everything changes and i just gotta let go
I'm not really sure where to start. I've been in and out of writing this entry in the last few days of 2022 and have typed out and erased what I've come up with countless times. I guess I just don't have a clear reason as to why I'm doing this other than the fact that I just am feeling so. many. things.
And since it's the holiday season, a new year is coming and I have way too much time on my hands... I figured I'd type out my thoughts to help me process them.
And of course I'm sharing them online! I'm an artist after all and I make it my job to make anything out of my personal struggles a fanciful thing.
And also I'm a Leo. I love to talk about myself as much as I love to learn about other people.
If you don't care for any of these things then now is your chance to stop reading and close this window.
If you're staying, hi.
There's a part of me that says the things I'm feeling are not just exclusive to me. I'm sure some of you could relate to what I'm about to share... Regardless of whether or not it's relatable though, I wanna say thank you. For seeing me.
This year was tough. Seriously.
Although I do find myself saying that at the end of every year when I am reflecting. This year was different. There were unexpected heartaches, too many tears shed and plenty of sleepless nights. I think there was one time I cried for 24 hours, just in and out of sleep only to cry each time I was woken up by my own night terrors. I went through a lot this year.
I learned a lot. About the world, about people close to me and about myself.
Things...happened. My relationship was tested, I left a job I really loved, I went on anti-anxiety meds, I went back into acting, I started playing more shows with my band, I became my best friends assistant, I moved out into a new apartment and .. well .. I guess that's the gist it. For the most part.
January 2022 was a month of just dreaming for me. I knew deep down I wanted to shift careers, I wasn't really sure what I was planning I just knew I needed a change in environment. I felt like I needed more of a challenge, and I was also looking to re-focus my creative work back into my own craft. I wanted to choose myself first.
Late in 2021 I was already feeling really overwhelmed with work and I noticed how much of my own personal endeavors in the creative world I've abandoned. I had stopped writing music, I rarely ever did anything creative for myself anymore because I was getting too tired and I was beginning to feel further and further from what I was passionate about. It was not an easy decision but I left my job as a mentor. To this day I still find myself missing the interactions I've had with youth where I can see their spark come out of their eyes when they feel empowered as artists. I can't even count the amount of times where I felt like I was learning from the kids more that I was teaching them. Young artists inspire me so much and I will miss being a mentor. I'm sure though that my past colleagues still continue to do great work there.
Anyway, once I found my schedule open up. I had the honour of doing a lot of theatre work this year. I had been on workshops and all kinds of different mediums in which artists in the city were making theatre. Come to think of it, I did a lot from workshops and in person shows this year. How lucky am I?!! #FeelingGrateful. What this taught me is that the universe will give you what you open yourself up to receiving.
In the spring time I found myself falling in love with theatre all over again. I spent a lot of time in rehearsal and I think I put myself in way too much pressure on 'doing good' in the space. I think I was too much in my head about being a 'good actor' that I feel like I set myself up into a lot of the anxieties that I was going through. I'm just glad I made it to the end despite all of the challenges. The weather was not cooperative that time too. So doing outdoor theatre when 50% of the time it was cold and the other 50 it was too hot was a wild time. Thank heavens for the folks that I worked with at the time which made the whole process so much more fun. You know you y'all are <3 Thank you for the great laughs. #ILoveYouMyFamily #AndThenTheyAllDied
As the year progressed, the snow thawed and all the nasty stuff underneath all the snow revealed itself the moment summer came. Nasty stuff came up and boy did it leave a stink in the air. I remember greeting summer with tears in my eyes, the sad kind... Let's just say that I experienced the worst possible heartbreak you could ever imagine. I cried for hours and hours and lost so much sleep just grieving and trying to also keep myself cool, calm and collected because ... well ... life stops for no one.
All the heartache I felt made me wish I never felt anything at all. I was hurting so much that I just wanted to stop. But each time I would find myself in that deep dark place a voice in my head kept thinking "no, you know you want to fight and keep going" ... so I did. And thank god for all the friends that pulled me out of the river that I've made from all my tears, I'm still here thanks to you. Thank you for reminding me to be compassionate with myself. The part of me that felt that kept me going. I just wanted to heal. And I still am.
I won't go any further than that in terms of sharing details, but as the sun started to get warmer, I decided to spend a lot of time outside even if I didn't feel like it. I wanted to avoid curling up in bed and crying infinite tears which I was starting to turn into habit. So everyday when I had nothing on my agenda, I would step outside and pick a café to sit by and just work, dream, send emails, plan and just keep myself busy, Classic coping mechanism. I ended up working as a P.A. for an incredible artist. I learned a lot from that.
Clear communication, strong boundaries and also enjoying what you're doing were key points to that experience. I'd do it again but I feel like I'd definitely have to be putting in way more time which is challenging to do as an artist who also has her own dreams. With the new year coming in, I'm definitely needing to look into this further. That's for later me to figure out for now.
August was bittersweet. And it flew by so quick! I was rarely at home.
I spent 2 weeks out in the wilderness and it was beautiful. I cried and laughed so much in Riding Mountain. Music and nature. The best combination ever. Thank heavens for that beautiful adventure.
I spent a weekend in Saskatoon too and lived a day which felt like an episode of the show ATLANTA. I also loved how much art I absorbed that weekend. It was beautiful to experience that in the summer with the best people. It felt like time didn't exist in the 3 days we spent there. I wish it slowed down for us just a little bit more to make the memories last a little longer. I miss it.
On the final weekend of August, a good bunch of folks and me went camping in Falcon Lake. It was chilly because it had started to rain already as we were nearing September. We walked a couple trails and saw some really nice water forms which made the muddy path worth walking. The views were so beautiful and for a moment I felt so small next to the mountains. It made all my problems go away. Like sleeping on a deflated mattress didn't matter anymore haha. I had fun though, Nature is so healing.
When I was out in the woods I felt more grounded and connected with myself. I thought less of what I could post on Instagram and more of what I wanted to touch, taste, hear, smell and see around me in the present moment. I also felt like I had a good reassessment of things in life that I really value most. Family, friends, loved ones, the very present moment you're in... I felt there was an abundance of love and hope. I was content.
And then September came.
I didn't talk about it all that much on social media but my family lost a very special loved one this year. One of the cousins passed away this year and it was really a tragic event. It was a totally unexpected turn of events that I felt I needed to stop everything and just take the time to understand what was happening. Death is never an easy thing especially for those that live on. That painful feeling of losing someone permanently is so heavy on the heart and makes for an uneasy mind. I remember just being very spaced out and unable to comprehend how one moment someone exists and the next they don't. It really gets you thinking about what you take for granted every day. Life is too damn precious...
ANYWAY! I have a lot of feelings about that. I have to write it on another entry.
September was also filled with great memories though. I made new connections that I am happy and grateful for which later on in the year I actually got to reconnect with. It's so lovely. The month just flew by and then next thing you know it was October. AH!
We spent all month preparing for my besties album release show. That was a good time. I felt that it was a perfect distraction from all the wallowing thoughts I was having. I wanted to just live in each moment like it was the last. The show ended up being a wonderful success. I met so many wonderful artists, learned so many new skills and I felt like I was doing better...My bestie took me out to Thermea for the first time ever at the end of the month and it was probably the first time in a long time where I felt really relaxed. We deserved it.
November started off scary. I realized a lot of trauma was coming up the surface. Since the last time I was in rehearsal, something bad had happened that broke my heart completely I just couldn't manage my anxieties. I felt myself grow more anxious on top of already being nervous about debuting at Winnipeg's most prestigious theatre.
Additionally, I was in the middle of moving out. And I felt as though I couldn't feel the ground beneath my feet. I was trying very hard to be okay.
Fortunately I was blessed with thee most amazing group of colleagues to work with throughout the rehearsal process. I was belly laughing a lot and nearly peed my pants several times due to the chaotic mess of how far each bit and joke would go. There were many drinks and pasta involved too. Being part of the company for Three Musketeers was probably the highlight of my year. And no, not just because I got to debut on the mainstage, but because of how wonderful that group of people were. I felt like I was in a family. And yes, that's something that happens at each show, but this one was totally magical. Something about all of our silly selves that just made the whole experience so special. I will always cherish that production. #BadGuysForever
December is always a weird month for me. It's nostalgic and somber, Warm but also cold. It's bittersweet. This month was full of endings for me. The show closed and it was a very emotional process. I miss it so much already. I also, just full disclosure, have no plans past this month. So the new year is a clean slate for me. EEEE! I feel like this happens every year though. I have some kind of plan, but nothing solid. Which terrifies me in all the best ways.
Truthfully though, I am a really anxious person. And I've come to terms with that. It might surprise some of you that despite of how 'confident' I may seem, I actually am very shy and insecure. I used to hate myself for being so anxious. I used to be someone who cared so much about what impression I give off to people, but this year I feel like I got so exhausted 'performing' day to day that I just learned how to stop. I was putting my own needs last. I am not perfect and that is a beautiful thing. I come to a space as I am. An imperfect human who is just trying to figure life out and making the best experience out of each situation possible, while also creating deep and meaningful connections. I'm just trying to live. Just like you. And that's okay.
I guess growing up just teaches you how to give less fucks. Haha. Or something like that.
This year taught me so much. I was reminded that I really cannot control everything.
I also had so many opportunities to learn how to embrace being selfish and to stop feeling guilty about putting myself first. This was a challenge for sure but I think by the end of the year, I got the hang of it. I mean it's 11:25pm on New Years eve and I'm alone in my bedroom typing out my deepest thoughts because this is what I wanted. Too tired to party haha. Although I do wish I had someone to clink a champagne glass with. But anyway! Yes. I am the most important to me. And that means being kind to myself too. Strong boundaries. No more overly criticizing myself. Just love and encouragement for growth and inner peace moving forward.
Now you might be wondering... What is Hera up to in 2023?
First of all. stop asking. haha and like I said before.. I have no damn clue.
I just know that it will be another wonderful adventure, and I can't wait.