I cringe calling you 'dear.'
That's because you have not been 'dear' to me, dear Pressure. Not at all:
You've brought with you feelings of inadequacy and perfectionism; taunted me with unhelpful comparison; reminded me that I am a mere mortal and my time on this planet is short so I better do something meaningful with it FAST.
You and I have had a toxic symbiotic relationship for many MANY years:
You showed up screaming and kicking when I aimed to prove myself as a teen, you kept me on point with my target in acting school, and you've messed with my head and heart for the years since. Years with ups and downs and challenges and accomplishments. Years of failures and successes. But if I'd let only YOU do the talking here: you'd say I've had 'failures and failures.' Oooh. Harsh. You are harsh, my toxic old nemesis / a limb I cannot get rid of.
I've done pretty well at keeping you at bay over the recent years. I started to see what a master of illusion you are. Always waving 'time' in front of me, like a ticking clock. I see your act now, I see it clearly. And sometimes - I laugh at it and let you simmer in the corner. Those are the good days.
We've had a lot of those good days throughout the pandemic. You were on 'stand-by', and now you're back with all your sinister toxic brutal force.
As things gradually opened up, life has regained much of its pre-pandemic normalcy. (Sure, with masks, vaccination cards and hand sanitizers.) With things returning, and industry re-emerging with its auditions and pitches, and red carpets and 'what are you working on? (puke) type questions - YOU, dear Pressure, returned as well.
How do I kick you back to simmer?! Expose what's behind the curtain? Let go of you so you cannot play on me again?!?
Or... maybe I should just embrace that you are a part of me, a HUMAN part of me.
The human who simply wants to leave her stamp on this world.
So from one human to another... get lost! Or at least... get SMALLER. Get LOWER. Get HUMBLER. Sit in the corner and let me get to where I'd like to get to, with my pals JOY and CREATIVITY.
~Your metaphoric punching bag.
Isn't for the feint of heart.
It's rather for
The ones whose hearts beat louder than words.
And maybe you'll hear their cry,
Because for the heart to open - it must break a little.
Little by little
Step by step
I raise my head
Revealing locks of wild hair and unwashed face.
Chaos, unveiling itself
Like a newborn
Coming out to the light
And the darkness
Of the life ahead.
There - a butterfly is born
And it is chaos, unveiled.
It is life, unlimited.
It is the umbilical cord, tangled.
I was re-born to be a butterfly
To be chaos
To be beauty
And maybe they are all one of the same.
When I look back at my first days writing this blog, I remember I had written posts anonymously then. It was to take the pressure off of me, to release my perfectionism, for the writing to be echoed rather than the writer. A year and a half later, I now think it was my fear of EXPOSURE that kept me from revealing my whole self.
*The state of being exposed to contact with something.
*The revelation of an identity or fact, especially one that is concealed or likely to arouse disapproval.
To me, art is at its root practice - the 'openness to be hurt.'
I have practiced that openness as an actor for many years. It's automatic today, like a muscle that knows exactly what to do, like driving, like making love. But as a writer? Sure, I suppose I have practiced writing for many years to MYSELF, to the drawer, to the page or laptop... but I am novice when it comes to revealing my words to the world.
What is it about exposure that my body reacts to even just the thought of it - with fear and tension? How come a person (oui, moi) who supposedly wants to be seen (show me one actor who DOESN'T crave that) is also terrified of being seen at all?!?
People are complicated, mixed, complex.
We are not one thing, but rather we are ALL THE THINGS.
So I will keep investigating my inner exhibitionist that likes to open her wings and then crawl into a hiding spot. Until exposure is practiced enough, and I can be open to be hurt without reservations or fears. Until then... more writing, and even more REVEALING.
So, you want to be an artist?
All us artists do is hug the cactus
Tickle the wound
Dip into lava
Do we get burned?
Yes. We sure do.
We flow in fire
In fire we flow.
I did NOT miss you at all!
Why couldn't you stay in your neck of the woods - deep in my heart - a tad longer??
Ah, right. You only come out when you are summoned. And I am the one that did the summoning. Right. ~Sigh~
I guess I must still have a craving for little ole' familiar YOU.
I mean, we go way back don't we?
Back in elementary school. FIRST day of first grade, to be specific.
Maybe even earlier but I was too young to recall our times together.
But boy do I remember you and I at that hallway, when I was taken from one classroom an hour into the first day of school and lead into another classroom. 'Did I do something wrong? Why ME?' I thought to myself as my hand was trembling holding on to whatever teacher it was that angrily pulled me out of the first class I ever set foot it. It was probably just another day for her, but for me? For me it was my unforgettable encounter with you. A deep encounter with you.
I stayed in that school for only a year, and that first day had a lot to do with it.
Today you showed up without any warning, but with that vommitty feeling in my stomach. A feeling that doesn't go away no matter how far I'll try to escape a situation. Feeling YOU at a hundred percent. And with you come thoughts: 'I'm no good. I don't want to waste anyone's time. Who am I kidding?! I am delusional! I am a delusional pile of mess! What do I know about art anyways?! How dare I?! I'm a joke!' Sometimes I go to sleep with those racing thoughts in my head. It's hardly enjoyable.
I realize in addition to crippling thoughts, you also have another bag of tricks in your collection: you make me incredibly self involved, dear Insecurity. When you are around - I cease to notice other people altogether! When you show up, I am immersed in you, so much so, that my sight is completely clouded by your presence.
And the worst thing? There is no room for Creativity to show up when you run the show. I mean, a little - sure, you let her twinkle her pretty face here and there, but you posses me so much, that even Creativity, my bestie, has to take a back seat until your terror train leaves the station.
If I sound drained, it's because, well, I AM. YOU are draining me with you insufferable 'poor me' attitude! I mean, toughen up already! Get a grip! Stop convincing me that you have value in my life, that you 'make me humble.' No - you don't. Humility doesn't truly exist in a self centered insecure sack of chaos.
If you step out of the way a little... maybe you'll give room for Humality to show up, but your constant presence definitely doesn't invite any other characteristics to show up.
You are greedy, dear Insecurity, you like to consume ALL OF ME.
But if I can help it - I am not gonna let you. You take away too much. You waste MY time. Enough is enough, dear Insecurity.
It's time you step out of the way.
I wish I could title this 'ShameLESS Self Promotion'...
but alas, the more years I live on this planet - the less narcissistic I become and therefore the less I enjoy flaunting myself or my wins to the outside world.
OR... perhaps it is that the more years I live on this planet - the more shame I collect?!? I mean - what's wrong with SOME self promotion anyways...right?
I live in a self-obsessed social media era, and I am an actress for God sake... surely some self promotion is needed for my career, and maybe it is even healthy to celebrate wins and chase validation? Wait... who am I kidding... It is NOT healthy to seek validation anywhere other than from myself. No one can value me than ME, so what's with all that shame that comes whenever I want to post a picture of myself in the cruel cold world of the wild wild web??? Not asking for a friend. Asking for the ashamed little me that shakes with self doubt anytime I post a picture of myself online.
And I have a feeling I am not alone in this shameful feeling.
The digital formats of our time have reduced our beings to 2-d flat versions of ourselves, filtered glossy versions that we choose deliberately. We collect likes and comments and follows like they were fuel for life, like they were a drug of happiness, like they were actually validating us. But they are merely an illusion of being valued. They are merely sad reminders that we have been conditioned to chase perfectionism or some societal idea of beauty, or success, or popularity. We all just want to belong. Social media gives us the perfect momentary solution to our craving: a momentary fix for our addiction to love, our need for attention, a stamp of approval to our lives.
So there. My shame is yours. Your shame is mine.
P.S. Here is a shamefully posted photo of myself. Like?
So... I learned deeper meanings for many words during the height of the global pandemic. I learned about conspiracies, and fears, and anti-science rhetoric, and loneliness, and misconception. I debated with friends and frienemies online and in person . I've gained friends. I lost a few... And I was reminded again and again on the POWER OF BELIEF.
*An acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.
*Trust, faith, or confidence in someone or something.
There is something beautiful to me about BELIEF. There is an acceptance, a surrender, a willingness to say 'I may not KNOW, but I BELIEVE...'
When it comes to people's potential and abilities - I rush to believe with all my mighty force, but when it comes to believing a tale, a narrative, a GOD - I may not rush so fast.
I may not rush AT ALL.
Beliefs are all around us - personal, collective, shared beliefs... I mean, society runs on belief. MONEY is belief! Money may be the only belief we ALL share across the globe. Oh, no, I am sure some indigenous tribe somewhere still makes their trades with rocks.
Point is: Beliefs are everywhere. Even the most skeptic atheist believes in their own hype or their loved ones' hype. And as beliefs are everywhere, so is the power or willingness we have TO believe.
If you told me
That colors are
Only in my
I would tell you
That you are full of shit
And that shit is a deep dark brown
Like the color of
And a log of wood
A Loaf of bread
And the soil after the rain.
I would tell you that
My imagination is
It's like the color of
I would tell you
To pay attention
To the colors of your
And the colors of your
And the color of
But you would shrug
And close your eyes
And walk away.
Because you can't
See any of it.
Hello hands of mine,
It's been a while, hasn't it?
I mean, I wake up with you every morning, and go to bed with you every night... but something in our relationship has been... strained, unacknowledged, missing.
I neglected you, dear hands of mine... I was tempted by my feet to walk around in new surroundings! In cobblestone streets, in ancient ruins, in hotel lobbies. I was lured by my lips to talk to strangers, to taste new foods, to laugh in delight. I was fueled in my travels to explore, to enrich, to immerse myself... Words were owned by my lips, and my ears. Jewels were enjoyed through glass boxes in museums. Art was something to LOOK at, not something to MAKE. I neglected you along the way, dear hands.
Alas, you never left me. You are as loyal as it comes, you hold my head up right this moment, you type in the keyboard right this second, you breathe new life in me with your delicate ideas. You draw me in to my inner life to write, to write, to write... and to my sculptural life to sculpt, and shape, and tangle... You hold no resentment, no bitterness for our time spent apart... no, you are simply there. Always grateful, always open, always inviting.
Shall we go make pretty art together, dear little hands of mine?
I think, yes, we shall.
You've waited long enough.
Yours body, your heart, your vessel.
In April 2020, while experiencing her first ever global pandemic, Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog to keep her creative writing wheels rolling.
Header Art: Daniel Landerman