Monday, December 11, 2017

"Own What You Did"

Recently, I was watching an old episode of one of my absolute favorite shows of all time. Naturally a show about the therapeutic process and functional and dysfunctional relationships alike: In Treatment. If you haven't seen the fabulous series, this was an HBO original series that spanned three marvelous seasons from 2008  to 2011. Really every element of this series hit all the nails on their heads...well most nails on most heads, I always have at least one partial bone to partially pick. But I digress. So int his recent viewing, I was on the episode wherein Paul (read: Irish calm-but-yet-very-troubled handsome Dr. Westin) finds himself finally in the house of one of his former patients with whom he was madly and passionately infatuated. Lauuuuura. If you've seen the show, you'll recall the rationale behind my prolonged spelling. Yes, beautiful troubled sex-loving innocent dove patient Laura. And yes, I say infatuated and not in love purposely. But again I digress. In this episode, Paul has just come from chez Laura to the doorstep of his brilliant therapist, the incomparable Gina, played by none other than divinely wonderful Dianne Wiest. Paul shares with her, through what is evident shame and humiliation, that when it came down to that moment in the bedroom with Laura, only half clothed in her beautiful body and aura, Paul "just couldn’t do it."  "What,  you mean you couldn't perform?" "I...I had a fucking panic attack, a “classic textbook panic attack.” With this information, Gina pauses, she ponders, .

When Paul was faced with the very situation in which he had imagined, the moment of his dreams, he did nothing but panic. Unconsciously yes. Unpurposely no. He shamefully recounts to Gina what occurred embarrassed and clearly horrified. In her calm as only an amazing therapist could have manner, she speaks to him softly and confidently, “Paul, you know, that panic attack was you. It was the best of you. You had that panic attack in order to save yourself from a situation you knew was wrong but which you wanted so badly you had to have a panic attack to save yourself from it. Take credit for what you did.”
I have seen this episode likely around 6 times total yet in watching it this time, this moment struck me acutely. The human essence is not always overtly understandable...even those amongst us who supposedly hone the keenest sense of human behavior and thought processes, motivators behind actions, Paul, the wonderful universal therapist, in a moment of personal plight, desire mixed together into one fatal potion, even Paul did not consciously recognize his action. I love Gina's take on the situation -- Paul's panic attack was the best of him and while not overtly recongized as being the key player in the moment, it saved him from himself and from a potentially dangerous and ill fitted scenario play out.

Now, why am I taking the time on this arbitrary episode of a show from nearly a decade ago? Well, after being struck by this just a couple days ago, then coming down with a virus nastier than the worst panic attack you could experience, I told a good friend this morning of my sickness. "How was your weekend, dear friend?" "Well," I retort, "I got somehow suddenly and violently ill Friday and have been sick ever since." My sweet wise friend is just that -- she is kind beyond comprension and other worldly wise. "My dear Rachel, you are right, your body had enough, it knew it had to shut down and to take you down with it in order to get some respite and rest. So, it did."

She said this to me factually and confidently this morning, no hesitation or ponderence included -- her words were fact and boy were they accurate.

The sequence of this beautiful deep episode, followed in cadence by violent illness on my part, to my dear friend's woefully wise words. I say all this to say--the mind body connection is real. While not always tangible, while sometimes easy to push aside, an exercise at which we are ALL scarily skilled in these interesting times, the connection is true and real and despite the ability we have honed to separate the two entities at times, it will not disconnect. Psychosomaticism is one thing, yes, and a topic for a whole other blog post entirely, but the mind body connection is another.

Paul's overwhelming desire for Laura was too much for him to handle, he went to her because he had to. In the end, his body saved him. Don't Paul, I know  you think you want this but in the true depths of yourself, we both know you don't, it coaxed him with its shortness of breath and sweaty palms. Oxymoronical yes, false no. The calming reassurance of a panic attack. But actually yes, just that. While Paul possessed not the ability to tear himself away, the real Paul did. And he came to the rescue -- Paul saved himself, an act both admirable and miraculous from psychological and personal perspectives (say that three times fast!).

Like Paul, my own personal overdrive toward the relentless pursuit of perfection, in work, in life, in the world... I seem to lack the ability to put it on pause. (Unpurposeful alliteration continues!). I go and go and run and run, work and write and speak and do...run some more, wash it all down with a swig or three... life times three, life on speed. On occasion, I see myself with the perspective of an outsider and have the momentary, slow down, honey, take it easy, "done is better than perfect"...yada yada bang bang and all that jazz. But just like Paul, when it comes down to those moments, my overt conscious self simply cannot seem to rest. I feel sick? Oh well, off to work and gym and plans we go. I am exhausted? Onto the next activity....and on and on and so forth.

The recent weeks, however, have proven too much for me to go on like that. I have been down and out and up and down. So when on Friday my body seemed to instantly and suddenly shut down, it was a Paul-in-the-bedroom-panic-attack moment, er, many moments. My body just simply had to shut down in order to allow me a break. For had it not I would still be raging forward, up to here in acid, toxins, overspoken, overflowing and undone. It knew, though, it couldn't take that anymore. So, like dear CL mused, it shut it itself down and taped itself up, protested current status and silently protested until I had no choice. I gave in. I was violently ill for half a day, and when that passed, there was nothing left but up. I could not drink an ounce, eat a shroud of anything but clear clean fresh liquids...my body essentially created a new start for me without giving me a choice. Again. (But I won't get into that now). So now here I am, on day 3 of rest, of clean eating and drinking, clear minding and mending, and for once and perhaps only, grateful for sickness and for the  indescribable miracle of the human mind and body.

"That panic attack was yours Paul."

"That sickness is mine, Rachel."

Own what you did. "If everything were conscious, we therapists wouldn't have anything to do."

Sometimes we have to give ourselves credit for more than we actually understand. And right now, I'm just fine with that.

Thank you, body, for reacting and taking responsibility for me when I didn't and couldn't do it myself. I appreciate it and I appreciate you.

"Thanks for the save." <3 p="">

<3 p="">
<3 p="">I love you always, Grandma.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Motivational Media Moments

I remember when Programmatic Media was born. I remember I came to work that morning, still donning my "traditional not-yet-integrated-or-digitized" Associate Director hat, sat down at my desk like any other day, and all of a sudden "programmatic" was every other word out of the mouths of the media babes surrounding my big girl glass office. "Programmatic this" and "DSP that", "auction it" "white list it"... what in God's name were they all taking about? Where and when did this all that new digital-ish jargon-y gobbledy gook come from and so quickly? TV today, DSP tomorrow... not my catchiest original phrase but what can you do, it's Friday.

But I digress. As a thirty-something working at an agency in a then-still-traditional role in the early 2010 days. my insecurity at aging myself out of the industry had already commenced. But the mere thought of learning a whole new-ish realm of media planning at that particular moment seemed daunting to say the least. Not insurmountable, but steep. I was already established in my career, thought I knew my strengths and the incessant digital chatter that surrounded me at the time, instead of fueling me, scared the living shit out of me. Why the idea of a few new acronyms, optimizations and new ad formats would intimate me, the self-proclaimed tech lover (I would call myself iRachel or iBunny or something equally as cute but I would never dare to encroach on the fabulous iJustine's turf, love that chick), I could not tell you. Nope, I could not. But for some odd reason, it did. It just freaked me out. Digital ad planning and buying... maybe I will dress up as a CPM next Tuesday, after all, it is Halloween season. Alas I digress again. Back then, in the 2010s, print circs, GRPs, and OOH showings hugged my irrationally intimidated media soul, and CPEs, CPCs, and open exchanges were enough to drive me right off a cliff.

As I sit here now, my overworked laptop over-running itself with digital wrap up reports, programmatic spend reports and optimization recommendations beckoning my review, I can only chuckle at the narrower (ahem) media version of me of those days past. I cannot place my still-manicured finger on the moment in time when I morphed right into the very digitized version of Media Director that had intimidated me previously. I really cannot. Was it in those freelance-laden months of Women's Healthing for that moment there? Was it that first Twitter POV that appeared on my to do list that just had to get done? Perhaps the Instagram SWOT? I believe it was all of these, plus countless more of course... working in tandem with the personal growth I concurrently experienced during that time. Strip away the fear and replace it with action. The endeavor to cut down on the overthinking and replace it with action-oriented thinking. What we do in our personal selves ineveitably carries over to our work selves, and as I tend to write frequently, back and forth and around again.

Digital media planning is not scary, it does not have big black fangs, a black cloak or prickly spikes that bite you when you click your overworked keyboard. It isn't simple, but it isn't impossible. Yes, it necessitates trail sneakers to get up the learning curve instead of flat crosstrainers but, hey, I prefer a trail run to a walk any day. The endeavor to embrace and learn that which has the ability to intimidate us, is, for me at least, the most challenging aspect of the whole. Instead of allowing the unknown to knock us down in fear, I have found the key is to alternately, let it drive us up. At the risk of being much too cliche and cheesy in a media-based blog post, Michelle Obama certainly is a smart one. "When they go low, we go high." Sure, maybe the former first lady didn't say that with digital media buys in mind but hey, I'm all for universality and I'm sure she is too.

I say all this to say, as the essentially Digital Media Director I've evolved to be, and as per some wise folks along the way, the fear is ultimately what pushes us the farthest. In media, in motivation, and all around.

With digitized and optimized fondness,
Rachel

Thursday, July 20, 2017

on therapy

...sometimes i berate myself for having spent so much money on simply talking to another human being over these past years...on "wasting" my precious and so hard earned dollars, just on another person's ear...another person who was never "really" invested in me from the start, right? no, but that is not right at all, in any way, in any form, or any how. what entity in the world, what possession, what diamond, what latest iphone or louis vuitton, what new fad ripped denim of the moment could be any more important than the value of speaking your truth to another person, a caring and WISE beyond words human being? what thing, what gem, what tangible entity, is more precious or worth more of my penny than myself and that which serves to make me more whole?

to anyone who deigns to challenge, demerit the value of human to human connection and more than that, the value of therapeutic work, i have this to say: if you are truly blessed enough to say this, if you are one of those among us who need not the help of another, well, i am happy for you. in fact, i am envious...might i say even jealous. if you are that person, that woman or man who can live simply and seek not the guidance of therapeutic connection, consider it a gift. as someone who is not this person, i say this not with snark or anger but with true admiration. but for me, for what i know to be true in this life, there is nothing more valuable; no better venue in which, no better person to pay, no possession more worth my "hard-earned" dollar, than that and whom to which i owe my stability. 

we pay for country clubs, we pay to sit in the sun, to get our necks and feet and shoulders rubbed, for these experiences bring us lasting joy, restfulness or calm. or any combination therein the sun is not a finite moment on our skin for better or for worse for that matter. the effect of its blonde yellow rays is lasting -- it stays on our exterior, browning us to beauty relighting our heart-shaped bulbs in our interior. the experience of the massage is not limited to 60 minutes -- it stays in our joints and our being for much longer than that. and so, we pay for that. we open our wallets and our minds to so much -- we cloak our nude nails in neon, transform our locks into colors never in natural occurrence from human follicles, we trim our lines, slim our waists, drape ourselves in capes and denim alike. we pay for all these these things, and yet some leave our (or more appropriately, their) souls uncloaked. but not me, not she, not thee. just as the blonde rays of the sun stay with us, so do the words, the bright smiles, the hugs, the love, the realness of a connected human entity.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

On Mothers

Maybe some people are born to have two mothers. For some unknown reason. Some silent quiet reason none of us may ever know. The same reason that some us have the gift. The. Gift. That special unexplainable silent knowing gift. The wisdom of knowing things that are not said. The gift of the wisdom of the mind and the soul and the universe existing as one. The gift of a few. Yes, the gift Susan spoke of. My old true wise friend. Mi amiga especial. 
Maybe that reason is the very reason why I have two mothers. Yes. Maybe that is the same quiet reason for it. Maybe and maybe not. I do not know for certain but I do I think so. Feel so. I have the gift and it is known. People around spill their minds and the darkest deepest parts of their shredded selves to me without prompt. This has happened always. From the start. I know it. I have known it in my heart since before I could assign words to it and before I can remember. "There are those who know the things that are not said."
I also have two mothers. One who bore me. One who raised me in teenage turmoil and tough trails, in moody angst and impatience. One who listened to me complain, who smelled the pot I smoked, saw the trials and tribulations of my perfectly scraggled pointy-edged, in the lines youth. Then I have another one. One who came into my life. My adult life. My other mother. The one who knows me and does not get scared of me and hugs me the same. The other mother from the other place with the bangs and blonde highlights and loving eyes. Yes this is the other mother who helped bring me back from the dead to the living. Who hugged me and yelled at me and hugged me again through eyeliner less, emotional and emotionless days. Flat days, bumpy days, swollen eyes and raging ambivalence. The oxymoron there is intentional, never fear. The other mother with patience and caring intonation in her east coast voice the same. My use of the word “patient” throughout this streaming river of conscience is also not lost. Intentionally unintentional as they or we or I say.
I am lucky. I have a mother in my blood and a mother in my bones. Mothers and Figures. Curvy figures and straight ones. Figures of circles. Mother. Figure. A word that has been intentionally lacking to this point. It has been present, though, in the reality realm but not in the realm of the heart. I write from the truth of my heart rather than from the truth of the facts. And so I write to this point with the intentional absence of that one medium sized word. Mother. Mother figure. Figure. I have a mother and I have a therapist but both are moms just the same. I am a lucky girl. Lucky human. Woman. Thank you DC/MK, for both being and in my life, in the dark and the light and consistently in my heart. Siempre en mi corazon. 
Amor y vida.

Friday, July 7, 2017

...a ghosted summer rainy breeze

Some people come into your life like a storm -- they blow in unexpectedly like the turbulent angry rainfall that drenched my slightly greasy braids on this Friday. Like dark clouds that unexpectedly release their  inner dirty demons into and unto your newly pressed jacket, your dirty sneakers and your eggshell-framed life. Those are the people you expect least, the ones who thrust their messy shit onto you, rain on your soul and your clean neat, sharp lines like disgustingly sickening toxic waste. Why you let them in and why they are allowed to stay there - that is the question, though. Rain rain go away, dirty sneakers, make your way... toxic people - why rhyme. These are the people whose clouds and bubbles should be popped and emptied far away from you, their auras toxic, their presence contaminated, like the silicon-encapsulated pesky packages at the bottom of a shiny new toy. They toy is shiny white and new in its pristine box.. only ruined by that stupid poison-filled pellet. "Caution, do not eat." Okay, I won't, and I don't. The stormy people are like poisonous-silicon filled dark clouds, raining on the parade of your new toy in your new box. Extract them like the rotten-infected tooth that plagues your little cherub cheeks; throw their dirty auras into the nearest puddle and be careful not to splash it around. 

Yes, some people come into your life like that - they turn the blue sky dark and don't blow over until the storm wreaks havoc on all below it.

Some people, though, they come in differently, like the softest lightest, moisture-free breeze blowing over your fresh face in the spring. Like that luxurious air that feels so delicious and crisp, you swear you could bite into its ripe beauty. That air that caresses your newly washed hair as you sit in the front seat of a convertible, wiping your aura and soul clean with a white air-eraser on a yellow school pencil. Swish, all is good once again. Some people are that air, they softly and sweetly smile at you with their eyes and their hearts, and wash over you with love and joy. The air that brings light that sees the light in you, through even your thickly clouded, leather-bearing exterior. These are the people who neutralize the turbulence, the blonde bangs of the sun that re-light the flickering bulb of your rusty heart-shaped lamp. 

The air is thick, the clouds dense, and the soul deep. The wind can blow in all directions, grabbing dirty jagged-edged particles in its moody unpredictable path and throwing them at your face. The turbulent storms cease and the sun inevitably comes up again, whether hours after the storm, days, or years. The sun cannot stay idle forever, the air and wind are strong enough to carry heavy loads for only so long before they break. The air and the soul run deep and dark, then run light and low. And dark and deep and light and low and back and forth and around again. The full circle of the merry go around escapes my unmanicured finger tips once more. 

The people that come in and out of your life are the wind, the rain, the air and the fog of the earth of your soul. They bounce in and out, sweep across your sweet and salty Scorpio face, contorting it upside down and right side up. human people are the salt and the sand of the cells of your soul and they polish and taint it, breeze in and out, mess up your fresh blow out, revive your lamp, lift your spirits and crush you into a shrunken pepsi can on the dirty new york sidewalks. they do all of this. and yet still, she persisted, though she be but little she is fierce and all the instagram quotes in the world to end this loosely flowing stream of dirty rain water thoughts on this steamy, humid, cloudy, bright day.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The worst affront

Photo Credit: Grammarly

A Sun of Chocolate

Good morning, good day. It is almost July. Addendum: it was July when I wrote this.

I and she and we are sad and empty then full again then empty once more. I snap and I chat and I snap rooftop hip selfies and chomp on chocolate “chewies” with salty pretzels like a girls favorite and best snack. As if like a cliff bar or a normal basic “treat.” Yum. Cheat as she says. As they all say. Cheat days! Glorious cheat days!
This toxic city and world crowded with perpetual serial dieters and robots of the chatter around them. Fat and skinny and sad Americans on their cycle of indulgence and simultaneous lack thereof. 
“A green juice for me please,” orders the business woman.
“Kale and beet purée with a hunt of almond,” dictates the body builder. “No sugar this month!”
“Almond milk and Splenda,” utters the heavy girl at the coffee counter. God forbid she poison the vibe with lactose or sugar. She mustn't.
The world of days and months of human-induced willful self deprivation we live in spins on its round axis every day. This odd place of the smallest rewards only followed after the harshest punishments.
“Five miles this am, i deserve this apple!” sounds from water cooler conversation.
“No carbs in a week, maybe just one slice of bread.” noises at the deli counter.
The girl giving away samples in the supermarket assures me I am allowed to taste the ice cream she doles. “You're tiny! Don't feel guilty!” Oh.
The regular-sized CEO man at his steak lunch. “I shouldn't be eating this I know.” “It's ok,” mutters the girl in her skinny size 2 shiny pants and stiletto heels. “Everything in moderation is just fine!” The girl whose presence is relocated on the leather couch in the beige office in midtown counsels the Big CEO Man across the table as she forks her kale salad with light dressing and water on his steak and red wine. The irony of the oxymoron of the common situation shines above her and makes her smirk.
“One fry can't hurt.”
“Enjoy them!” The small girl shrinks the CEO man.
The world of joy of thick sandwiches and birthday cake, candles dug deep in creamy vanilla frosting, the innocence of decades past. 80s and 90s, scooters and pasta, 2000s and chicken with sides of nutrition facts, Atkins and fatkins, 2010s of YouTube, puréed greens and cilantro infused chile peppered yogurt. Cupping and sipping and drinking and resisting. Whats the scoop on the goop on that boyishly thin actress. What progress we have made! She laughs. Progress… right. The hyper awareness of the calories of the day of the month is too present.
It is almost July and the sun is out. It burns the skin from her sleepy face once again and drinks the toxins from her toxicified body. The sun shines on her face like the best friend in the sky, the shades-up reminder of smiles and laughs and sandy feet. The sun radiates her being and her hips and her foggy mind and here she is again. Running and Sunning and plunging once more. Balancing and toppling over for a moment but still better yet. The locker is there still. The man with the cross in the lap lane next door. The lounges and pools and thoughts persist.
She is happy and sunny and better off still, but the thin surface remains. Ita shell hasn't yet hardened, still easy to crack. The bandaid is loose on the resistant thin surface, one end persistently curling up about to fall off. The yogurt-covered band-aid's adhesive is weak like oil on water.
But back to the sun-laden roof she dryly and happily trots. She and her chocolate band-aid-covered sharpened edges on this beautiful bright, cloudy gray day.

Perfectly put. This is one T-ed up election

http scandal://www.cc.com/video-clips/ay9dkp/the-daily-show-with-trevor-noah-fallout-from-donald-trump-s-pussygate-

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Scars. Tove Lo always on point.

Scars we carry
Carry with memories, memories burned by the dark
Try to see clearly
Tears we bury
Bury in vain cause the pain got us falling apart
Try to see clearly
Now let the healing start
The fires out of guns
We keep it in our hearts
We're like a thousand suns
Ooh, yeah, every day, step by step, we dare to love again
And if we lose our grip, meet you at the end
Know they're cutting you deep
Feel the scars in your sleep
What didn't kill us made us stronger
Stories left on our skin
Wear them with everything
What didn't kill us made us stronger
Don't feel lonely
Loneliness kills all the thrill from standing alone
Try to see clearly
Now let the healing start
The fires out of guns
We keep it in our hearts
We're like a thousand suns
Ooh, yeah, every day, step by step, we dare to love again
And if we lose our grip, meet you at the end
Know they're cutting you deep
Feel the scars in your sleep
What didn't kill us made us stronger
Stories left on our skin
Wear them with everything
What didn't kill us made us stronger
Know they're cutting you deep
Feel the scars in your sleep
What didn't kill us made us stronger
Stories left on our skin
Wear them with everything
What didn't kill us made us stronger
Feet don't fail me now, no
What didn't kill us made
What didn't kill us made us stronger
Feet don't fail me now
What didn't kill us made
What didn't kill us made us stronger
Scars we carry