EMPOWERMENT :: How I Became The Superhero Of My Own Life Did you ever reach a point in your life where you stopped believing that anything good would ever happen to you again?. Have you ever felt that you got the worse case scenario every single time and there was no more room to roll with those punches?
I did for at least fifteen years of my life, until the bottom fell out six years ago. I was fifty-five years old, my decade long relationship had come to a very cruel and abrupt end. I was unemployed with no savings. I hadn’t worked in over four years. I had an apartment but for how long? My biggest fear was that I was so unemployable that I would end up on the street. I was proactive. Everyday I went to an employment centre to take courses on resume writing, interview techniques and to answer ads for jobs posted online. I papered the city with my resume, made cold calls, solicited businesses I frequented and still came up empty, just like I knew I would.
One night convinced I was about to lose my apartment, I phoned a friend and asked if she would take my cats in case anything happened to me. When I hung up the phone I started wondering exactly when my life had changed?. After all, I had been a professional playwright and performer, I had always been able to find a way of supporting myself no matter what the employment situation was and I had always been myself. So when did being myself become a liability? I pondered this for hours, rerunning my life again and again until I felt like Norma Desmond and it finally hit me.
Being me wasn’t the problem.
It was that I had stopped being me. These things that I was afraid of weren’t my fears. Spiders scared me but life never had. Positive thinking had been my way of rebelling against the grim reality of my abusive childhood. My mother had always been the one who believed that life was a thing to be endured, survived, if you could. She was the one who was terrified of being broke and homeless. I was being defined by my mothers fears. Which meant that my biggest fear in life had been realized. I had become my mother.
Okay so now I knew why, now I needed to figure out how I was going to fix things. I decided the best way, was to try and remember how I felt, how I saw things when I never even used the words “worse case scenario”. And you know what I realized? I used to believe I was magic. I believed that could make things happen that nobody else could just because I was “me”. I also realized that in order to get back there I was going to have to take a giant leap of faith. From that moment on I forced myself to focus my energy on being positive. I told myself that there was a job on the horizon, if I got sick I bought that ginger ale instead of hoarding every penny just in case. Every time the thought of being homeless popped into my head I imagined how I was going to paint my kitchen cupboards. And most importantly when anyone asked how I was doing I told them how excited I was about my possibilities. Slowly but surely things started picking up. I got a cleaning job that gave me a couple of weeks financial security, I did erotic palm readings at a salon and my friend offered to lend me enough money so that I could breathe until I found a job.
The job came along about a month later, part time at first and then full time.
It wasn’t easy to maintain a positive outlook but I persevered. Each time I found myself feeling anxious or afraid I would remind myself that I was magic and that amazing things happened to me. And they did. The most amazing of course was my first trip to New York. I was supposed to go with a friend. Everything was booked and paid for. Three nights before I was supposed to fly, my friend cancelled. Now, the reason I had never been to New York before was that even though it had so things that I knew I would love, it also terrified me. What if I had a panic attack? What if I got mugged? What if..?
I went by myself. When I landed in Newark and found my way to Penn Station without hyperventilating I started calling myself “Danger Girl”.
Listen bellow to Marcy Rogers talk about this post on The Shaun Proulx Show
The name struck me as so hilarious that I decided to keep it as an alter ego I could use when facing something that scared me. And thanks to Danger Girl I had the time of my life. I rode the subway, arranged to meet up with people I met on Facebook who have now become close friends and felt like I had found a second home. I even got a tattoo in the West Village of a lipstick kiss with the name of my alter ego emerging from it, so I would always remember to laugh in the face of danger and never let fear whether mine or anybody else’s stop me again.
– Marcy Rogers is a writer whose works include the Dora nominated Nocturnal Emissions, Psycho Bitch From Hell: An Intimate Evening With Satan and the short story IMHO which opens the award winning anthology Friend.Follow. Text#storiesFromLivingOnline.
Image: David Hawe