others, but venting, and moving through. And having others hear me, and sometimes offer advice; but for the most part, just listen and love, and I can only hope that recording my struggle/journey will help somebody else going through the exact same thing one day in the future. Or, maybe it'll just help me. All good.

Anyway, Christmas is coming, the world went on after 30, and we've all got a little more love to give in us somewhere. Thanks for staying true, everyone, love you with my heart.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays,  and just pure Love.

Meg xoxo

Friday, December 20, 2013

This is where I am.




Oh, hey there world.

This is the view from my apartment, where I sit, alone. I'm surrounded by boxes because I just moved 3 weeks ago and have had far more important things to do than unpack fully since moving in.

It's snowing in Vancouver - a rare thing - and I'm feeling a lot of things. After all, it is the last day of my 20s. I'm shocked that today is finally here. I'm desperately hoping a person will text me back who is a distraction from all of the other very real things that have happened over the past couple months. I'm constantly refreshing Facebook to see who has started writing on my Facebook wall for my birthday. So far, just one buddy in Australia (thanks Matt!). I'm hoping I write a truly profound blog that will get shared and go viral and become everyones mantra for the day they turn 30. Or, at the very least, share enough that my newfound fame becomes the answer to "where is my career going?" - that question that I apparently should at least have a plan for.

But back to that first thing. Today is here. The future became the present. And tomorrow, apparently, things change. Tomorrow, I turn 30. And here I am… in that awkward state where if anyone asked me my age I would say "29" which I can really only do for like 6 more hours now.

Remember when we were all scared the world was going to end on Dec 21, 2012? It was the end of the Mayan Calendar, so all of 2012 leading up to that was supposed to be this new vibrational year where we shed our skin, experienced change, and anticipated the newfound growth of 2013. After Dec 21, 2012, we were launched into a new, exciting world where our deepest desires come to the surface and we live the life we were truly meant to live. Yaaaaaaaay…! remember that..? I do! I spent my 29th birthday in Seattle with my boyfriend, watching one of my idols, Louie CK, perform. I had felt some major career growth in 2012 - that was the year my lawsuit got settled, I toured my solo show, I committed to recovery, I hit a new level with the company I sell for. I even started to enjoy teaching! That Christmas, I went to Hawaii with my boyfriend and family, and boy did 2013 seem like it was going to be my year! Look out, new vibrational year!



Yeah.

What ensued was what I like to endearingly label "my own personal shit show".

Now don't get me wrong, it started out awesomely enough. I travelled to Palm Desert to see my family, met a whole bunch of my company "family" at a training in Saskatchewan, flew to LA to watch our web series get screened in a fancy festival, my solo show got picked up for a festival in NYC, the city that holds my heart, and I was part of a hit Fringe Show.

But then, around late March/early April, shit started to hit the fan… and more and more and more pieces began to pile on top of it. My agent dropped me. My partner did something that fucked with my trust and set in motion our eventual demise as a couple in the fall. My show flopped BAD in NYC. I tried to hand over my wounded heart to unhealthy people and suffered immense pain. And then, over a 2-week period in October, the following happened: partner and I split up, I moved out and in with parents, I started a completely new job, and I co-bought a place with my mom (hence the boxes). October was a month of total deer-in-headlights shell shock. November was the month of damage control. And December… December has been the month of straight-up reality check.

Since October, I've been starting to feel the nudges of "who I really am". I guess that's what you can call them. I've embraced my deep love for the hip hop culture, especially rap… my iTunes playlist is morphing. My tolerance for people's shit has plummeted and I've started scraping the fat from conversations I have with people (If I don't want to hang out with anyone, I'm not going to suggest 'going for coffee sometime'. fuck that). I'm pushing myself into the comedy community and have started doing stand-up. I am more sexually awake than ever, and I am taking a hard, long look at my patterns and am fiercely willing to partner with a higher force to take away what does not serve. If I feel a strong emotion, I will sit with that emotion and ask what it has to teach me, and what Little Meggie needs, and do my best to honour that request, as rational (or irrational) as it is. My "frequent caller" list is changing and shifting as the friends who meet me at my level are the healthiest people for me, and many others are sadly sifting to the pile of "unhelpful people right now".

In light of 2013's craycray, I decided to do what many others in my situation would do: CELEBRATE HARD. Go out dancing, meet new people, pour myself into new social situations. After all, Meg needs new friends in this new life I barely freaking recognize who she is becoming. So what better time to celebrate hard than my birthday week? Here's what I thought: "Since it's the week before Christmas, people are going to be all over the place, so I'll do something every night for people to attend"! So I did, I've planned something every night this week.

And it has sucked. My birthday week has sucked hard. Not only do most of my best friends I've compiled over the years live in different cities around the world, but of those I consider besties in Vancouver, very few have been able to make it to my activities. And I get it, December's a shitty time to have been born (sorry friends), my friends work and get auditions and blah blah blah. My little ego set up massive expectations, and ergo set me up for massive disappointment. Story of my 20s.

So where do I stand? When I was little, I made a list of "things to accomplish before I turned 30", which got revised upon graduating from high school in 2001. Guess what, folks? None of them had been met. Some of them, I'm ok with. "Lawyer by day and Ballet dancer by night", I'm  OK with not having achieved.  Being a "famous singer and on Saturday Night Live" … a little harder to swallow.

So why do I share all of this with you? I had hoped this would be a "kick-life-in-the-ass-and-turn-30 blog" about goals and shit… after all, many have written these before me and many more will do so after me. But that's not where I'm at. I don't even know what my goals are anymore. Stuff I used to think I was good at I'm learning I'm actually pretty crappy at. But stuff I thought I was lame at, I'm actually not too bad.

I'm freaked out, I'm disappointed. I want to make more art and I don't know which medium to start in. I feel more free than ever before, knowing many parts of my life that didn't serve me have fallen away… but I'm left, naked, on new terrain, and I don't know what it means. I'm unsure and I'm making mistakes left right and centre. I feel like I'm back in high school - the socially awkward girl kicked out of the 20s Club party and not quite invited to the 30s Club party, but not dressed for either. I don't know if the 30s Club will like me, or accept me, or if I have what it takes to kick ass, but all I have is the bags that I packed for myself. I've let go of some of the shit my family packed for me in previous years that was just heavy baggage, and I don't have everything that I will need for the coming decade. I guess all a girl can do is trust the work she's done has set her up to handle whatever life gets thrown at her.

Well, on that note, I'll see y'all on the other side of 30. Party hard and stay safe, everyone.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

If we're going to be Anti-Bullying, perhaps we should stop Bullying Rob Ford.

And you thought the Rob Ford rants were over. Surprise! Jumping on the bandwagon…


This one will be my only one, though. Because mine is not a rant on this certain man's behaviour: that's been covered. We all know that this is not a person in sound mind to make reasonable choices for the better of the people around him and not on himself.

My rant is concerning how we - not just Toronto, but the media and indeed, the world at large - is dealing with it.

And hey, don't get me wrong. I preface this to say I don't condone a thing Mr. Ford has done. If you're not familiar with the throes of addiction, check out Dr. Gabor Mate's work. He speaks to how we could (dare I say Should?) work with addicts and addiction - in others AND ourselves - it far more eloquently and succinctly than I.

HOWEVER. Allow me this space to be rageful. For some reason, our society has gone WILD with Anti-Bullying. Google "anti bullying" and you could be entertained for days. Our tax dollars have gone to full school PROGRAMS to "cut down on bullying" (check out pinkshirtday.ca). There is "zero tolerance" for any kind of abuse - physical, verbal, or otherwise - at many schools these days.

And yet…

How many of US - as parents, peer mentors, role models, co-workers, bosses, or even users of Facebook - REALLY take the time to look at our words? How many of us have paid attention to the fact that we might, just might, have a sphere of influence where people... gasp… look up to us and value our opinion? And how many times do we attempt to connect with people who are "cooler" than us, or whatever, by saying MEAN THINGS about EASY TARGETS?


There was a dude at the bar last night who spent a good 20 minutes of the night - loudly, I might add - telling everybody what he thought of the "red-faced fatty" to his table of drunk young 20-somethings, all quite attractive and dressed well. Clearly this man was influential in his circles, as he had a rapt audience.

I was at a course all day today, on a topic with NOTHING TO DO with politics, or comedy, or Toronto. And yet, the very first keynote speaker of the day came up and spent over 5 minutes of his 20 minute lecture (that's one quarter, folks), playing Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert/Jimmy Kimmel clips on the current affairs, and the speaker himself made MEAN jokes about Rob Ford. I believe I counted no less than 7 - probably closer to 12 or 13 - times that this speaker said the word "crack" and "drugs" with sheer disdain in his voice.

Both of these guys were probably nice people. The second guy in particular is quite accomplished in his line of work, he has a young family in a respectable neighbourhood, AND HE'S A MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!!!! Really Mr. ______???? The ONLY way you felt you could engage an audience who PAID TO HEAR YOU SPEAK was by spending ONE QUARTER of your speech making fun of a man who's clearly in SERIOUS EMOTIONAL PAIN????????? And who knows what other chemistry is all fucked in his brain from substance abuse and possible trauma???

Let me be clear. I am not a perfect human (much as my ego attempts to convince me hourly that I am). I have said some mean stuff and I thought Jon Stewart's bits have been pretty fucking funny. I even LIKED a mashup photo of Miley Cyrus treating Rob Ford's face as a Wrecking Ball. He needs to step down, and then do whatever healing work he's ready to do. But I'm a product of this society and I am committing to you… no more Rob Ford jokes. It's getting old and it's getting sad.

Because my JOB is to be a role model for the kids I teach and nanny. And how are our kids supposed to NOT bully - either inside or outside of school - if all they receive on the media is that "Bullying is Cool, Bullying is funny, and it's only OK if you go for the easy targets". Have some compassion, everyone, leave the guy alone. And maybe… just maybe… you might find that as you take your attention off an easy scapegoat, you might just look inside… and see you have some healing work of your own that you need to do.