Angie Azur is a YA Sci-fi Writer.
Writer for PALEO Magazine.
Former Intern at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.
SCBWI & COWG Member.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Find Your YOUth Series

Finding Your YOUth Part I

Dedicated to all the moms who have forgotten who they truly are...

Ruts, you know what I'm talking about. You've been married for a while, have kids and you get into these cycles. Everyone's up for school in the morning, eat a rushed breakfast, out the door with minutes to spare, drop offs, exercise/clean/errands, back for pick up, lunch, pick up number two, snack, husband returns, dinner, homework, kids to bed, watch TV. That's it.
That's my rut.

I looked in the mirror one morning as I was mindlessly performing my rut, and wondered, WHAT happened to my YOUTH? Well not so much my age, but me, what happened to the me who had dreams? What happened to the me who felt excited about something, anything? What happened to the me who felt sexy, alive? My me got in a rut....a big one.

I continued my rut, breakfast, kids to school, seperate drop offs, but then I stopped and had a me moment with myself. I wrote down things I used to do BEFORE. Before what you ask? Well, before I had a husband and kids but AFTER my parents had let me go. That time in between when I answered to me alone. It wasn't long, I was married at 23, but there was a time when I was just me.

I was a firefighter, an elephant handler, a lifeguard and an actor. I was an adrenalin junky of sorts. That was me. No fear. I did what I dreamed and I dreamed big. So what happened? I don't know. I guess I stopped dreaming. I didn't think I did, but I'm in a rut. We all get in them. I've talked about this with many of my friends, and no matter their circumstances, they are either in a rut or emerging from one.

So how could I get out of my rut? I know I needed some excitement, something that would give me a rush, pump blood through my wilting veins. I searched my mind, but couldn't come up with anything. That's what a rut is, something you can't seem to break away from... but thankfully I was invited by a friend to do something a bit out of the ordinary. She wouldn't tell me what it was, but she did ask me if I was afraid of heights. "No!" I said.

She gave me an address 370 Santa Monica Pier. I showed up, still not knowing what I was in for, but hoping it would make me scream. I wasn't disappointed. The Trapeze loomed above me, metal beams shooting into the blue sky. The net, was not as wide as I thought it should be. Blood pumped faster.

As I climbed the ladder, my knees shook so hard I banged one of them off of a rung. It hurt. I kept going. At the top, my hands trembled and my stomach lurched. I crept my ten toes over the edge. The HOT, yes HOTTIE, trapeze guide grabbed my harness and told me to let go. He promised he wouldn't let me fall. That was the scariest part, letting go. But I had to. I had to let go to get out of my rut, to follow a dream, to try something new, to get over a fear, and to prove to myself that I was still in me somewhere.

I took a leap and swung free. Staring out over the ocean I screamed. It felt wonderful to scream again, to feel adrenalin, to not play it safe. And as I let go of the bar, falling toward that small net, I screamed again.

Rolling off onto the pad below, my knees buckled. My hands shook wildly. My breathing was rapid. I hugged my girlfriend and thanked her. We played on the trapeze for over two hours. I tried a backflip and a catch and accompished both of them. And as I rolled off the net for the last time that day I knew my rut was over.

So to you I say get out of your rut! Find your YOUth. Make your AFTER/BEFORE list. Remember who you were and follow her dreams again.

loved escaping under bridges
rode my bike everywhere
played with the elephants at the Pittsburgh Zoo
Lifeguared at a Lake/Pools
Firefighter at 14
Acted in Pittsburgh Theatre/Independent Film/Commercials
Played release with my friends in college
Pitcher for Fast Pitch Softball Team
Strong Swimmer
Taught Exercise
Love to Read/Write
Threw Parties
Paint with Oils
Loved to Dance

Go make your own!
The next rut stopper - swimming with Sharks!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Looking Forward - Looking Back Series IV

Blog dedicated to Friendships.

Case II in the long line of me not understanding women.

My second best girlfriend after Julie was Mindy. A wild child. She yanked me up from my depression and showed me life was good. And I still love her for that today, but she did break my heart in the end and here's how.

Mindy and I were like cat and mouse. She the cat and me the mouse. She loved life. She was full of excitement, wanting to party, wanting to run, wanting to break free. I felt energized around her. Her eyes lit up with the joy of being young. When Mindy was in the room, energy radiated.

I followed her. I wanted to be her. Especially after my last girlfriend/boyfriend melt down, I wanted to be free. Free of rules, free of attachments, free of love. And Mindy brought that to me. We sneaked out of her house at night to go to parties and not just any parties, these were major older guy, cop parties. And they knew we were seventeen. But when Mindy wanted to party, it was allowed even by authority.

I mean this chick once got a motorcycle as a gift. Who else from a small farm town gets transportation, a Harley in fact, as a gift. And not it wasn't for sex. She got into people, especially men. They loved her. As did I.

We spent our days in school, skipping, smoking, hanging out in the boys bathrooms. Teachers allowed us to do whatever we wanted. We hung out in study halls, the art room and gym. Mindy was infectious. We spent our nights at bars, she knew all the bouncers, at barns, yes riding other peoples horses and at parties with the local cops.

She was a dream to me after my wholesome friendship with Julie. Mindy rocked. She rocked hard. We stayed up all night drinking homemade wine, talking about our f-d up lives, our screwed up parents and our future we would make our own. We could do anything and would do anything, nothing and no one could stop us....especially since her mother was a nurse and worked the night shift. When I stayed at Mindy's house, we were on our own.

And we hated men! We used them to get into bars, for rides, free drinks, dinners and party passes. We knew what they wanted, and we flashed but never fully. We dangled our young hard bodies but never gave in totally. And it worked. Until...

One night we were partying with the cops. We had grown to trust them, but this night was different. Something in their eyes. They weren't just drunk, they were high. They offered pot to us, but I declined. I was and still am afraid of drugs. But Mindy indulged. She headed into the back room with a few of the others and I was left alone in the front room with one of the cops.

He was a cutie. And in that uniform a hottie. I really like him and I really liked kissing him. We kissed for a while on the couch, when he took out his cuffs and handcuffed me behind my back. At first I thought it was fun, a game, even sexy. But then when I asked him to take them off he laughed at me and pushed me down. I laughed back, but demanded more seriously that he remove the cuffs. He laid on top of me. I screamed for Mindy.

She came running out of the back, high as a cloud, but still had the peace of mind to kick the cop off of me. But as she did that the others got more serious. I knew it was time to go, but we had to do this delicately. I still had the cuffs on. So I sauntered over to one of the other cops, flirting with him to take them off. He was high and drunk and smiling he demanded the key from his buddy.

My heart was pounding so hard, but my face gave nothing away. And Mindy sobered up pretty quickly, was helping our escape. We giggled and teased, inching toward the front door. More people were showing up to the party and as they came in we dashed to the car. I drove.

When we got to her house I felt sick. We were close, too close to disaster. Our flirting games had almost cost us. And who would have believed us? We two high teens vs. a group of young cops.