Monthly Archives: June 2012

Double Rainbow! What Does It Mean?!

I’m sure many of you have seen the viral “Double Rainbow” video on YouTube (some of you might have even listened to the song). Well, I am here to tell you that I saw a double rainbow today on my way home from a meeting, and let me tell you, it was pretty damn good timing. Here is the context in which I saw the double rainbow: the meeting I was in had already ended, and now the three of us that were left were discussing (what else) men. More specifically, how we’re sick and tired of looking for men to date, but we can’t seem to stop thinking about the issue either, which induces more frustration and exhaustion. It’s that old saying: “The more you try to stop thinking about something, the more you think about it.”

Well, I left the conversation feeling a little bit better just by the fact that I got quite a few things off my chest, but I still had some things on my mind. Off I went towards home. It was on the main highway that I noticed the rainbow. It was so bright and clear and just shot straight up into the sky. And then I noticed it was indeed a full rainbow. And then, as I looked closer (which probably wasn’t quite a smart thing to do while driving), I noticed that there was, indeed, a faint second rainbow almost hugging the first. It certainly was a “double rainbow, all the way across the sky”! And I just sat there in my car looking at this lovely glimmer of light and colour and I felt extremely peaceful. And then I realized that was exactly what I needed.

I don’t know about you, but it’s been quite a while since I’ve seen a rainbow, and seeing one today (especially a double rainbow) makes me feel like the rainbow was a sign. Yes, I know, how typical to have a rainbow be a sign of good and beauty in the world. But isn’t that the point? I don’t think people can truly look at a rainbow in the sky and say, “Ick… what a gross phenomenon of nature. Get that ugly thing out of the sky!”

So, as a result, I will say that the rainbow I saw today is a sign… maybe not that things are going to be okay right now and Prince Charming is going to walk in my door, but that there is hope that everything will work itself out eventually. And to philosophize further, as I was driving home, the rainbow kept fading and fading until it disappeared completely as I pulled into the driveway. Contrary to what some people might think of this fact, I don’t think that the rainbow fading has to do with hope fading. Rather, hope is always there, like the potential for rainbows, but it chooses to show itself completely when you need it most.

In any case, I certainly feel better.

Is there one, special thing that always has the power to make you feel good?

Joyanne 😀

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Just Say “NO!” (and maybe learn how to perfect the ‘stink eye’)

Imagine this scene: a woman is walking to her car with her hands full with grocery bags when a man approaches her and tries to help her with the bags. She says, “No thank you, I’ve got it,” but the man keeps persisting two or three more times, not listening to any “no, thank you,” she has to offer. Finally, very frustrated, the woman says, “I said NO!”:

“Man: What a bitch. What’s your problem, lady?  I was just trying to offer a little help to a pretty woman. What are you so paranoid about?

Woman: You’re right. I shouldn’t be wary. I’m overreacting about nothing. I mean, just because a man makes an unsolicited and persistent approach in an underground parking lot in a society where crimes against women have risen four times faster than the general crime rate, and three out of four women will suffer a violent crime; and just because I’ve personally heard horror stories from every female friend I’ve ever had; and just because I have to consider where I park, where I walk, whom I talk to, and whom I date in the context of whether someone will kill me or rape me or scare me half to death; and just because several times a week someone makes an inappropriate remark, stares at me, harasses me, follows me, or drives alongside my car pacing me; and just because I have to deal with the apartment manager who gives me the creeps for reasons I haven’t figured out , yet I can tell by the way he looks at me that given an opportunity he’d do something that would get us both on the evening news; and just because these are life-and-death issues most men know nothing about so that I’m made to feel foolish for being cautious even though I live at the center of a swirl of possible hazards doesn’t mean a woman should be wary of a stranger who ignores the word ‘no’.

This excerpt comes from Gavin De Becker’s book, The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us From Violence. I recently read an article called, “The art of ‘no,’ continued: saying no when you’ve already said yes” (click here for entire article). The title intrigued me, so I clicked on the link and proceeded to learn a bit about De Becker’s book, which the article is based on. As a result, I am now reading the book proper and I sure do find it interesting, mostly because I feel a kinship with the lady in the above excerpt.

Now, I’m not trying to gender stereotype (and De Becker does say this as well), but I do feel like as a woman I have to watch “where I park, where I walk, whom I talk to, and whom I date in the context of whether someone will kill me or rape me or scare me half to death”. It is not fun to feel in fear for my life much of the time. And the thing is that many of my male friends don’t really seem to realize this.

It is known, I think, to many of those who know me, that I have perfected what I like to call the ‘death look,’ synonymous with ‘stink eye,’ and that it most often comes out at the bar. Regardless of how many nice men there may be at bars, I do not wish to be picked up by any of them (bars for me connotate sleazy men who just want to get in my pants), and so the ‘death look’ comes out to play, thereby driving all potential suitors away. And then all the comments start rolling in: “You’ll never meet a guy that way,” “They might be nice if you gave them a chance,” “I’m not a bad guy and I go out to the bar,” etc, etc, etc.

I am so sick of this expectation of having to accommodate and consider men’s feelings. What about my feelings, my safety? So what if I don’t want men to pick me up at bars? There are plenty of places to meet people that I don’t consider sleazy or unsafe (granted, violence can happen anywhere, which is why this book is helpful thus far; it really helps shatter your perceptions of what’s safe and what isn’t). And I understand that not all men are bad, since I feel I do have some very trustworthy male friends. But, men, understand that a lot of women do live in this reality and if you’re a really good guy, sometimes the best thing to do is just leave a girl alone. At least you’ll know what’s up when she yells, “NO!” to your help.

And ladies, listen to your intuition. This is the number one rule De Becker keeps bringing up. And read the book. It might just save your life someday; I’m certainly not waiting to find out.

Joyanne 😀

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Somehow, Someday

How do you know if you’re every going to make it? I mean really make it? And when I say make it, I mean do what you love your entire life and still be able to support yourself? It’s one thing if your dream is to be a doctor, or a lawyer, or even a teacher. But what about being a performer? I guess in order to make it, you really need to want it. And I don’t know if I want it enough.

I love theatre. Every time I watch a show, I can guarantee I will find someplace to cry because I’m touched so much, because I want to be up there doing what those performers do. But I don’t know if I have the drive to really live that way. To live paycheck to paycheck. I mean, I guess I’m basically doing that now, but working at a theatre is different than working in it.

Can I really work in theatre? I really can’t answer that question. Why? Because I still don’t know who I am. How can I know what I’m supposed to do if I don’t know myself yet? I want to work in theatre, but does theatre want to work with me? I have a lot of different views than many of my theatre friends and I’m not sure I completely belong in that world.

But if I don’t try, how can I know? How can any of us know if we can be that doctor, lawyer, or teacher unless we try? No. I take that back. How can we know unless we do it? And I must do it. So, I will. I don’t know when, but I will. Let this be my promise: I will work in theatre. Somehow. And it will be through something that I care a lot about, even if I am ahead of my time.

Joyanne 😀

 

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Writing What I Know

They say that if you want to write, write what you know. But what if what I know isn’t interesting enough? I guess whether or not it’s interesting enough doesn’t really matter, just as long as what I know is true. So, what do I know?

I know the Ukrainian culture; I know the Ukrainian Catholic faith. I know what it’s like to be unpopular, teased, and bullied. I know what it’s like to be a bully. I know what it’s like to feel like everything I’m doing is wrong. I know what it’s like to finally get something right. I know what it’s like to be a part of a community and not feel like I’m a part of it at all. I know what it’s like to find those rare moments of true acceptance and peace. I know what it’s like to feel like I’m everywhere and nowhere at the same time. I know about expectations and how it feels to come short of them and how it feels to exceed them. I know about pride and not wanting to ask for help. I know about letting go of pride and asking for help and how important that is. I know about the power of breath and energy and that they are real and necessary. I know about impulses and how stifling it feels to ignore them, and, also, how liberating it is to give in to them. I know what it feels like to think my oldest friends don’t understand me anymore. I know what it feels like to say good bye and how important it is to say hello in the first place. I know what regret feels like and I know I don’t like regret. I know how hard it is to take risks, but when I do, it can be the most rewarding feeling to leap off that edge. As long as I don’t fall flat on my face. But if I do fall flat on my face, I know that that the scrapes will heal and the scars will fade, and sooner or later I will start feeling normal again. If not, reconstructive surgery is always a possibility. I know that I have gifts that nobody else possesses, and that others have gifts that I don’t possess. And that’s how it should be. You can’t do everything, so you might as well do what you like. I know how to polka and the thrill of spinning around so fast that everything’s a blur. I know what it feels like when my favourite sports team wins the biggest game of the season and what it feels like when they lose. I know what bad days feel like and what good days feel like. And I know that it takes very little to change the day from one to the other and that is both a curse and a blessing. I know the joy of hearing my favourite song come on the radio and singing along at the top of my lungs while the people in neighbouring cars probably think I’m a lunatic. I know what it feels like to finally realize that I can do anything I want and how hard it is when someone tells me they don’t think it’s possible. But I know it is possible. Only when we think something is impossible is something impossible. Thought is power, so to succeed you have to think positively. And I know how hard it is to think positively all the time. If, however, we strive to think at least one positive thought a day, even if the day completely feels like shit, we will be that closer to a good day, a good month, a good year, a good life. I know what it’s like to worry and I know that it isn’t necessary; it’s inevitable, but it isn’t necessary, and the more we let go of our worries, the sooner we can learn to live that good day, month, year, life.

I know what it’s like to feel like a hypocrite, especially as I write these words. But I am human and being human means living in a constant paradox of how I feel and how I think I should feel. And I know that it’s usually better to just feel how I feel and not think about it. The world is full of endless possibilities and experiences and it’s up to all of us to go forth and explore them and hope for the best. For things find a way of working themselves out eventually, one way or another.

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