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August 2013

Three Hundred Nineteen.

This is going to be scattered because I feel scattered.

On Thursday, AKA The Longest Day at Work Ever That Made Me Partially Insane, I was sitting in my office, having a chat with my 19-year-old coworker, who is about to start another year of his undergrad degree.

I wish I could tell you the exact context of our conversation, but I think I blocked it all out after he said something along these lines:

“I’m just going to finish my degree and get a job and then I’ll pay off all my debt quickly and be fine.”

And I looked over at him, stunned into silence, and then I said:

“And what is totally crazy is that in your world, that’s a totally realistic hope. Because when you finish your degree, you’ll have jobs to choose from.”

“Right, I guess it’s different in the arts.” he replied.

I wasn’t even sure what to say.

“There are jobs you can choose from,” he joked, “Like retail jobs, or you could be a bartender…or a server…”

I let out a sharp, short laugh. It had the same emotion behind it as the “WOW.” in this post, even though I know that my coworker was just razzing me. My office mate instinctively started moving toward me, wheeling his chair up to mine.

“I have a master’s degree. I HAVE A MASTER’S DEGREE, guys.”

And then my office mate hugged me and I wanted to die.

Sometimes working at my science job is like:

Adult

And it makes me feel like this:

But then maybe one person tells me they read something I wrote and it moved them, or they say something crazy like, “You should write books!” or they tell me I’m funny and I should act in things.

Or I read quotes like the ones in this article, or I read the lessons presented by the brilliant Kevin Spacey in this article.

And I just think, you know what? You really do have to make your opportunities. It’s time to stop being scared. Or rather, to stop letting the fear keep me back. It’s time to embrace it, harness it, and let it be the thing that pushes me forward. Because when you’re scared and you start running, you can’t really stop, can you?

(You can’t because the monster will get you.)

kristen-wiig-quote

Run. Run. Run

Just be you.

tina-fey-quoteAnother thing I need to do: be okay with asking for help along the way.

Here goes nothing.

Help.

xA

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Three Hundred Eighteen.

Hey, did you guys know that exercising releases endorphins?

And adrenaline? And serotonin? And dopamine?

All of those things make you feel really good when you exercise.

Like this:

Eeeee Happy

Yesterday, I had a killer Zumba class. It was epic and I wasn’t even dressed as a superhero (that has happened and I have no doubts it will happen again). It was a huge class. There were tons of smiling faces. One of my BFFs was there. The energy was amazing. And I had a crazy ton of energy.

Add into the mix:

– It had been a ridiculously long and mind-numbing day at work. One of those days where everyone in the office feels it. At 2pm, my office mate turned to me and said, “Doesn’t it feel like it should be 5pm?” YES IT DID. So when you’re freed from that, you’re just like, WEEEEE!

– I made plans to visit my friend Annette in Calgary and I LOVE HER.

– I reconnected with someone I missed and it made me happy.

– I had been doing a LOT of texting with two of my BFFs. (A lot of texting gets my brain firing like crazy and sometimes makes me feel weird and hyper and overwhelmed. It’s why I try to take Internet breaks, but I haven’t done that lately.)

– I was feeling kind of frisky. (MOM DON’T READ THAT.)

So I taught this awesome Zumba class and I was on a fantastic natural high. Feeling peppy as fuck, really.

And then an hour later, I was still feeling peppy as fuck.

And then two hours later, I assessed the situation and realized I was vibrating. I felt like I could have gone for a 5K run and also like I should just keep CAPS LOCK permanently engaged for the rest of the night.

It’s at this point in my natural high that I should have stopped and thought, “NO INTERNET, ANDREA.”

But instead I WENT ON THE INTERNET.

Screen shot 2013-08-30 at 10.42.28Screen shot 2013-08-30 at 10.42.40

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TEXT I SENT MY BFF JOLENE: “I’m fucking high as a kite right now! On Adrenaline! That Zumba class was killer.

HER RESPONSE: “It was 3 hrs ago.”

TEXT I SENT MY BFF JOLENE: “JOLENE JOLENE JOLENE JOLENE.”

And then I ate a very sugary brownie…that was also very expired.

Screen shot 2013-08-30 at 10.43.05

TEXT I SENT MY BFF JOLENE: “WHY AM I A FUCKING WEIRDO?!

Screen shot 2013-08-30 at 10.43.33

Screen shot 2013-08-30 at 10.43.42

Screen shot 2013-08-30 at 10.43.23

Um….

TEXT I SENT MY BFF JOLENE: “AHHHHHHHHHH. AHHHHHHHH. Am I awful to be around?

HER RESPONSE: “Yes, terrible. That’s why everyone loves you so much.”

And also, it was like, torrential downpouring outside. And my brain is a very surreal place, so…

Screen shot 2013-08-30 at 10.43.59

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Which was a total lie because I was up for like, another two hours being an adrenaline-crazed weirdo.

Lesson learned: I should maybe not be allowed to be around people. Just in general.

Also, I have really understanding friends.

Also, you can tag yourself in a Facebook status.

Screen shot 2013-08-30 at 10.45.08

But they won’t notify you that you did it.

Okay, everyone please continue to talk to me after this. Even if just out of pity.

xA

P.S. Maybe more yoga really is a good idea…

Three Hundred Seventeen.

Siri totally freaks me out. The idea of robots totally freaks me out because I feel like they may take over the world one day soon.

So naturally, when I got an iPhone 5…

IMG_4401

IMG_4402

IMG_4403

Sigh. I’m gonna be single FOREVER.

At least he didn’t just default to giving me UK football scores, which is what he did when I was trying to locate a Booster Juice in my vicinity.

Lesson Learned: I am amused way too easily.

(Be glad I’m only showing you three pages of our chat. On one particular day. I can’t get enough of this shit. How does he understand how to answer me? HOW?!)

xA

P.S. At least I’m good looking for a human. And not just good looking, but very. That Siri. What a guy.

Three Hundred Sixteen.

Yoga.

You know what?

Let’s not pretend.

It can be pretty intimidating because it can sometimes feel really pretentious. Like, people who do yoga regularly are sometimes very serious about yoga, so it can be super scary to go in as a beginner, anticipating dirty looks and/or judgement.

Lucille Judge

But I’ve always been curious about it. Especially since becoming a fitness instructor. I do so much high impact cardio, and then a lot of strength training, and I know I could use more stretch in my life.

So in July, I decided to give it a go. It was pure chance, really. I had a coffee meeting downtown, and when I checked my gym schedule online, it just so happened that a friend of mine was teaching yoga right after my coffee date at a location just a few blocks away.

Meant to be, I thought. Just do it.

So I did.

I was the only first-timer. Great. But I tried to shrug and laugh it off.

“I have no idea what I’m doing!” I joked. “It’s gonna be highly entertaining!”

In the meantime, I just wanted to disappear.

Disappearing Homer

You know what? Physically, I rocked it.

I’m strong, I’m in good shape, and I’m flexible. Yes, the hamstring stretches made me want to die because I work my legs so hard on a daily basis doing Zumba. But I didn’t really struggle with any of the strength or balance aspects of the class.

It was the other side of yoga that got me.

The quiet side.

My friend, the instructor, was amazing. She’s an incredibly centred and peaceful presence. And in theory, I totally understood everything she was saying.

But every time we had to just be still on our mat and breathe, my body tensed up.

I could hear the instructor’s words, telling me to focus and clear my mind. And I was trying. I was trying so hard that it was making me sweat. I’d close my eyes and the noise in my head would feel deafening. The thoughts would rush around in there so quickly it was like they were colliding and causing me physical pain. I twitched and tightened, worrying about how I couldn’t just relax, wondering if anyone was watching me and thinking, My God, what the fuck is wrong with her?!

Logically, I knew:

Calm DownBut my instant reaction was:

No sense

Despite leaving feeling like a total failure, something happened when I got home. I got into the shower, and all of a sudden, I had an overwhelming rush of creative ideas. I wrote the endings to stories I’ve had in my mind for ages. I had a perfect idea for a short film. I envisioned a hilarious moment in the TV show I am working on writing.

I got out of the shower and grabbed my iPhone and rambled a ton of shit into my voice memos.

I guess I managed to relax a little. Like, maybe even halfway. And look where it got me.

Oh shit.

So yoga taught me:

(A) That I am terrible at relaxing and clearing my mind. (I’ve kind of been through this already…)

(B) That I really, seriously need to work on doing just that.

xA

P.S. One of the few accurate things the tarot card reader said about me yesterday was that I never give myself a break. “When you are working on a project, you put everything into it. You’re incredibly focused. And you have multiple projects at once. I feel like…I feel like you’ve never been on a real vacation. And I think you need to give yourself that. Soon.”

YEAH OKAY. TOTALLY YES PLEASE.

I just need to find the time and money.

SHIT.

Three Hundred Fifteen.

So, I got my tarot cards read today.

t-gilded

Yup.

It’s something I’ve always been curious about, and I figured hey, I’m feeling kind of lost and have felt like my life has been at a crossroads for like, over a year now, so I might as well just give it a go.

It was weird.

Here’s the thing: I consider myself a very intuitive person. On top of that, I’m a writer, so observing people is like, my favourite thing to do. As a result, I feel like I can read people very well, and I’m extra sensitive to how people speak, the subtext of what they say, and how they interact with me.

This woman was nervous around me. Maybe I’m hard to read – fair enough, I’ve been told that before. She seemed to be struggling very hard with figuring out who I am and what I do, and the “imagery” she kept calling upon had little to nothing to do with me.

She told me I should be a food blogger or a sculptor, and that I would have many opportunities for art openings in New York.

SIDENOTE: She told me I’d travel to New York with my red-headed sister, so Laura, if you’re reading this, pack your bags.

Then she told me I should research how to apply to be a food reviewer for blogs and travel the world doing that.

SIDENOTE: Vegan, gluten-free food blogger. I’d be lynched a week into my new career.

She then told me I should consider getting my Master’s degree (I have one), and that it should be in photography.

SIDENOTE: You know what? I fucking love photography. I wish I did more of it. I am always saying that. And I’m a huge camera nerd. So there’s that.

Between asking me questions and making statements about me that I had to constantly reply, “no” to, she cleared her throat, giggled anxiously, and said things like, “Oh, yeah, that felt wrong,” or, “Oh gosh, that was totally off – let’s scrap that.”

To be honest, everything else she said about me was very…general. That I need to focus on loving myself (I know, I really do), and that I should write down three qualities I love about myself every day for 21 days straight (that’s cool, I actually should, and I actually am going to be blogging about something similar very soon). She told me that I should focus on reconnecting with my spirituality (fair enough), and then mentioned that maybe I could manage a number of yoga studios (KILL ME NOW).

SIDENOTE: No offense, yoga lovers. I tried yoga and it was a huge learning experience for me.

SIDENOTE TO THE SIDENOTE: Oh my fucking god! I thought I had blogged about yoga! I was totally gonna link to it, and it DOESN’T EXIST! And here I thought I was running out of ideas. I’LL NEVER RUN OUT OF IDEAS.

(Haha, watch the universe screw me on like, day 347.)

Guys, I’m not a skeptic. I’ve always been intrigued by tarot and psychics and all that stuff. I totally believe it’s possible. I was totally that 14-year-old with a deck of tarot cards and a book trying to tell my own fortune. (I still have them, too. I know exactly where they are.) Plus, I fucking love Long Island Medium.

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But lesson learned: Today was not my day for a tarot reading.

OR MAYBE

I should become a tarot card reader.

xA

P.S. If you live where I live and you have been to an amazing tarot card reader and/or psychic, TELL ME NOW. I’m so curious it hurts.

P.P.S. Hilariously, the tarot card reader pulled a bunch of cards pertaining to my last relationship, and almost every single thing – like 94% of what she said about him – was (and/or felt) eerily, eerily accurate. So, if you’re reading this and you want to hear about it, send me a smoke signal and when I’m ready, I’ll tell you all about it.

P.P.P.S. Now the yoga post exists.

Three Hundred Fourteen.

Guys, I promise I’ll stop being like, super emo after today. Or I’ll try my best, anyway.

But I have to say, after the last couple days, even though I haven’t elaborated on anything going on in my life, I have gotten so many sweet, caring messages, some from people I would never expect to even notice me. And that really means a lot to me.

What have I learned from that?

(A) I know some pretty darn good people.

(B) Maybe I am pretty rad and likeable after all. (Haha.)

Thanks, guys.

xA

P.S. If I were really cool, I’d wink and thank you with a winning smile, like this. But since I’m not, you can consider this a thank you anyway. And also, you’re welcome.

anigif_enhanced-buzz-3179-1368991739-1

P.P.S. Shit, if I were that good looking, my ego would be UNSTOPPABLE. I wouldn’t thank anyone for anything. They’d have to thank me for existing. (/sarcasm) (sort of.)

Three Hundred Thirteen.

Life is weird.

This new girl has been showing up at my Zumba classes lately. She immediately caught my eye because she’s covered in tattoos and she’s a really good dancer. She also has really great energy – I immediately felt like she was friendly.

She’s been coming to my classes for a few weeks now, and the other day, I finally asked her name. I was standing with my BFF Jolene at the time, and I joked with this girl – let’s call her Charlene – that her tattoos caught my eye, because heavily tattooed girls aren’t too commonplace.

“You used to be the gorgeous tattooed mystery girl showing up at my classes, Andrea” Jolene said, “Now you’ve got one, too!”

We all laughed and continued on to my class and that was that.

I need to backtrack a moment now to tell you about one of the first times I ever talked to my BFF Jolene. I think, in fact, it may have been the second time we ever spoke. It was after I attended one of her Zumba classes, and I overheard her hinting at some relationship drama in the change rooms. She seemed to be having a hard day.

Even though I didn’t know her well, I felt compelled to talk to her.

“Hey,” I said shyly, “Look, I know we don’t know each other well at all, but if you ever need to talk about what’s going on, I’ve been through some shit, too.”

And the rest was sort of history.

Today has been a rough day. It started out with some big sadness, and then I had to gather myself, make myself look like a sort of normal person, and go teach Zumba.

HOO-FUCKING-RAY, right?

SIDENOTE: Groan.

I tried my best. I really did. But at the same time, I could feel that I was not radiating my usual happy energy. I felt exhausted and sick to my stomach, and my blood sugar quickly tapped out. My emotions had left me unable to eat anything. I was struggling hard.

I totally lost track of myself near the end of class. Suddenly choreography I’ve been teaching for months started to escape me and simple moves felt like jumping hurdles. So when the hour was finally over, I was hugely relieved. I wished everyone a happy weekend and then sat down on the edge of the stage to try to gather myself again, this time enough to get my ass back home.

Honestly, I thought that everyone had left the classroom.

But then I saw Charlene. She sat down at the front of the classroom to change her shoes and looked at me earnestly.

“I know it’s totally none of my business because you don’t know me at all,” she started, “but are you all right? You seem really sad today.”

Lesson learned: I’m starting to think there are no coincidences. Life brings you full circle over and over again – with varying lengths of time for those circles to complete, of course – for a reason.

Who knows? Maybe Charlene’s going to become a bigger part of my life, or teach me something really important. Either way, I’m looking forward to seeing what happens.

xA

Three Hundred Twelve.

Your heart can leave you immobilized even when your head tells you to push through and keep moving.

Your dogs will love you no matter what.

Screen shot 2013-08-24 at 12.11.33

Thank goodness.

xA

Three Hundred Eleven.

Well, since I told you about some of the men I thought I would marry when I was a child, I thought it would only be fair to also tell you about some of the women I loved most.

What’s really funny, though, is that – no, you know what? Let’s just take a look.

WOMEN I WANTED TO BE WHEN I WAS A SMALL CHILD by Andrea Beça.

SIDENOTE: By “small,” I mean like, 13 and under, but some of these dreams have never died. You know what? Basically none of them have.

Catwoman
Catwoman.

I mean, hello? Obviously. Obviously. I watched Batman like, every single day on TV after school. I was obsessed. So naturally I dreamed of being this feisty, sexy woman.

SIDENOTE: I would look killer in that outfit today. And I would love to have a reason to rock it.

Wonder Woman.
Wonder Woman.

Again, mega-DUH.

SIDENOTE: I feel like my response to most of these is going to be, “DUH!”

Morticia Addams.
Morticia Addams.

I’ve already talked about how much I hoped and dreamed about being adopted by the Addams Family as a kid, but while Wednesday was closer to my age, I always really wanted to be Morticia. She’s pure class. Stunningly beautiful. And those giant eyes. Get out of here with those eyes, Carolyn Jones!

Storm.
Storm.

My brother collected all sorts of superhero trading cards when he was a kid. I wish I had easy access to them, because I would totally find the Storm card I was so in love with.

I just thought she was the coolest, okay?

Chun Li.
Chun Li.

Noticing any trends? It took A LOT for me to not play as Chun Li when my brother and I would play Street Fighter. (I had a soft spot for Blanka and Guile – no idea why. I liked Ryu, too, but my brother was always Ryu.)

SIDENOTE: Always secretly wished I could do that with my hair.

HONOURABLE MENTION GOES TO:

Xena.
Xena.
The Pink Power Ranger. (Kimberly Hart)
The Pink Power Ranger. (Kimberly Hart)
The Spice Girls.
The Spice Girls.

SIDENOTE: We’ve been through this.

Lesson learned: I like ladies who kick butt and TCB.

And now I am one. Bam.

xA

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