The only change that matters

8/16/13     8:04am

I feel sad. Tonight is my 10 year reunion – prime time for comparisons. In typical me fashion, I wish there was an RSVP list so I could plan out my night. There is no agenda. I don’t know what to expect. I posted on FB last night in the reunion group asking what “casual cocktail attire” means – the official dress code. Several people I know replied they’re wearing quite fancy cocktail dresses and that their husbands are dressing up. I was just planning on wearing a dress I like, nothing fancy.

I have my doubts about even going. I anticipate it being a huge trigger. I wanted to be successful, to have degrees and a car and family. I am successful. Just not by my standard. I’m like that firework that shoots off in unexpected directions. Dazzling yet unpredictable. I only like it in the sky.

Who am I?

  • I am a girl looking to be loved.
  • I am a woman discovering herself.
  • I am creative.
  • I am talented.
  • I am hungry.
  • I am a cat mom.
  • I am a planner.
  • I am the voice of reason on a stormy sea and a mess of emotion in silence.
  • I am unstable and I am a rock.
  • I just am.
  • Michelle

I will be faced with many questions if I engage tonight. Where do I work? How many kids do I have? What degrees did I get? What am I doing with my life? I don’t know. And I don’t really care. I wish this was a barbeque picnic. Too much hype. Too much pressure.

I’m very tired. I woke up at 7:30, even though I went to bed late. In sharp contrast to the past several mornings, I do not feel bright, chipper or productive. I don’t want to be alive. My body is heavy. I don’t want to move. Yet, I’m awake. Is this from skipping 2 doses of my Flexeril yesterday or not sleeping? Why did I wake up?

I don’t know who I am.
I feel angry.
I want to sleep.

Whatever I decide to do tonight will be okay. I don’t have to share my secrets. I don’t have to be strong. God is my date. All powerful. He will lead me.

PS: Compare me to me if you must. That’s the only change that matters.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2013

I am from…

7 minute writing from the prompt “I am from…”

3-21-12     2:52pm

I am from brown carpet and air, a place the sun sometimes shines.

I am from stripped cars and “don’t make any noise” and “get down.”

I am from “hide.”

I am from hospitals and nursing homes.
I am from watching the almost dead.

I am from the place in my soul that screams DANCE!

I am from me.

I am from the places I try not to remember – of pain and drugs and heartache.

Sometimes I forget where I’m from.
Sometimes I try not to remember.

I am from “do it perfect or I’ll leave you.”

I am from “you’re a horrible person.”

I am from the place that pushed me to move on, to run away, to save my life.

I am tired of being from. So now I just am.

I was from.

Now I am.

(thought continued in “Now I am…”)

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012

Who am I?

7-29-10                10:33pm

I ran into an old friend at the show tonight who told her friend I’m a great dancer, “like dance dance,” and said we should go dancing sometime. I said I’m better at choreography than freestyle, social dancing. I should’ve just said thank you, but these days dancing makes me nervous. It has me wondering who I am. I haven’t answered that question in some time.

Who am I?

I am a person who’s been here for 23 years, sometimes a girl, sometimes a woman. No, 24. I am often lonely. I am here to help others.

I am not who I used to be or who I will be in the future. Today I can’t say that I have a purpose. I am thrown around in the tide. I should let go.

I am sad. I am affected by other people, more than they could know. I am a person who is so sad that her dreams are gone and who cries at night.

I got an email announcing Rockette auditions today. The first kid in line for rush is moving to New York for the dream. My friends are making it. I’m just idling. Party cuz I’ve stopped believing, partly because it’s physically and mentally too taxing. I can’t handle it. I KNOW I wanted nothing more than to be successful in performance. It’s what makes me truly happy. It’s who I am down to my core. A person who dances to all emotions and hears music constantly, who sings and recites lines randomly, who has no idea who she is without these. It’s like Susan’s poem. Who is a dancer without the dance? I don’t know.

The show was incredible tonight and I felt happy. But that small reminder of what I am now has me fighting back tears on the trolley.

The things I hear in my head: I am nothing. You have failed. Street team? Are you kidding me? You’re a fucking joke. You may have a fancy title and a glossy business card, but you’ll never be more than a crazy person playing pretend. They’ll find out, and they’ll leave you, and you’ll have nothing. They’ll leave anyway. You, are nothing. Actor, always remember you are replaceable. I know.

No matter how much I work on loving myself, how many hours of therapy, positive affirmations, “friends” on FB… the number of hours I feel happy to be alive, I come back to the reality (my reality) that I am nothing.

Maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Me feeling helpless giving everything to God. But I can’t imagine that’s what he wanted. For the default state of His people to be suffering. I try really hard. I do good things and I help people and pray…

But I am still sick. And I am still sad. I still have no money and my family is approaching crisis. And I can’t go to the dance convention in a few weeks. And I can’t breathe. And I don’t want to be here anymore. Drama at my group, in my inbox, in the mail. Now even in the place where I go to escape. There is no escape. Don’t know why I keep running.

I don’t know who I am. I just know how I feel. Confused. Tired. Sad. My body hurts. At times I feel happy, joyous, angry, anxious, befuddled, undone. I am simply the canvas to their art.

I once was the star attraction, the main event. Now I am the crew. Cellophane. Eject please.

I thought about killing myself tonight but I don’t have the energy to recover.

7-30-10                6:37pm

Part 2

Today I am sick but right now I feel happy. I am a person with unpredictable illnesses doing my best to get by and enjoy life. Yes. That’s an answer I like.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2010