Sister Suffragette

Sister Suffragette

This year I’ll be celebrating Mother’s Day… with a brand new Birth Control!

That’s right kids. I’m taking charge of my reproductive health. A woman can make these decisions, you know. It’s a thing now. I was inspired to write about it due to a HuffPo piece this week.  Women have been sharing their stories online about Oral Contraceptives using #MyPillStory, and I wanted to add my voice.

I started taking the pill way before I was sexually active. I struggled with painful cycles in middle school, so my mother (talk about a smart woman) took me to my first visit with an OB/GYN at 12. Before this visit, Mom had always come into the room with me during appointments, but this time she let me go on my own. I was nervous, but Dr. Yen was patient and clear. She was the first doctor who talked to me like an adult who was capable of making my own decisions.

I started taking birth control and felt a change immediately. I had lighter, shorter, and less painful cycles. They were more predictable. I wasn’t concerned with using The Pill for contraceptive reasons, so I wasn’t as important for me to take it at the same hour/minute precisely each day.

I stopped taking it my senior year of highschool (still pre-sexual activity), mainly due to finding that I no longer needed it to help with my cycles. I knew it was an option that worked for me if I ever needed to return to it. When I became sexually active in college, I began taking it again, in addition to using condoms with my partners. I wanted to make damn sure there was no fear about babies or STDs. I’ve gone on and off The Pill without much issues, but I’ve hardly been consistent with taking it at the same time each day. I explored the nuva ring for a time, but I didn’t like it for reasons.

This past year, my husband and I started having sex sans condoms for the first time. To calm my child-free paranoia, I have been more consistent with The Pill. There are still days however when I forget it in the morning rush to get out the door, or weekends when I sleep in and don’t end up taking it until 4 hours after my time. I’m frustrated with the inflexibility of this method. I don’t think anyone wants to be a slave to The Pill. After much deliberation and discussion with my heaven-sent adult OB/GYN Dr. Baer, I will be starting a new method on Mother’s Day. A Etonogestrel contraceptive implant. I can’t wait to tell you more about it.

The Spark of Creation

The Spark of Creation

I’ve been doing some soul searching, folks. A bulk of my time has been devoted to staring into the abyss. Here’s what I have to say: The Abyss is abysmal, and either get busy livin’ or get busy dying.

In my youth (which I still claim) I spent the entirety of my time outside school devoted to performance art. When I wasn’t in class, you could find me in audition or rehearsal. If I wasn’t cast, I would volunteer to be at every rehearsal regardless. That is how I began to stage manage.

I stage managed at least one show a year at Clark, and usually another at Edison  highschool. When I went to college I declared a double major in Technical Theatre and Acting/Directing, and I Stage Managed the first show my freshman year (which was The Screams of Kitty Genovese, an opera based on the true 1964 story of New Yorker Kitty Genovese who was stabbed to death outside her home while 38 neighbors watched from their windows). It was important for me to stage manage The Screams of Kitty Genovese because I wanted to be in the rehearsal room whether or not I was cast (I wasn’t, though I killed my audition and earned some respect as the only freshman to make it through to callbacks for the role of Betty) – and stage managing meant I could observe. I was lucky to be at a university that fostered my interests in both ways – many universities would have directed me one way or another. There are those that argue that SE did me a disservice by allowing me to declare both a tech and performance major. Perhaps it would have been better for me to come against the decision earlier in my career, but I am thankful I got to explore both paths to their fullest extent.

I think I’m a good stage manager. I run a tight room in a nurturing way. I take my job seriously, but with a lighter touch than some Stage Managers. I will admit, that sometimes I need a heavier hand. There’s always room for improvement. But I do my best and I’m proud of the work I do.

I moved to Chicago to perform, but fell back to stage management pretty quickly. And why not? The shows I’ve worked on have been interesting and wonderful experiences. I live my life by the rule “never stop learning” and I have accomplished that in every project I do. Hell, I worked on my first world-premier show (with the playwright in the room) this year. Every experience is a learning experience and I’m thankful to work with talented professionals who keep me learning.

When Katrina: Mother-in-Law of ’em All closes, I will be taking a hiatus from stage management. I’m certain that this decision is right for me, but it’s bittersweet. I’m humbled and grateful for all the blessings in my life. I have the spark of creation and I’m looking forward to fostering it in other avenues.

 

 

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

When I was informed by my staffing agency that my previous project no longer had use for me, I was upset. It was supposed to be a temp-to-perm position that decided they wanted to go another direction – through no fault of my own. The stress ate up my stomach (quite literally – I developed ulcers in the months following and had to take an emergency trip to the hospital) and caused a tremendous amount of grief. I spent time wondering what I had done to get myself in that position, blaming myself and taking quite a blow. Months of therapy later, I was finally able to see that I had no power over the situation. The only power I have is how I choose to react to it.

My staffing agency found me a position here and a position there, but nothing semi-permanent, just a string of day-assignments. I like day-assignments honestly, but my bank account doesn’t. Not knowing where the next assignment would be coming from was stressful too, and my body wasn’t recovered enough to deal with it. So I would go to assignments when they were available, and spend days without assignments filling out job applications and going to therapy.

Over the next few months I would work for this one company in Chicago – and the assignment was pretty sweet if I must admit. It was a Receptionist position – Greeting guests, answering calls, date-stamp the mail, look pretty, all things I was good at. And the people I worked with were wonderful – the office manager especially. We really clicked. Over the two months, I maybe worked there 10 or so times – they kept calling my agency and requesting me.

And then they made me an offer.

I felt like I had won the lottery. After months of worry, finally I had my big break! More responsibilities, a job title, benefits, the whole package – they respected me. And I am so very loyal because of how wonderful this company is to me. This is how you do business, people. Keep your employees happy and they will work hard for you. Today is my first month anniversary of working with these amazing people, and I couldn’t be happier. Here’s to many more!