Monday, September 27, 2010
I will start by saying, I am ALL for peta. Those of you who know me personally will know that I have recently undergone some pretty substantial lifestyle changes; most dramatically, completely eliminating all animal products from my life. Yes, this was mostly from a health perspective -- but it was also encompassing an ethical perspective as well. Although I do subscribe to the "live-and-let-live" philosophy, I am pretty passionate about NOT supporting the mass production of livestock in sub-par, inhumane conditions, just so we can gorge ourselves on foods that we don't *really* need to eat.
Effectively, I call myself a vegan. I believe that there are more conscious ways of living than purchasing products that we have NO idea of their source, or the ethical nature they were produced.
So today, I would like to rant about STUPID PROTESTERS.
One of the Customer Services box offices that I work in has recently been put on some guy's "local black list" -- and please pay attention carefully, because it took me a couple of times to figure out how we were affiliated -- for having an advertisement in the same promo magazine of a local hotel that also had a promo ad for a fur company. So basically, this fur company paid to take out an ad, and we paid to take out an ad, and they put them together in this little "zine" the hotel puts in guest's rooms... a kind of "best of Vancouver" sort of thing.
So this animal-rights fanatic guy who, I will add, is not officially affiliated with PETA, from what I can see on their website or any of their official publishings, has sent out some information to Vancouver people claiming we have formed some form of "partnership" with this hotel that apparently "supports" fur companies. Remember... "supports" fur companies by taking their money and advertising for them. And our "partnership" is that we appear in the same magazine as them.
So how does this affect me? Well, dearies, I'll tell you. I had a 20-minute phone call today -- my first one, I might add, where I have ever consciously hung up on a customer mid-sentence -- with a woman who called for no other reason than to verbally vomit her entire belief system on my unsuspecting ears.
This leads me to ask... WHY, OH WHY, do these people feel the need to throw their beliefs at you like spears, like religious fanatics on some sort of zealot quest? The sheer irony of the fact that I'm living a lifestyle COMPLETELY endorsing animal rights would make me chuckle if I weren't so insensed right now.
The phone call started innocently enough... her asking for ticket prices, learning about price zones, asking about the performer, etc... and then it moved into the "do you have a partnership with this hotel?", and then turned into a FULL-BLOWN RANT. At first I thought she was joking, then I did all the things you're supposed to do, state the bare minimum, say "i don't know much about that but what I DO know is...", and ask to pass them on to someone who DOES know.
Wanna know what her response to the latter question was? "No, I don't want to be passed on, because then I talk to mail boxes or never get email responses. I want to talk to a live person".
I was tempted to say, "will any live person do? Here, let me grab a panhandler from the street to listen to you so i can GET TO MY FUCKING JOB, LADY".
Honestly, I think a panhandler could've done a better job than me.
So this conversation continues for the better part of 20 minutes, she starts telling me that "you really should know more about the company you work for, lots of companies like Lululemon are very aware of their partnerships [note: I didn't mention that Lulu mass produces in China and exploits labour rights through loopholes]"...and my favourite, "even when I go to the symphony and see people wearing furs I get realy angry..." until finally I start to get super riled up. At this point she's grinding on me. NONE, not one point, of her argument makes sense... how are we supposed to control what people fucking WEAR to the symphony? And I start to raise my voice... until I get to a point where I'm telling her that I'm really not the one she needs to speak to, that her calling and uselessly bombarding me energetically with her intense opinions is just WASTING MY TIME... and that's about when I saw my boss start waving his hands with fear in his eyes, and hanging up my phone line mid-sentence.
So here's my rant. I am ALL for passion... I am! I'm all for living creature's rights, and for living consciously, and for speaking for those who can't speak for themselves. What I AM against, however, is people who speak just for the sake of speaking. Honestly, I've never been, or spoken to, or associated myself with, this hotel... and yet, I felt like I was being attacked when all I was doing was trying to book tickets for this lady!
Why, oh why, do these people feel the need to attack those who are absolutely powerless to change things?! Or even worse, who feel loyal to the company they work for, and have absolutely no beef with it at all?
I encountered a similar situation to this while workign for Coca-cola over the Olympics. I LOVED working for Coke. Yes, I'm aware there is a lot of duality associated with working for this company and the product. But Coke treated me SO well. They hired INCREDIBLE people, who I worked with and made fast friends with (still in touch with, in fact). And yet, during the Torch relay, there were protestors who threw rocks and marbles at horses and people.
Is there someone out there who will tell me HOW this makes a difference?! Seriously, I'm all ears. Wouldn't storming politics, or actually protesting the people who have the power and the gall to make change, wouldnt' that be far more effective than pissing people off by vomiting your feelings all over them? Wouldn't warming people to your cause, helping them see things your way, be a far better use of your energy and your day, then spending hours at a time bangign your head against the wall and creating walls of negative energy?
I'll leave you with an analogy I'm reminded of. I used to watch The Polka Dot Door (any 80's kids out there with me? Dennis Simpson, anyone? :D), and sometimes the puppets used to tell stories. One such story was one of Mr. Sun and Mr. Rain. It goes as follows:
One day, there was a man walking with a rain coat on. Mr. Rain made a wager with Mr. Sun.
"I'll bet you," boasted Mr. Rain, "that I can make this man take off his rain jacket before you can."
Mr. Sun chuckled and said, "Oh you do, do you? Go ahead."
So Mr. Rain puffed himself up and turned on his highest power. He blew and blew and blew cold rain, sleet, and gale-force winds at the man. He was impressed with himself for showing off his prowress so well. Never before had he put such intense conditions at once; what a show he had!
But the more Mr. Rain blew, the harder and tighter the man pulled his raincoat around his shoulders.
Mr. Rain sighed.
"This is one lost cause. Good luck, Mr. Sun, this guy is a real stubborn ass. I'd like to see you try"
Mr. Sun smiled. "Are you finished, Mr. Rain?"
Mr. Rain rolled his eyes. "Yes."
Mr. Sun smiled even broader now, and gently began to shine. And shine. And shine. All the clouds parted, the breezes slowed down, and it got hotter.
The man in the trenchcoat started unbuttoning his jacket. Then opening it. And then... took it off.
Mr. Rain gasped. "How did you do that?" he asked, amazed.
Mr. Sun smiled again. "I just lived as I am, and the man made the choice for himself. I can't make anyone do anything... he had to choose what to do for himself."
Things that make you go "hmmmm", right?
Thursday, July 29, 2010
On Monday, it will be the 4th year anniversary.
Four years since I was parked on by a car. 4 years since that first awful night in the hospital, not knowing what was going on. Since my life got flipped around, and I entered this hazy, middle-ground where things got both fuzzier and clearer at the same time.
It's emotional, you know? Something life-changing happens, and you're expected to just "move on". Pull those socks up. But my question to you is, do you ever "move on"? I ask this to you, to those of you who have suffered major traumatic, sudden experiences: perhaps a loss, perhaps an illness... perhaps you've survived, but do you still feel a little "damaged"? I do. Daily.
Some of the people in my life -- I suppose they believe they are helping -- are like, "but you can move on, you're strong". Perhaps I'm just a PMS-ing ball of mush right now ... but I've had a LOT happen recently, including some pretty crazy motion on the lawsuit front, and to that, I'd like to hold my 4th and pinkie fingers with my thumb, turn my hand knuckles out, and move my index and middle finger into an upward motion. (That's a derogatory move, in case I've over-explained the motion... I do that from time to time. Feel free to substitute for any other "up yours" move that you have)
Does anyone else feel this way? Does anyone else feel like this year was supposed to be, "for you?" That the New Year started, and there was this huge rush of energy, where you just felt like, "FINALLY! All this suffering was NOT for naught, no-siree-bob, 2010 is for ME!" And you went on your merry way, and perhaps encountered some challenges, but nothing you couldn't face, because there was suddenly this surge of "things-going-right"?
What happened to that?
This summer was supposed to be for ME. I was setting goals. I was following commitments. I was truly expanding my comfort zone, and growing, and all of those things Tony Robbins tells you to do.
And then... June came. And July. And now August.
And now it's been 4 years since The Event that Must Not Be Named... and here I am, living back at home, in the same room I moved back to 4 years ago, feeling the same pain, so much so tthat I'm starting to think just doesn't go away. I'm in that emotional space where I set up walls, and I shut down, and I lose hope. I get jealous, and scared, and I can't help myself but I still say things that I don't mean to people who are important to me. And the people close to me, in turn, go to their emotional defenses, and suddenly I'm spiky, and my partner's spiky, and I'm suddenly this terrified, lashing-out, robot of a human being, and he (rightly so), has had enough emotional drainage and he leaves the room ... so where do I go? Youuuu got it, abandonment. Damn you, daddy issues!!!!! UGGGGH!!! Will healing NEVER come?????
This may sound exactly like every other post I've ever posted... but will I ever have control of changing my thoughts and emotions? Tony Robbins, Abraham-Hicks, Cheryl Richardson, Louise Hay, and Deepak Chopra say I do.
I'm beginning to think they're lying.
Oooh, or maybe, they're aliens from outer space who have come to Planet Earth to taunt us with their incredible mind-changing powers... yeah, that's it, they have these powers and although they know we are completely unable to do what they do, they tell us we can, just so that we can howl in frustration trying to do the impossible.
Yes, that's most definitely it ... aliens from outer space. Not even just the rich "motivational" people, but really, anyone who's successful. Even your most successful of friends, you know the ones, those who are always just one step ahead of you with their success and their positive, "go-getter" personality. Fuck them. Aliens. All of them.
So once again, I start a blog with one intention, and it turns into a lashing-out on alien mind-shifters who are planning to kill the normal people with their insidious ways.
But please, please, please, dear readers, please tell me I'm not crazy. I'm allowed to wallow a little, after 4 years of awful, awful stuff... and please tell me that the aliens are really out to get us.
Love, love, love.
Posted by Megan Phillips at 1:00 PM
Monday, June 14, 2010
You know when you experience things in the spur of the moment, and you are like a THOUSAND percent sure that the world is going to end... and then it doesn't? And then it's like this weird space -- half numbed, half-filled with flashbacks of how STUPID you were, how SUCKY last night was, the teensiest bit better, but filled with thoughts of trying to numb it all out?
That's how I feel. Today SUCKED. I was crying so hard as I was walking down the street that 2 different panhandlers, on 2 separate occasions, asked me if I was ok. Seriously.
I've shared my story with a few different people, gotten a few different perspectives, too, since last night. Some super sweet ones, some kick-in-the-ass-it-hurts-but-its-the-truth ones. I heard their words. Yes, "heard". Doesn't mean I'll listen but I heard.
I'll try and relay the wisdom of the very wise goddesses in my life as best I can. (Trust me, they've said it much better than I ever could). I'm putting them in order of what's easiest for me to believe right now, down to what's hardest to believe.
1. This too shall pass. india.arie said it best, I'm sure some other people in history have said it too. Ten years from now... heck, six months from now, this will feel like a small blip -- and if i treat it right away with the "right" cosmic energy, it won't even leave a scar.
2. I'm not the only one involved in this decision. There is somebody else's needs to consider here, someone who I've come to really love and care for very strongly.
3. It's not meant to be... it's just not my time to shine yet...these things happen for a reason. Hoo boy, that's a hard one. When it's not just any opportunity, but a dream role you've seen yourself as for years and years and years... and suddenly it's offered on a silver platter and then even more suddenly it's taken away... how the F*CK do you see it as "not meant to be"????? Because -- seriously now Mr. Panhandler, what MORE does a girl have to do? Going hard into debt for attending a prestigious musical theatre school... having a Masters Degree in Theatre? Getting crushed by a car and learning about universal laws? Auditioning for 4 years and doing more free shows than the guy across the street who walks naked in his apartment regularly? And, while we're on this, do tell Mr. Panhandler, what is this REASON? Hasn't a girl had enough REASONS ? Doesn't a girl get a freaking BREAK from REASON from time to time?
4. I am talented and my time will come. This one is just like the last one, only in reverse. And because it's in the positive... I am that much less prepared to accept it. GOD it's hard to think in the positive in this mind-set.
But... it's perspective, isn't it. What is reality without our filters? Our zany, damaged, certifiably insane filters.
OK, the end. Until the beginning. Or maybe this is the middle. I suppose it depends on your perspective....
Posted by Megan Phillips at 3:30 PM
Have you ever had an upcoming opportunity that you were living for? Fighting for? Have you ever had something that was so incredible that it kept you going, even when times were really tough? And you could tell yourself, "well, this is all just a stepping stone, and this unbelievable, fantastic opportunity that is coming up, that will for sure happen, it will be worth what you I am doing now, I can't even believe this is going to happen to me, I am the luckiest girl alive?"
And now, imagine that this opportunity - promised to you by someone you dearly love and trust-- this light at the end of the tunnel, this beautiful mirage of wonder... imagine that just as it's coming into your grasp... it gets yanked away. The same loving hand that promised it to you has cruelly pulled it out of your very close hand and given it to the hand of someone else, someone who doesn't appreciate it, someone who couldn't think twice about it.
I wish I could get more into specifics. And of course I know that because I'm writing in the midst of some serious emotional pain so of course I am overreacting. But this pain, it feels like someone is rubbing scathing coals all over my burned entrails. Every so often I get a gasp where I have to cry because that is the only way I know how to deal with the fact that I have lost a LOT of faith in my confidence that my career will one day take off. That I will, one day, actually get a role that I can be proud of ... a real one, not a false hope, not a pipedream.
It is rocking my faith in the Universal Plan, and certainly in my "belief" that eventually, things work out. Because they certainly don't feel like it today. So Angels, if you're there, if there has ever been a cry for help... this is it.
Posted by Megan Phillips at 12:38 AM
Monday, March 8, 2010
So the Olympics ended 8 days ago, and Vancouver is still here. Who'd've thought? Life continuing on past the Olympics?
So there are a lot of topics I want to cover in this blank page, as it were. Life lessons. Meeting and moulding the goddess within. Fear of living in creativity.
So where do I start?
I don't know. But what I can say, is that my life lessons over the past month have been the opposite of "few and far between": they've been copious and constantly happening. I was the AM supervisor of this kick-ass team that Coca-Cola assembled for their Olympic Pavilion, called the "Happiness House". It was comprised of 138 staff members, and a whole lotta awesome.
Also, a whole lotta HAPPENING. With 40 staff members on the floor at any given time, 7000+ people walking through our doors daily over our 17-day run, there certainly was a huge learning curve. And I feel the need to share some key learnings with you. As I walk away from one of the greatest experiences of my life so far, the absolute worst thing I could do would be to walk away from analyzing (and blogging about!) the growth that has happened.
And even more of a travesty would be to not acknowledge the incredible character traits from my fellow staff members that I have watched and learned from. The ways that - one fellow Sup in particular - would deal with every single challenge with not just grace and wisdom, but with a sense of humour and an honest-to-goodness smile... not one of those fake, sardonic ones, but a real one, that suddenly makes the "Mountain" a mere "Pebble in the road".
Does that sound cliche? I think it does. But it's true. So I am going to share with you 4 pillars of growth I've encountered over the past 5 weeks of my life.
Patience is not just a song by K-Os. There are going to be a lot of weird things that happen, and there are going to be a lot weird people who react in even weirder ways to these things. And in the past, I've wanted to say rash things in the moment, make some harsh judgments, and promptly regret any words spoken out of haste.
In my next project, I pledge patience. I pledge to breathe into the situation, and to find the difference between "intuition" and "rage". To find that it is perhaps more appropriate to be empathetic than to yell at someone, or talk behind their backs.
Service with a Smile is not only at MacDonald's. One of my greatest inspirations throughout the Happiness House was an incredible lady from Atlanta, Georgia, who some of you may know. She happens to be one of the most shining, bright lights I have ever met... who also happens to be - hands down - the hardest worker I know. Her work ethic is unreal. I don't think she slept more than 3 hours a night throughout the entire time, but man -- was her smile ON. Always. And it wasn't one of those creepy smiles, the kind that Chuckie wore or Jack Nicholson in The Shining. It was a real smile. A smile that told the Universe and anyone around her that not only can she handle the challenge, but she will make friends with it and maybe we can all sit down and have dinner one day.
In my next project, I pledge happiness. Real happiness -- not fake happiness. I pledge real smiles... and to carry them through to everybody I meet.
Courage is not just for the Cowardly Lion. About 2 days into the Happiness House adventure, I had a breakdown. "Whhhaaaa???" you ask, "Megan? feeling overwhelmed? NEVER". I know, I know. Hard to believe. but I did. And I was terrified. I felt totally over my head. Out of my league. In a world I had no business being in. There was a moment, about 3pm, where my heart started to pound and I literally saw stars. I had to sit down because my legs just about gave way underneath me. And I was like, "I can't do this."
But here's the weird thing -- the world didn't end. Just when I thought it was going to -- it didn't. And I proceeded to breathe, and function, and exist. Just ... the outside kind of changed a little.
So charging forward... I pledge courage. I pledge to not let down my ancestors - those strong ladies who pioneered into the New World and left behind all they knew - because no matter what, I'm still breathing, baby!
Endurance is not just for Olympic athletes. I figured this all needed at least one Olympic allusion. The last week of the Happiness House was - though happy - truly exhausting. Happy exhausting. But with very little sleep. And let me remind you... I do love my sleep.
Our hockey team won gold. We won gold against a team that beat us 2-0 not a week before. A team that was REALLY good. Near the beginning of the Olympics, when we were fresh, and more awake.
And then we played day in, day out... and one week later, the very last game of the Games, we played what could be the most incredible hockey game ever. We kicked it into overdrive, we followed through, and just when it looked like we were a shoe-in to win... they scored a goal and tied the game. WHAT?!?! Where did THAT come from?
So what did our boys do? Easy -- they could've thrown in the towel. But they didn't. They played as if their lives depended on it... and of course the rest is history.
So in my next project, I pledge to find the endurance to find the strength within to kick it into overdrive... and then to follow through and take it home... to stay with the project right to the very end.
And THAT is what I've learned. Yo.
Posted by Megan Phillips at 8:30 PM
Monday, March 1, 2010
Been a while since I've posted, ain't it?
March 1st. It's March 1st. The Coca-Cola Happiness House stint has ended ... a phenomenal experience, to say the least. The people met: awesome. The experience gained: incredible. The contacts made: unbeatable. Contract, from November, 2009 to Feb, 2010.... OVER.
And... so the crazy question lingers....
You know when you do a show, and you get so close to the cast in such a short amount of time, and suddenly it ends... there's like this vacuum of energy. No wind-up, no wind-down... ya just hit the ground running and hope you swim rather than sink. At the very least, tread water.
Maybe not all of you are actors. So maybe the high school analogy is a bit better.... so much intensity, in such a short amount of time... and then what?
I have no idea what's ahead. I know that it's this paradoxical way to live... I thrive under pressure, in the heat of the moment and knowing there's a specific beginning, middle, and end to the contract... but then I get so freaked out when I actually create the space to do my art.
Oh, that's funny. I meant to write, "when I don't know what's next to pay the bills" ... but what came out was, "to do my art".
Does that mean... I should start writing again? Does that mean... do I HAVE to honour my inner child and deepest ambitions?
Oh god... the panic is starting again. I'm going to go clean my room now. I don't have any answers. I just needed to write what I wrote in the knowledge that you, who are reading this, are the perfect reader.
And please - if you have any responses - I am all ears! (Well, at least, I'll use the 2 I have).
Posted by Megan Phillips at 1:07 PM