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we live on a lot of stories we tell ourselves

we humans can be such an audacious species. usually we mean well, but ultimately, most of our self-enacted actions tend to be for a primarily selfish gain. when that works also for a greater good, we all win. but too often, everything else, everything that isn’t us, is left to deal with the consequences. however infiltrating they are.

when we zoom out, we can see easily how the tendrils of our desires splay out widely to impact the rest. like most things, employing such an awareness is far less difficult than we make it out to be. with a little self-restraint, adhering to less self-involved perspectives can be of great benefit. which we maybe need now more than ever.

an artist was shocked once when in the midst of a general conversation about the color dominance of his paintings, as he chronologically listed popularity of the hues to his work, i readily spoke the color that was probably his next most popular. getting the sense that he was typically met by empty faces on bodies eager to be regaled by his singular-seeming wisdom, that i could see what he had done to be so marketable was apparently odd. but, as i told him, i was really good at the p.r. job i had once. and spotting trends was dominant to that skillset.

his mouth agape, i filled the silence that floated in the air around his unspoken questioning of my past with a continued explication of generic awareness. knowledge that he was clearly seeking. felt he needed to know. he seemed greatly perplexed by how others could surmise his plans somehow.

patterns of human behavior aren’t that difficult to suss out. none of us are nearly as subtle or crafty as we believe we are. and how effortless it can be to get others to believe what we want is jarring. dating pools are good teachers for that. those who refrain from being part of them are more so. but, it is still yet another thing many of us learn the hard way.

recurrences of all things exist everywhere. seeing them is easy. acting outside of the path they forge is the hard part. but following them usually requires little or no thought. if all behavior was seen to be as simple in origin as it truly is, there would likely be a lot less confusion to get waylaid by.

clearly, something benefits from our blind actions. and, when we take the effort to look, skirting that easier rote thinking sometimes shows what nudged it out of place to begin with. which is perhaps what we learn the most from studying.

one charge i was routinely tasked to accompany was always heavily in tune with those responsible for our transport. unlike most others who made up my work days, he vocalized his emotions and discomforts with abandon. not the reckless kind, but he was definitely one who was willing to make waves as necessary.

given that most pushback was unnecessary to begin with, rarely did we face deterrents. it didn’t hurt that in most circles, he was moderately famous. and stereotypically good looking. but that he unabashedly questioned behaviors he had issue with made it rather difficult to superficially please him. and that apparently was too much for some people.

before we used apps like über and we all became potential tools for others to use as they saw fit, a driver a studio had hired eagerly texted a lot as he drove us to the airport. it was years before there were laws about this aberrant behavior, and the first adopters of such mobile communication utilized this stealthier action over audible phone calls as much as possible. despite the obvious drawbacks.

as he almost veered into nearby traffic lanes several times, my movie star accompaniment asked him politely to not text while he was driving. my companion’s own driving background was not a necessary detail to incorporate into that request, but knowing of it in depth as i did made me pucker a bit more seeing his building anxiety.

the chauffeured driver mostly ignored his request. and, especially in retrospect, my traveling cohort handled that affront most gracefully. in a hushed voice when we arrived, he made a call before we boarded. the panicked questions i got from my boss and the studio once we landed let me in on what i already knew to be the case.

things may not have changed much that day. but it was nice to know that others were finally now in on the kinds of disregard that consistently plagued some of the roles. that we handled as best we could. in the moment. all the time.

between now being mostly a passenger in a very fast vehicle, and primarily in a wheelchair pushed by another otherwise, i see more obviously how a lack of awareness in others can permeate situations. and how unnecessary it is. easily avoidable.

every time i’m out now, i’m queried about how i handle the lack of control i have in my life. and face immense skepticism at my calm reaction. but, i continue to reply honestly. aside from the unwavering trust i have in both myself and my person, i also know now how farcical it is to believe that i ever really had any control in the first place. and am confronted constantly with how readily i bought into the ridiculous sensibility that i did.

despite what we think, we really don’t have any. and while i am admittedly late to the party myself, once we realize the bigger part we play, the less myopic we tend to act. think. abiding by our intuition’s guidance system is usually what creates the quandaries we feel but don’t understand. waste time and energy arguing against. and it’s something we likely must teach to ourselves.

believing in whomever we entrust our well-being to in the moment is paramount. and while entrusting someone to look out for us, to treat us sometimes better than we treat ourselves, may not be easy, it helps to remember that if it were, everyone would do it. that they don’t, and how much we look out mostly for our own interests, is telling.

finding someone who doesn’t automatically think that way restores faith in humanity. and, from what i see around me, we all could use having a bit more. to grow. share. the time for self-importance is no longer. and as relevant a message as it is, not texting while driving is but the tip of the iceberg. so, here’s to more awareness in general. we can certainly all use it.


tells are obvious once they’re seen

what people do when they think they’re in the right is a remarkably clear personality litmus test. all the wanted and sought information becomes painfully obvious. it’s all there. and quite telling, when we know how to read it accurately. are present with our observations.

actions are taken for a multitude of reasons. and most of us don’t even know the true origins of our own until we’re faced with the effects they have. on us. others. we often see how things can work better too late, but situations likely would be very different with alternative reactions utilized.

travelling with varying members of film casts showed that spectrum of humanity and awareness so clearly. and in all kinds of life, while usually the goal is to move past the presented obstacles, grow through the awkward strains to keep things as copasetic as possible, that is not always achieved.

opinions vary wildly. without obvious justification. and the seemingly hidden personal motivations that accidentally get exhibited under trying circumstances are quite illuminating. while it has become a most notable element of mind games like poker, we all have tells. and they show up in the damndest ways.

one tour we were on was to promote a film with a macabre storyline that had riveted the broader community. murder shows had analyzed the bizarre case ad nauseam over the short time that had passed since the sad conclusion was unexpectedly broadcast on a live television news broadcast. but when hollywood took the reigns on the story, a lot of unnecessary elements became fodder for salacious questions. and the actors playing the questionable roles brought their own sensibilities into the mix, too. the door was opened to a lot of personal judgement.

outside the small world of selling entertainment fare, the arising quandaries about the controversial human decisions that the case centered around brought about social rifts between the cast mates. their time spent publicly together was mostly professional. if disarmingly aloof. but the writing of the different temperaments was on the wall, and there wasn’t much we could do to quell the impending mele.

after months of deferring sordid questions to the script writers, the reality the actors faced by becoming the newest part of the harrowing story with publicity efforts for the film unquestionably took its toll. a professionally unaccompanied comedian loudly voiced his questions and opinions in the lobby of a theatre prior to an audience q&a. it was clearly intended to be humorous. lighten the mood. but the quietude amongst the groups of us spoke volumes. and he found out in one of the hardest ways.

as we prepared to stoically march into the auditorium, his loudly voiced speculation turned heads. accidental spectators in the lobby were aghast at the exchange. taken aback. attempting to be respectful, the uncharacteristic reticence enveloping my charge, the peaceful demur of his reaction, evoked in the younger comedian another loud and immature response. situationally inappropriate.

no one knew how this was being presented in the comedy genre. the comparisons between the actual masterminds and their feature counterparts were mostly unflattering. but most conditional judgements are. and those entering the world of entertainment theatre usually know that going in. accept their jobs quietly, and only talk about the roles they can relate with somehow.

by nature, comedians pick everything apart though. for their jobs, they analyze all the pieces of stories they see to craft seemingly logical narratives their audiences can follow. word math is many times a long game. like the intuitions they speak aloud about the things they see, what may sound to be negative interpretations are usually simply audible ponderings of talked about consternations.

working on the road and being exposed to a plethora of justifiable remarks seems to bring that point home to most who’ve done the time. been around. following orders on set doesn’t always allow for such learning. and that contrast alone is enlightening.

arguments break out among people socially tied together all the time. no one is surprised when smaller dust-ups occur. between the archaically long hours of preparation and shooting a film, and the absurdity of flying to a multitude of cities on press tours to encourage theatrical attendance, keeping all smoothly sailing is a job in and of itself.

but at some point, all the dubious elements intersect. true opinions more readily get stated overtly as exhaustion quietly tears down the tightly-upheld boundaries between outwardly respectable statements and honesty to self. and the practice of maintaining the front of a superficially accepted average has brought the status quo markedly down. the law of averages applies to intelligence and reasoning, too.

tells alert us to existent pattern behavior. let us see the thoughts leading up to them. change the course mindfully, like a choose-your-own-adventure book. somehow, we got confused again about how we can determine some outcomes. avert disaster. encouraging questioning discourse is not the same as condoning questionable beliefs. experienced road comics come upon that lesson
early, too.

the son of an artist can spot similarly discerning behavior in others. warming to a found similarity lets us all see the pieces to it more clearly. the players involved, and the roles they play, become immediately more visible. we instantly all make more sense. understand each other better. pattern behavior isn’t all bad.

there is a lot more to learn from what goes into made choices than just potential detriments of a moment. when we examine our own thought processes, when we’re honest, there are a lot of holes we subconsciously fill in. things we unwittingly accept. until our rote actions are pointed out to us, we are often none the wiser. and the cycles of errant thought continue on unaddressed. but, it’s probably time we tackle them. make sure we know what we’re imparting through our demeanors.

that group didn’t work together much after that day. the movie came and went. those involved at the higher levels never affiliated themselves publicly with the project. the comedians hired to bring some levity to that tragedy viscerally learned the nature of being a double-edged sword. and hopefully, we all learned something about the potentials of human malfeasance as well. and how we can apply it at all the levels.

use it or lose it applies to all parts of our makeup

a commonly referenced rhetoric for all things is “use it or lose it.” it pertains to various parts of lives. in many circles, it is spoken a lot in reference to athletic elements. bodily function. but the longer we’re here, it appears to sing to cognitive pieces as well.

with that, the identities we hold onto so fiercely immediately come into question. which we hardly ever collectively address. but my m.s. has shown me flagrantly what that can mean in application. and a previous life spent doing p.r. work primed me for living a life of baseless continuity without my being aware of it. how very cheeky this life can be.

everytime a reason for comment came up, all sponsors wanted to be included. whether they had a referenced contribution or not. the adage that there is no such thing as bad publicity clearly got taken out of context at some point. and it stuck. i am working diligently to modify my continuance of that fallacy, and whether i succeed at it or not, doing so always hovers at the top of my priority list. but as i myself still frustratingly do too often, people more readily hold onto the wrong pieces, it seems.

for the person caught in the crossfires, it doesn’t ever feel that innocuous. when there is a forever spotlight highlighting not-great actions and reactions, grace from a respite of off behavior is never attained. self-work is paramount in those instances. and while that gets left out from the generalized and appropriated quote, that is the authentic reality that exists. that few are willing to face. accept.

when someone can be hired to fix mistakes made, the consequence to making them becomes almost nonexistent. and people act accordingly. some take advantage of their clear-looking situation. and those of us who uphold that sanitized belief decimate the potential for growth. in any of us.

outdated constructs continue to carry on as the same faces appear in different roles in the world. they collide with contemporary visions of purported greatness, and calamity often ensues. be it physical misappropriation of resources or mental unjust, usually in the forms of gaslighting and non-belief, sufferers get created.

their ability, and whatever the reason, at whatever level it is, to share or withhold opinions is ignored. and we go on to overlook whatever issues arose to begin with. malignant or otherwise, they remain for us to address later. if we ever do.

what is seen to be old-hat type behaviors, and the things that are merely assumed to be commonplace, remain. as humans, we grow and evolve. but we don’t always extend that same encouragement to the processes of the ways of life that existed before us. and we get stuck.

neurologically speaking, not updating our mental programming is as detrimental as allowing a computer to sit disconnected in a cabinet for years. or leaving a car stowed and un-driven for decades. we stagnate as we grow older. and other than memories of questionable accusations and some of their ramifications, never has this been clearer to me than with my m.s.

the backwards slide i’ve embarked on is humiliating. losing even the loose grip i had on who i am as the benjamin button quality of this existence constantly alters my reality is jarring. like seeing a more simple feel-good movie when you anticipate sci-fi.

why it is common for us to lose friendships is no longer a question mark. we aren’t the same once we face this. and that causes all kinds of kerfuffles. most of which we aren’t equipped to recover from. to deal with as constantly and mercilessly as we need to so we can heal and regrow. no one wants a front row seat to that.

and few will stick around to see what else is hiding. using something you never had makes this another thing we need to learn like new. and remember. hopefully, such repeated use counts towards strengthening that muscle. if we surrender that too, how lost we’re likely to get is boundless.

with chronic conditions, we face the unknown everyday. as well as the accompanying fears and anxieties that arise from living without the safety net that a steady consciousness provides. it is abundantly clear now why when client identities got rewritten per project, endorsing them was at times so difficult for them. without a consistent stronghold to align with, purpose becomes muddled. murky. as does the messaging. and as we’ve seen via bible story memes and the telephone game alike, simple misunderstandings can bring up a world of hurt. years of misinformed prosecutions.

identities are far more cohesive to our beings than we give them credit for. personalities are just the top-most layer. the most visible. in many cases, they’re the most accessible to judgement. while doing so compounds the issue of what it is that reaches farthest back in rooted identity, humanity and the medical field both abstain from overtly making a connection.

it is casually pondered aloud from time to time, but the overlay between mind and body is direct. if there is anything to come out of this existence, my experience shows me how very callously and often we disregard obvious ties. my person has borne the brunt of what the dsm-iv would dismissively refer to as a schizophrenic personality divide. and my personal mortification would perhaps be lessened if the changes we face were normalized and addressed with an m.s. diagnosis.

in this case, class divides take on the characteristics most often associated with racism. and like the uneven cultural progress of minorities, this unnecessary medical treatment chasm also brings with it similar impediments to solutions. while i am constantly shown how i hold onto the wrong things, the illogical pieces that have somehow made their way onto the supposedly logical path of my mental reasoning, the parallels to the orchestration of specialized humanity are impossible not to see. and “use it or lose it” takes on a whole new meaning.

seeing people i maybe know is a grab-bag of expectations. by the end of my time in that public profession, other than to my person, i rarely spoke. communication to make things happen was mostly electronic. and since my diagnosis, my ability to suss out rhetorical conversation pieces from real ones to actually respond to is way off. it would be more comical if it weren’t so hazardous. the situations in which i find myself can be harrowing. especially conversationally. and most egregiously, with my person.

like almost every human pairing i know of, we come from notably different backgrounds. while our available role models for staying alive may have taken in similar cultures, their social output on us was extremely differing. our take-aways blatantly show that. my default programming is not at all how i want to live now. and while the criss-crosses of my own perspectives with those of others is hit or miss in the success department, ultimately being content with who i choose to be is what is truly paramount. i must find a way to remember that.

not so ironically, that more stable jumping-off point is not far off from that of the being my soul chose as my mirror. but i risk appearing like a mimicking parrot as i relearn myself around him. and while the words are often the same, the intended meanings are not always.

stored shortcuts to shorthands i routinely used confound me now even on the most sense-making of days. and to further that conduit of pain, how he likely hears me is terrifying as it is often not close to what i intend to impart. to my great displeasure, our conversations are nonsensical sometimes. devolve rapidly.

patience and knowledgeable respect is all anyone can ask for. ideally receive. like the majority of my frustratingly unseen intent, most older gentlemen being popped for potentially damaging actions are harmless. we don’t know what we don’t know. in every way. but we all get to learn again. and give each other the space to do so, too.

in all we’ve learned from our mostly-furry friends, encouragement for forward-facing behavior has more benefit than negative reinforcement. applying that to our own interactions will hopefully guide us to the next right step.

churches may not exist as they used to, but we don’t need them to show each other some compassion in the moment. presence and appreciation go a long way. whatever the seemingly problematic being looks like. and knowing that we all are in need of that help at times should calm us. experiential learning may feel harsh at times, but it is just as valuable as formal education. perhaps, maybe more so.

representation shows us what else there is to what we think we know

when explaining what seems would be obvious sounds like gibberish, it’s usually a strong sign that what we think is transparent, painfully clear, isn’t so. entertainment fare is no different than human nature in that regard, despite the various efforts made in both to homogenize what are perceived to be variances. pointless attempts to equalize us somehow. far too late, the downfalls of that effort are realized. and we start over. usually, sadly, from scratch. as if the quandary is new. and such is the merry-go-round of this life.

as corrections and over-corrections are pursued, the perils of the disastrous prior actions are seen. felt. hopefully the next try is farther reaching. perhaps more inclusive in its designation. it usually is, even if by default. but, the damage once caused is still left for us to rectify. simply hoping that someone else will is usually no longer enough.

smaller movies, and the cookie-cutter films shown mostly on television around the holidays, exhibit many of the human nuances that define individuals. in writing, laying out and defining those traits is what is painstakingly practiced with the exercise of defining characters. in psychology, those same distinctions can move subjects quickly between mental diagnoses in textbooks.

relying on cliff’s notes and the top layer that is
pop culture doesn’t always provide a full picture. and ceasing to look for what’s beyond what is shown to us keeps the created examples with missing fragments alive and well. small-mindedness keeps us believing that that’s all there is to most things. and we continue in that unhelpful, circular, repetition until someone in our immediate foreground is stricken with whatever ailment got glossed over in that sanguine superficiality. we are all slow on the uptake on this one, apparently.

engaging willingly with and growing that glaring blindspot hinders any progress we could hope to make. and as we get out of our own way, what we tried to hide becomes what we need to address before we can go any further. or, like in the game of monopoly, pass go.

in my brashest early days, before acerbic wit was deemed problematic, what made charges scarily unique was often their biggest asset. when people were expected to also come with foibles to meet and overcome, resonant presentations of figures and their uncommon personalities are what got them jobs. but as semantics became watered down and discussions became akin to reading off an ever-changing shared work document, what deemed individuals as worthy also became fluid. and often, vanilla. some fit as they could into a subjective description made by whomever called the shots. and we soon saw that not all of us should.

an old adage states that like an unfortunate piece of our design, we all have opinions. but, as with that physical site, not all are as hygienic as is preferable. what lives behind the visible forefront often holds the keys to changing the status quo. growth passes us by and we miss out on that opportunity when we see everyone as needing to be the same. and that lesson is long overdue for an overhaul.

engaging with the medical community is oddly not as different from the former life i had in p.r. as i had once imagined it had to be. everyone still thinks they know everything. trends are followed without proper knowledge of what made them popular in the first place. what works for one still does not work for all. and we are sadly very slow on that uptake, too.

a comedian i worked with wanted to perform in europe. the pushback he received from his chosen team was aggressive, and no one offered much thought as to what he really wanted. why. what it could mean to him. the callousness of the discussions stymied me, and as he nonchalantly continued on the promotional tour for the film he was in, my ire with that situation grew.

his marketability had always been that he wasn’t the same as anyone. it served him well when that was understood. but when people who didn’t see the bigger picture were suddenly in charge, the scope of what could be possible was unceremoniously muted. but, older and wiser, he continued quietly on his path knowing that something would illuminate reality eventually.

his grace in the face of such road blocks was admirable. if hindering of his desire in the moment. but where detours were placed to follow, he carved his own way again instead. when we were together, we didn’t mention the colossal short-sightedness. didn’t discuss the obvious oversight. my frustrated exclamation to him that where he wanted to perform spoke the same language that he did was apparently all he needed to make sure someone arranged for him to play there. and he took me to london with him when he re-opened a renowned theatre there a few months later.

sorting out how to live with my m.s. has been a similar experience. everyone, from all walks of life, understanding of the landscape or not, has a viewpoint. a judgment. that they all feel the need to share it so mindlessly is off-putting. and it shows me just how unaware we all can be behind our positioned knowledge. but, this sticks with me as much as i tend to scoff at the simple sentiments of popularized memes. unless someone has this situation to deal with they really don’t get it.

not knowing how to do something is fine. expected. but presuming one can unknowingly dictate to others how things should be handled is ridiculous. it begins a macabre comedy of errors. speaking with the people who determine states of disability is baffling. discouraging. a glowering example of how much we really need to advocate for ourselves.

on my most positive days, when a simple call for help becomes awash with arbitrary and judgmental distinctions, my energy gets zapped almost immediately. conveying to others my reality when they have their own supposition of my situation is most often fruitless. which would be only a necessary evil if anything was eventually looked into. but it isn’t.

it is well accepted amongst people with chronic illnesses that there are generally needed to be multiple tries at getting disability before attention is granted. before we aren’t summarily denied. what isn’t taken into account is all the potential damages that can be brought on by the process. all the testings. which are judged only on objective parts of metrics. but the information gained is only truly as useful as the person administering them is subjectively knowledgeable. personal ability to sustain life through this is ignored. let alone whether or not one has the resources required to make it happen.

that we are more susceptible to other ailments because of our conditions is displaced along with the continuing state of our decline. as with most other elements to this, what we can actually do and what we can depend on others in our world to handle for us is confused all the time. the very definition of what this condition is has gotten erroneously maligned. and like with that comedian guy, it apparently doesn’t seem to matter on the surface whether or not someone speaks the shared language.

that someone thinks they know better is all most pay attention to. and the opportunity to create and share joy is one thing we all miss out on. my physical suffering is not the same as not hosting a comedy show abroad. but the biased reasoning for such blatant disregard isn’t all that different.

with any good karma i have stored somewhere, this will eventually work out. it has to. or what’s the point? keeping on keeping on through adversity is only one thing i will take from working with that guy. seeing past the the limitations of imposed poverty is another. and, while i can’t be as ferocious a watchdog anymore, if all i can do is exhibit my uninhibited thoughts, hopefully there is still something to that. it seemed to work pretty well before. i can only hope it’s worth a shot now.

time to make the donuts

some events used to be arranged solely for the benefit of charitable foundations. to directly aid the people impacted by the generosity they brought about. famous types came because they knew they could bring awareness to lesser-known plights. do their part, however small it may be. to extend the joy they saw that was present in those seemingly least likely to embody it. smiles for miles was a real thing.

kids are most often seen as their source. but when you look past the presented obvious, the depth of the most visibly warm sentiments goes far deeper than that most superficial layer. people who devote their existence to the joyful survival of those stricken with a monster outside of their control determine the ultimate vibe of the activity that keeps the others afloat.

days spent in sunshine on carnival rides and donning face paint are orchestrated perhaps as much for all those who endeavor to make life a bit more do-able as for those they do it for. before they became seen as just another necessary evil to circumvent, bureaucratic hoops served best to waylay unnecessary attendance. so the events were as enjoyable as they could be. as they can be so effortlessly.

for a lot of people, learning is simply the exhibition of mimicked behavior. we all do it, but those with disabilities utilize that skill likely more than most. perhaps most deliberately, anyway. not inherently being able to make body parts move in certain ways leads some to take direction from elsewhere. and that’s something we all need to take responsibility for.

being talked at as a means of educating can be quite limiting. college students in lecture halls may be able to grasp concepts later when they re-read their notes, but in most real life moments, what is referred to as the highest form of flattery heartily earns its moniker. humans are social beings. and that doesn’t only mean discourse.

one of the first events i attended is by far the most memorable. the details of the day are scattered now, but the overriding thruline of creating happiness has never left me. later, it often was hidden beneath corporate requirements, and understandably seemed to be missing from my person more often than not. but a day spent guiding photographers around a charity event held outside cemented my vision of what los angeles life was about.

early in my p.r. career, a lot of activities notable charges attended were to raise funds for those who could not. before time restrictions overtook that charitable agenda, ways for them to give back were prerequisites to peak my interest. for us to talk candidly with clients about. most felt the same way, and weren’t present when that was absent.

a repeat of a higher-end sitcom lamented the hubbub of modern day bridal showers and noted how nothing as similarly celebratory or life-affirming exists for singles. and, looking back, those events felt similarly as they were hosted from an ablest perspective. but no one who attended them let anyone feel lesser than. regardless of their reason to be there.

people wanted to look good in the photos they took, but sincerely so the attendees could maintain happy memories of the day. photographers on site knew that instinctively and didn’t seek to take unflattering ones. they paused to move wet hair from faces gotten at water amusements. waited until hot dogs were finished. common courtesy was respected. kindness reigned.

that children seen to be physically off-kilter didn’t embarrass as easily as was generically anticipated led to a lot of unexpected laughter. candid shots of genuine delight were picked up more frequently than those of beautiful people posed to simply look like they felt it. and we all got to see what was really important.

people with disabilities tend to carry with them a trait that has since become known best as a defining characteristic of autism. and somehow it became limited to that. but emotions in us all, and the ability to express them, are often hindered. gotten in the way of by needs to acquiesce to what makes others most comfortable. generations of people-pleasers, as a culture, we automatically subverted our own need for feeling safe to appease those around us. it seems that only the most vacuous among us are ok with that now. thankfully.

the physical ramifications of the not-so-hidden game of hide-and-seek we play with our arising feelings are just now being seriously looked into. nothing appears to be as disconnected as we may have once wanted to believe. made ourselves think. expressions brimming with wonder may have at one time implied a simpleness that was judged to be lesser. but time has shown us how wrong we were to make that assumption. the thoughts lurking behind simplistic motions are often anything but. which usually infers, too, that the broader thought processing isn’t too far behind. if at all.

as my m.s. weakens my body, the attention on my brain function has become heightened for me. and that i blindly wore it out over the years like an uneducated-but-always-running marathon runner leads me to ponder all that i missed in those afflicted at a younger age. there is probably a lot we still collectively don’t see. and what is obscured by what we choose to focus on instead is endless.

to the credit of him and his patience, my person brainstormed with me recently about starting a foundation. while i could only get as far as the name, he steadfastly worked to help me devise ways to share all i’ve had to learn about this ailment. so i can give back in a way that makes a dent in someone’s world as has been done to mine.

it has happened most when i least expected it. the commonalities we share and don’t know about are astounding. fellow former athletes act as though my anguish is their own. caretakers by both trade and from just having a basic good nature treat me like a normal person rather than a defunct and broken wife like i used to be. a helpful friend pointed out in his own way that maybe i felt that way myself. and woefully, admittedly, while i’m thankfully now outgrowing it, i had once.

the pushback i still find myself fighting internally as i continue to mentally paralyze originally stemmed from the downward spiral of my own internal perspective. a selfish and myopic focus on my declining self. and while i’ve gained a lot of semantic understanding, my ability to verbally convey what is common sense to me now has sharply dropped off. the silence i muster under my cockeyed expressions brings about a confusion that i’ve not witnessed in years. and i can’t imagine i’m the only one.

the chaos wreaked upon those in my immediate surroundings shows me that i’m not. and while the word “foundation” carries with it to me a quandary of meaning, the benefits that can come from them outweigh any pejorative connotation i can think of.

a movie we watched recently was far from the flashy blockbusters that are more commonly promoted. the settings were nondescript. the actors felt familiar, but were not obviously known. the story was paramount. and it brought me immediately back to the smaller film festivals i used to get to go to for work. at the end, clips of smiles and laughter illuminated the purpose to all of it. and i viscerally remembered why i’m here. and want to remain a part of this squirrelly entertainment business.

looks can be deceiving. and while i no longer aim to use that to skirt the underlying realities, it doesn’t mean that they don’t any longer exist. stories like these, and mine, show us that setbacks can be transcended. foundations can provide settings for the gathering of the good we have. and all that we can make.

experience with choices made by my person have let me be part of the thoughtful world i saw that very first summer here. and one i only hope to foster for others. it’s all we’re here to do, i think. and we can all benefit from a good belly-laugh, anyway. so we may as well.

m.s., p.r., they’re two kinds of lives that are a different every day

basic biology is perhaps more assuredly explanative than we give it credit for. like the law of gravity, there is a lot is to be understood from having just a simple awareness. a remedial understanding. nothing of the sort needs to be as complicated as we make it. that only serves to confuse what can be very obvious.

the ramifications of over-thinking simple things span far and wide. we see the effects everywhere. which, along with all the peril it also brings, makes it easier to ignore the incendiary pieces that are sparked closest to home. but, when we take the time to look, some of the least egregious acts begin with kindnesses not enough of us show to even ourselves.

for a substantial chunk of our lifetime here, those kinder moments weren’t always seen as newsworthy enough to get proper coverage. and we continually miss out on those teachable opportunities as many of us live lives that don’t bring us into contact with beings unlike ourselves. animals, aged folks. interactions that were at one time commonplace are now alien. and the accompanying wisdoms seem to have flown out the window with those changes in social structure.

casual calamities that once occurred nonchalantly within the existence of a growing human population are now unnecessarily made issue of. sometimes to the point of detriment, as elementary goals are thwarted to erase their existence instead. sounds. unsightly visuals. whatever we deem to be problematic in our quest for unattainable perfection.

at one point, when some of us were in high school, adrenal glands were an element of the human body known to be looked out for. becoming either overtired or over-caffeinated was unacceptable, and knowingly causing such physical distress was ardently looked down upon. until success was procured from extremely capitalistic work environments, genuine care was expressed to any who endeavored to participate in maintaining life. the general cost of doing business made more sense. the price of being here.

anxiety was to be avoided rather than simply treated and otherwise ignored. same with depression. getting older was celebrated in many circles. elders were respected. but as bodily downfalls got in the way of productivity, the more standard work-arounds became less humane. and we somehow at the same time became less vocal about our needs.

we shared less and less in common as we used varying methods to cope with life. and information was haphazardly doled out in a thoughtlessly quick effort to fix whatever issue plagued the moment. now it is truly everyone for themselves as our lives continue to outwardly veer off more sharply from the average.

domestically speaking, there is an overriding mindset of discrepancy as to what comes with having access to certain resources. admittedly part of the problem, this wasn’t anything i gave much thought to until it affected me personally. what a gross american stereotype to be. thankfully, on that front at least, there is nowhere to go but up.

but, looking for the upside that has to be here also, illumination of said realities is perhaps the most beneficial option we have for us all to see the glaring missteps we have taken. to figure out what else we could have done. what we can do to make advantageous changes.

the activity of my early days in p.r. were incredibly varied. and especially once i began traveling for business purposes, the only constant was my boss. a single day could be filled with split coverage duties of two-to-four photo shoots, a plane, nourishment available at hotels, hundreds of emails to forge potential forthcoming opportunities, and whatever else came up in the interim that day.

if someone was arrested, whatever existing itineraries being followed were usurped as the next steps were mapped out. being able to go with the flow was required, and the personalities to be dealt with, especially in such game-changing moments, changed with the wind. the absence of the needed flexibility was a fireable offense. if bosses had to pick up the slack, support staff was dismissed without question.

having as much of the correct information as possible was a life-saver. until we knew what to do with it, having it to accurately and succinctly convey to superiors who did put us at the top of our game. all offending famous types survived that chaos somehow. we made sure of it. but what all that stress did to us is still falling out to this moment.

the experience of a fast-paced p.r. life with the need for quick thinking is probably what has saved me in this dreary m.s. existence so far. the memory pieces are detached and nonsensical for the most part, and much of my person is depleted. days are spent mostly in solitude as i attempt to rewire my brain for the most basic functionality. much of what once
was has disappeared, but a few remnants of my mental fortitude thankfully still remain.

it is only now slowly growing back, but to my great chagrin, chunks of my personal intuition seem to have also burned off along the way. like a space shuttle upon re-entry. to my younger, success-driven self, i warn that subsisting on coffee and cigarettes leads us down a far bleaker path than we are led to believe to be the benefits.

back to high school biology, adrenal glands need proper upkeep to withstand all we throw at them. with our intuition getting direct messages from our senses, all of which are riding along on the flow of our adrenal system, those elements are easily overwhelmed as we rely on them more and more to cut through the dizzying array of stimulants vying for our attention.

a lot is being done prematurely. and without the requisite personal knowledge. that when new public cases are announced it changes the landscape of available medical research for a disorder that’s been around for decades is alarming. and it gives rise to even more significant concern that the disease’s discernable lineage, that could lead us to livable treatments, is repeatedly overlooked.

negative social responses to related autoimmune epidemics, due primarily to ignorant reactions in the 80s, are steering us down a path of highly unnecessary neurological bandaids. the imperative need to address our related mental and emotional plights are squarely neglected as it is iliogiclky assumed that people in our lives will pick up the pieces.

some of the worst things ever to be said to me have been spoken since my diagnosis. but if they weren’t at all truthful in nature, i would attempt to argue loudly like i used to. demyelination is wiley like that. by its destructive design, it makes obvious all we have striven to hide away. the mental health hacks we employed that weren’t actually helpful are found out for their futility. we are left to take responsibility for all our parts, known about or not.

the lack of support for those who don’t leave even when they probably want to most is astoundingly sad. those of us confronted with chronic conditions may not have chosen this element of our makeup, but if we want to survive, it is our job to accept it first. and we aren’t usually good at it. that anyone stays on this ride with us is to be revered. and we aren’t usually good at doing that, either.

like my former p.r. jobs, everyday is different when it’s a life with m.s. not knowing that your face is drooping when you think you’re smiling, or not feeling that you are clearly exhausted as you snap at people for no justifiable reason, are just the most visible parts of this chaos. we likely won’t remember the tumult, anyway. it’s like that p.r. life that way, though, and as i’ve gleaned from my parent-friends, like the parenting of an infant. but for yourself instead. there is no time off, no true vacation days. only moments of respite.

remaining vigilant in times that seem more copasetic is often the hardest, and most confounding, part of this mess. sorting through and preparing for fallout from the mismatched foibles is mentally consuming. and the exhaustion that comes in its wake stays around powerfully to contribute to the next wave. inwardly, it is disastrous.

but that we genuinely aren’t aware of the smoke signals our sensors are emitting is a monstrosity for any in our presence. what it does to our few people to remain has yet to be documented. analyzed. but from anecdotal observation, the mire that we create with our wonkily-pathed brains is problematic to them, too. and without the teams we relied on in that p.r. existence, how they manage to uphold us is remarkable.

as much as i wish for a few re-do moments from my past life, as of yet there are no awards given out to our companions. those whom we push out the door with our inept ability to handle our repeated, circular, consternation and outlandish fears when we (inaccurately) act from outdated muscle memory that tells us we can push through the situation.

we can only hope that there are fancy outfit occasions waiting for those who voluntarily share our stories. or that there is at least some semblance of humanity we can provide. the bar is low for us now. and hopefully that will lead us to accomplish something worthwhile.

watching people touch standees is a weirdly on point analogy for us all

after almost every trip, once pockets were emptied and suitcases were unpacked, miscellaneous things of all kinds somehow ended up appearing. mostly, they were client gifts or odd things they carried around and forgot about. few at that level toted their own ornaments, and offering to hold something before hitting the red carpet usually locked said kind person into ownership.

most adopted finds were the sillier type of things one gets on vacation from a hotel. no one knows what to give their idols of the moment in the moment, whatever the circumstance, and we all seem to misjudge what others want. or can use. will use. but, the laughs the trinkets garnered were usually worth whatever strife was had at airport security.

at a music festival we attended, one of the bandmates of the comedy and music act we hurriedly traversed the grounds with nabbed a life-sized cardboard standee of mr. rogers. it was there with a movie promotion, and its absence was likely felt and dismissed by that staff almost immediately. but our gang insisted that it make the return to los angeles a few days later. that no one wanted the responsibility of ensuring its safe relocation left the duty to me. the corporate minion for whom slinging the odd totem was second nature.

but this folded up likeness was unlike anything i’d brought on board before. anywhere. the attention it drew when it was seen for who it was made of was astounding. and everyone wanted their photo taken with it. lines at the airport gate before we boarded were longer than those to go through security.

it was a weekend day. most people’s day off. alone sans talent left me in a more vulnerable position than i was used to. grabby hands aren’t just wielded on talent, apparently. but regardless of what should be barriers, the unasked for lesson that day was that unless you uphold your own boundaries, outside trampling is likely. nothing that seems obvious holds firm when faced with others’ wants sometimes.

until my m.s. became obviously problematic, the same was subtlety proved to be true in human form as well. it never dawned on me that suggesting hand-washing was necessary. not knowingly in my wildest dreams would i touch someone without first making sure that i was as germ-free as possible. but that’s not everyone.

that cardboard figure was folded in the oddest way. it would stand upright best when it was leaned on something else, but there were greasy grab marks on all its bends, hinting that it had been manhandled when it was moved between rooms. but, like me now, it bent sharply in the waist area, and could not be easily righted. how prescient life can be.

somewhere i read that everything experienced in life is preparation for events to come later. what they will be is one in a grab bag of options, and we typically don’t find out what the experience is for until far beyond that moment in time. we hopefully use what we learned the next time we’re faced with such an encounter. if we have the presence to connect the dots. use the deductive reasoning needed to make the connections.

the word math of comedy bits helps analogies to make broader sense. in a real world kind of way. circumstances that seem akin to foreign gibberish look to be more sound when analogized with an accompanying organic laugh track. taking the time to make things relate to each other is what comedians do. and what we all probably should if we want to truly understand our surroundings. and really, the people in them.

carting that standee first around an outdoor music festival and then an airport after a brief stint at a hotel lobby for goodbyes was oddly enlightening. presumably, had the notable comedian guy been present, the standee would have been mostly ignored in favor of possible photos with him. there is always a hierarchy. but the touchy-feely nature of most of us was maybe more obvious that day.

there is no day off when people want something. whatever it is. and that includes our persons, too. chronic illness is mostly invisible. m.s. famously uses that reality of the disorder as a point of explanation despite its accompanying implications being truly unknown to most who hear that. which only muddies the waters, really.

regardless of the “why” for it, respecting others and their settings is paramount to living a shared life. crowded thoroughfares let this be flagrantly apparent as we endeavor not to run into people. but extrapolating that logic is perhaps our next challenge to meet. how to express love and gratitude without sharing unknowingly tainted hugs and awkward hand shakes.

as with most of the things, it is all probably easier than we make it. simply looking at the deep creases in that figure may have halted those who insisted it fold another way before they manhandled it. asking folks i know and cherish to wash their hands may seem overbearing, but being able to stand is far preferable to the minimal discomfort that arises in the moment.

if this is all preparation for something, it’s a nice thought that makes this life all that more palatable. exciting to experience. like a live game of chutes & ladders, we never know what space we’ll land on that will send us careening back down. so we may as well enjoy the ride. and, as we can, help others to do the same.

where we’re from is only part of our makeup

language is one of those tricky beasts that allows some to hide their truest thoughts in plain sight. most use it for good. semantics can be confounding. lack of knowledge keeps the ride of the words hovering above some of us as their suggested meanings are expelled without extended explication at a quick clip. and we indiscriminately move on assuming we know the intent.

comedians rework the word math until it both sounds and feels right. those listening who can make the connections, grasp how the sounds work together, get to actually see what’s truly meant by the collaboration of all the colors of the comedy rainbow. funny sounding words and phrasings fill the audible gaps with a different kind of laughter. together, they make for a smorgasbord of titillation. but each bite isn’t made of the same ingredients.

british humor tends to be deeper in its true nature. the wealth of words at the culture’s disposal is not unique to that part of the world, but their ability to wield it may be. definitely the ease of employ is. the fascination with a tool that we have complete access to everyday is astounding. the barriers put in the way to it are wholly unnecessary, but that we do highlights both the vast and subtle differences in cultural sensitivity. to words. and the myriad meanings behind them.

time is more commonly spent discussing the differences in comedy between men and women. it seems easier to do as it is usually more obvious. but a far larger variant exists. gender doesn’t inherently make us all that different. but awareness does. and ability to synthesize information. a lot of us forget those pieces of the puzzle when words hang us up.

there were two broadly known comedians we worked with who hailed from the uk. one had made a name for himself earlier as he scoured the justice system from the inside. the few in the states who knew of him laughed all the way through, as if we had been in on it, too. the more elite audience was smaller, but fierce. filled with loyal believers who guffawed at his mockeries of the holes he found. exploited. the accompanying amusement seemed as though it was powerful enough to encourage change. but sadly, it doesn’t appear to have been.

the other was flagrantly hoisted into the mainstream. as teenaged boys gleefully mimicked his fast language and arrogant sensibility, the older (mostly) men in charge celebrated the conveyance of the words. and stopped there. having that wordsmithing trait alone was enough to sell him. but, that we did may have changed the way we view each other. comedies tend to reach farther than we are led to believe.

movie quotes that are repeated for years, studied to ensure that the correct wording and elocution are used, keep the mentality of that setting current as a result. until a dastardly connection is made, or when unsavory actions are found out about, those words live on. and the actor they’re attributed to is forever affiliated.

as lives are lived, and worlds blossom and change, fans keep their favorites who gave them those soundbites in that box. regardless of subsequent choices made, those projects are forever the benchmark they’re measured against. that can turn people into a lot of things when they identify with those pieces. images.

the assumption that came from them both being british and in our stable was that they were similar. but, with time, it has become obvious, irrefutably evident, some of the ways in which they are not.

one bowed out of the juvenile rat race early. his distinctive perspective pops up here and there, and he is far from gone. but his contribution to our world vision is one of his evolution rather than his stagnation. the other makes waves wherever he goes as he figures it out. those parts of their personas appear to be hard-wired. unchanging.

both are some kind of family man now, so presumably they’ve adjusted a bit to accommodate that layer of their lives. we’re all older. some are wiser. they’re both usually still some kind of funny. but what they get behind, how they convey their humor, is tremendously different. what brought them to us at that company in the first place it seems has changed them.

like some of the most notable sitcoms, while we strived to give their acerbic observations the rightfully warranted attention, we apparently did it wrong. people held onto the wrong parts. the editors of the features we arranged may have known better, but clickbait headlines usurped our intentions inclined towards honesty.

a lot of people are often involved in what is credited to one person. especially famous types. some of whom know themselves better than others. set boundaries. respect their own, and those of others. some don’t know better sometimes. which, in the end, makes for some fantastical stories.

as do our learnings of those lessons. when we let ourselves laugh at ourselves. or, at least, the parts of ourselves we see on the screen. celebrities. characters. which are ours to use as our guinea pigs. at least we know more about hospitable animal testing now.

making lemonade is always an option

even when we want to make them so, some things, like team rankings, just aren’t subjective. that simple truth deletes the space for any related debate, which seems to infuriate some people. and that’s usually when attacks become personal. in some circles, athletics dominate that squirrelly marketplace. but it is all seeped far deeper than what we are shown.

teams who spend the year competing against others are looked at differently than sports that determine earned accolades by personal judgements. nothing is outwardly admitted, but the differences among the natures of the competitors is clear.

when placement goals hinge on showcasing a winning personality, it is usually more obvious. there, the crossover into the entertainment landscape, competing in such a similar popularity contest, makes more sense.

making a name for oneself in more resolute team sports, though, involves a unique kind of tightrope to walk as likability parameters can change drastically based solely on the others who are present. the mosaic of the metaphorical playing field shape-shifts as the rooted-for team changes with the standings. or when an opposing player make a social blunder. which is often open to interpretation, so it still sometimes becomes the more salient metric paid attention to.

the big personality required to shoulder the responsibility of such whimsically changing demand carries with it another kind of onus, too. one that is taken for granted by most as it is simply seen as par for the course in such fields. the few closest to those in that purview have to really stay on their toes, as the butterfly effect of one small change in the makeup of the environment can alter outcomes for years to come. whether they are bought or controlled by sources unseen ceases to matter when actual health is at stake. and players seem to know that in the moments that matter most.

defining the narrative that nothing i ever did professionally was thought to be possible, not any of my cohorts also worked with both athletes and actors. but a most notorious athlete was dating an actress that colleagues at the company i worked at represented, and as he saw through the smoke and mirrors of our business almost instantaneously, they felt for her sake that someone should mind his affairs.

seeing how seamlessly it could work by having someone exist in the fold to be the bad guy, he wanted his own foray into the limelight, too. the most difficult of media personalities took note, and were not quiet. we were heavily watched, and while most of the opinions were warranted, each team he went to had a different axe to grind. when he was on their team they celebrated him. when they played opposite him, though, all bets were off. the years working with him were exciting, but long. hard. brutal, in some cases.

it was not his first rodeo when he called me after hours to announce his glee at being traded to a team in a city he yearned to play for. he was getting on a plane shortly, he said, but his list of expected anticipations preceded his bonafide reason for being there. that it was late on the east coast appeared irrelevant. he wanted to attend the most highly coveted event in fashion there was, and we had less than a week to make the impossible a reality.

excusing myself from a work dinner to answer his call was not an oddity. but nothing about the summons warned me of the hoops i would soon find myself jumping through. the people in charge of the evening were notoriously snobby. that we both had forged relationships with underlings in charge of more than they knew we figured may work in our favor, but it depended on whom we could speak with to ascertain admittance.

whether he was ticketed or not, i knew he would find some way to attend. that he was not a name they would part waves for was irrelevant to them. but scenes made there were not appreciated. or easily swept under the carpet. so my non-choice was obvious.

and if that man taught me anything, it is that the happiest of accidents come about in the most random of ways. he made it to new york. and that event. we were able to parlay his presence into a magazine internship position, and the positive press garnered from that lasted longer than his tenure on the team.

situations we find ourselves in are seldom easy. as much as we try to make them so, there is almost always a game-changing circumstance that we overlook. while he played there, a rule was literally made disallowing actions he took against a goalie. i sat with his mother as it went down, and her sideways smile told me everything i wanted to know. this had always been him. what i had faced was but a speck in her lifetime with him.

when we met up with him after the game, she hugged him proudly. the earlier transgressions weren’t mentioned. that she got to be there for that moment was what mattered. and that’s the take away. i think of her fortitude often when the frustrations with my m.s. make me want to scream. some pieces of life are ridiculous. some are maddening. but whatever the circumstances look like, they’re not the full story. and that is something to always remember.

it really is the little things sometimes

parties aren’t always intended to be just for fun. for shyer guests, and those who can see through the broader pomp and circumstance, the rigamarole that is in some ways deemed necessary is often painful to endure. mentally speaking. usually.

for a while, gatherings intended to be celebrations became visually as important as the work that brought people there to begin with. perceptually, anyway. those who know always know, though, which is thankfully more obvious now. but with that shift in purpose, cottage industries for services ranging from wearable accoutrements to chauffeured travel offerings sprouted up all over. seemingly overnight.

sorting through that mêlé was its own orchestration of landmines to navigate as affiliations determined allowed users. the little that remained or could be reserved was coveted. and with so many more of us employed, we inadvertently muddied the waters as we tried to keep our jobs. it wasn’t long before the smoothest talkers and biggest promisers became the ultimate tool to have access to in some circles. and that cycle of desire and access started all over with each supposed advantage.

as the visibility grew, though, each of us had more responsibilities to be aware of. to keep in the front of our minds. those who didn’t were hit with the accompanying sore ramifications eventually, if not immediately. when someone didn’t get a part they thought they were a shoe-in for. or when rumors were spread around town about certain actions in certain moments. before we all had camera phones, more could be gotten away with. the secrecy that veiled the legitimate goings on seemed untouchable. opaque. but in the more gossipy circumstances, that was usually only for a short while.

awards shows were the highest echelon for such unexpected shenanigans. what would be worn dominated actions for months leading up to the nights in question. holds were placed on desired hair and makeup teams farther out than the nomination announcements in hopes that they would be needed for the night of. everyone in town wanted an invitation, but rules kept in-person seating to a hand-picked minimum.

the rest of us typically ended up standing in tents scavenging for water and whatever free sustenance happened to be nearby when the hunger pangs took over. we waited in hopes of feeling needed for the momentary opportunity of a reaction in the press. empty lives were blatant before we all could text to avoid uncomfortable interaction.

as the categories wound down, the numbers of on-site worker bees dwindled. those of us remaining collected mostly by the companies we worked for as the winners of the final categories were called out for the telecasts. the energy waned as the more experienced watch dogs shuffled away from the chaos of the momentary festivities. we would all learn when we could most easily depart eventually, but the hope that always remained present was buoying. we almost always knew the outcomes, but you truly never really know until it’s spoken.

like unevenly matched baseball games with more boring innings, crowd attendance was many times predicated by the excitement garnered in the rooms backstage. odd pairings that would never be designed by studios for films could be seen all the time as notable people coalesced for presentations of winners. to rehearse, or rewrite not-great scripts together. in hindsight, without the pressure to represent the winner, being corralled into a so-called “publicist tent” was worth it for that alone.

what was said during group bathroom breaks was made public knowledge almost immediately. actors quickly became aware of that, and those in the know acted always as if they were on a set break wearing a hot mic. at any time, anything overheard could be made into fodder for something. by anyone. and with as many comedians around as there were, and with all the other uncomfortable personalities present, it often was. as much as we feigned otherwise, privacy in real-life application was non-existent.

when fewer cared about what they thought they could glean from the myriad nuances they witnessed, the distinctions of who was who weren’t as needed. hair was let down among trusted confidants. shepards at such gatherings were mostly discreet. but those who had been burned stayed away from the tempting flame, and discomforts that required separation to address were kept at bay as long as possible.

at the parties, sometimes only the leads were promised access. but all involved wanted to go. the pack mentality was strong, and while they didn’t always accommodate the full group up front, networks relished in their access to fuller casts.

one year, the tertiary cast members of a popular, award-winning television show saw the line of cars ahead of us for a party after a show and panicked. the men of the group remained at a quieter level of their elevated vainness, but were still relatively unconcerned. a strong fear swept over the women, though, and murmurs of early call times and wanting to head home to avoid the hubbub were heard above the din of the shouting vehicle directors in the nearby drop-off area.

the automatic, uncensored, offer of my nearby apartment for a bathroom stop fell out of my mouth before i thought any better. i lived alone, and had had a recent visit from my housekeeper, but they were all far above my life pay grade. that i could get access for and drive a few of them to an event that my top-of-the-call-sheet client was attending was one thing. but knowing none of them well enough to feel comfortable having them in my home was something else altogether.

the sense of relief that washed over the camp was immediately palpable. and with that, the off-hand mention became a decision cemented for me. ball gowns and tiny purses ascended the stairway to my single working-gal apartment. it looked as if mary tyler moore got stuck entertaining on an episode of her sitcom. but far faster than it would have taken at the party venue, we were done and heading back more comfortably to the red carpet.

photos that night were filled with genuine smiles. it was as if the cast had realized they’d won all over again. as the lines for restrooms and mirrors spilled into the event room, our earlier detour became an inside joke among the group. they were now reunited in full, and a few of the most notable cast members thanked me effusively as they watched other groups be dismantled by bathroom breaks.

awards aside, perhaps that night we all took away a most valuable experience. what makes things easier for others doesn’t always need to be overly comfortable for us. but doing what’s best for all one is usually what ends up being the best for all involved. and small grievances are but a tiny price to pay for group peace. for restrooms or otherwise.