Friday, July 27, 2012

Puerto Rico

Friday. :) I love Friday, once I get off work. I have the weekend to breathe. Well, that and practice for the musical. I think I can call that my exposure therapy for until the show is done. It isn't all OCD, at least I don't think it is. Its being there with people. It's wondering what people are thinking of me. It's wishing I was home and could go to bed or do something alone in the safety of my apartment (i.e. safe from other people's judgement - there are at least physical walls between me and any person who could disapprove). Its wondering why I can't learn the words and the dance faster. Its trying not to take criticism too personally. It's trying to improve without going overboard. It's enjoying a shared moment when another cast member lets me into their life for a moment (i.e., they acknowledge my presence with eye contact and they don't look upset that I'm there and they maybe even look friendly). It's enjoying the music and then getting irritated by parts of songs that have run through my head tooooo many times. Yeah, it's a big mix of feelings and thoughts and dance and singing and words and movement and locations. And it's stretching me. But it is a dream coming true; the dream just stuck to the good parts and missed lots of the challenging parts.

We were told to bring our own props this time. That means a mug for "coffee" (pretend coffee) and a tablet of paper and a pen. Or a pencil, but I like pens better, so my character can, too. I'm not completely sure how realistic it would be for an executive of a toy company to spend all day writing on a tablet of paper, but oh, well, I'm not carrying a computer around for that.

I looked at three stores before I found the perfect mug, but when I found it, I was delighted. The perfect mug was white plastic, but looked enough like a generic mug. And it cost less than a dollar, because it was a thrift store mug. At home, I decorated it with the two colors of permanent marker that I own. I was a little afraid I would ruin it, but I'm pretty happy with how it came out.

Good news; I almost got the Spanish phrase right; it should be "Isla del Encanto," not have an a at the end. Shortly after returning to the US after I lived there for two school years, I would draw pictures of coconut trees and the ocean. The pictures would give me a peaceful, pleased feeling. To my surprise, they still do.

My time in Puerto Rico was really special in that, most of the time I was there, I felt I had purpose in being alive and I enjoyed living there with the warm weather and the beautiful trees and ocean and bright light from the sun (tropics). My vague instant recollection would be of light and freedom. I've heard that OCD can be thrown off track by a large change in location/environment, and moving to Puerto Rico was definitely that. No one from my stateside life ever physically was present in Puerto Rico, and I didn't know anyone from Puerto Rico (except for a couple phone calls and their websites) until I went there. I went from semi-arid to near a rainforest, from a place that gets snow in the winter (and where one just might want to wear their jacket early in the morning on the 4th of July) to a tropical island, from a place that spoke English to one where Spanish, American Sign Language, and English were all used. It was a big change. I don't know what helped me. The sunshine, feeling my life had meaning because I knew I was helping the little kids I worked with (though I can have that somewhat here), being accepted as myself instead of as one of the many kids in my family at home, loving my work (even while I joked that I wanted to retire on multiple afternoons). Who knows. But it was a special time.

I guess it's also a loss currently; I had close friends there, but we don't have much contact now. And it was a job, a role (position), a place, and a culture that I loved. So whatever the how-to-deal-with-grief steps are, I don't think I'm completely out of them, though I've accepted the move a lot more now than I used to.

This picture (at least the one above) is from 2007.
 This plant is named Esmirilda (or Miry - pronounced Meery). She was my pet plant when I lived in PR.

Well, there's my walk down memory lane. (And the pictures are a random collection of pictures from various locations in Puerto Rico taken from my other blog, because I don't have any other pictures with me right now.) When I do try to do that meditation stuff that involves imagining a place, I usually try to imagine a beach in Puerto Rico.

1 comment:

  1. You did a fantastic job with the mug--it looks great! The photos of PR are beautiful. I can understand you loving the place. Maybe some day, if you want to, you can go back. My step-daughter's husband is from PR, and he misses it.