Connection and Reconnection

ConnectingHello! And welcome to my new blog!

This is my first post so it’s gonna be a long one. Stay with me. It’s worth the ride!

Some of you may have noticed, and some of you may have not noticed that I have been less outgoing or social in recent years compared to most other times in my life. I would say it’s been happening over the past two or three years, I have lost touch with something fundamentally me—my “outgoingness” and social aptitude. I want to bring back that loving feeling!

Shameless bragging alert: I have over 2000 facebook friends and over 1000 followers on twitter, I have a successful career (in one field), a still blossoming career (in my preferred field), a loving family, and a wonderful and supportive boyfriend. By all measures, I should be happy. But for some reason I still feel like I’m not myself, and that makes me feel like maybe I’m not happy, or not satisfied, or at least not really. So that is one of the reasons I wanted to start this blog. But how did I get here?

The last time I felt so down in the dumps was immediately after my divorce and my circumstances were much direr. In 2007, I had been left by my husband in the middle of nowhere China—a place that I did not understand nor did it understand me. I had almost no friends, no one I could really talk to or connect with. So I looked to the internet–on the newly ‘open-to-the-public’ social network “the facebook” and I found friends from happier days like high school, college, and friends from home.  I also could use a new app called Skype to talk to my family and friends and along with hours of re-watching “Friends” on undeniably pirated DVDs, those connections kept me alive in those cold, dark times immediately following the loss of my marriage. I survived and I grew stronger.

The act of writing a blog helped me as well. It became my therapy–a way to express my deepest and shallowest thoughts and feelings. It was open to the public, but I did not share it with people I knew because I didn’t want them to see me suffer. Through my writing, I came to terms with a lot of things about myself and my life that I wanted to change, but the biggest lesson I learned was to simply accept myself for who I am.

Those dark days in my Zunyi apartment (sometimes literally dark due to power outages) are what shaped the fortitude and success that I achieved and continue to achieve in the years to follow. But something happened a few years ago that nearly broke me again. It was actually a series of things that eventually led to me disconnecting almost completely and only recently have I felt like I can get out of the tunnel. (I’ve been seeing the light for a while now but I want to get completely out of the darkness.)

After suffering alone in a remote part of China for over a year, I got back on my feet and eventually moved to Beijing where I made so many friends and had so much success! (I will undoubtedly talk about my time in Beijing on this blog.) I was on such a high, so I decided to take that momentum and move to the Big Apple—the concrete jungle where dreams are made of. I knew it wouldn’t be easy

But it was more than “not easy”–it was devastating. I went through a series of hardships that would be tough for anyone if only one or two of them happened, but all of these together one right after the other was debilitating.

Those events include, but are not limited to:

  • My miscalculation of the cost of living in NYC as an artist.
  • The entire collapse of the American economy at the exact time I moved back from China.
  • My successes in the theatre world were often overshadowed by crushing poverty in my personal life.  (Without a full-time job I was struggling to make ends meet on a daily basis. It was very stressful and exhausting and all the while I was trying to keep up appearances so I could garner support for my theatre projects.)
  • I lost my wallet including my ID and cash on the streets of Bushwick.
  • I wrote, produced and directed my own show which financially destroyed me and my reputation with many theatre artists in NYC. (I was so damaged from that experience emotionally, I did not do anything related to theatre for almost one year.)
  • A house fire in which I lost everything and became homeless.
  • I eventually found a new place, but after struggling to pay rent on time for over two years, I was evicted because although I gave him cash every month, my roommate was apparently not paying the landlord.
  • At the time of the eviction, the cops found a secret grow room belonging to my roommate and I was subsequently arrested on false charges of possession because I happened to come home at the wrong time. (I knew nothing about the situation or I would have moved out immediately.)
  • I discovered that my ex-husband stole my SSN and had been filing fake tax returns in my name for at least three years. (I hadn’t been filing because I had almost no income and I had just come back from China.)

All this within my first two years in New York!

I want to point out that I’ve had many great and amazing experiences as well. The most significant is meeting the love of my life. We’ve been together now for almost three years. And I have a great job that fulfills me in so many ways especially by providing me with financial security which eliminates a lot of the stress I was living with being unemployed and underemployed for so long.

I’ve also had countless opportunities and successes in the theatre world of New York including acting, directing, writing, producing, costume design, and more. I’ve worked on shows from off-off-off Broadway to the Great White Way, herself. And I expect I’ll have many more great experiences in the Big Apple in the years to come.

I’ve also met some amazing people who have touched my life in many ways—some of whom I hope are reading this right now!

But getting back to the “why” of this blog. Why here? Why now?

Well, I’m now closer to 40 than I am to 30. I want to make a difference in this world. I don’t want to finish my life without ever giving back. I’ve started volunteering and looking for more opportunities to volunteer. I’ve alsolearned that volunteering is very different from interning and I would like to discuss this difference in another post.

For reaching my writing goals, I’ve been using writing prompts like The Daily Post and The One Minute Writer that have helped me get over some serious writer’s block. I’ve also started to adhere to a strict daily writing routine. This blog is one way to keep me accountable to that aim.

What will you find on this blog?

  • writing (from stuff I’m thinking or working on)
  • artwork/design (from projects I’m working on)
  • photos
  • jokes
  • lesson plans
  • rants
  • recipes
  • haiku
  • videos
  • podcasts
  • songs
  • who knows?

The main purpose is to express myself and share; to connect and reconnect in my non-virtual life and online through this blog. So I want to hear from you, too!

Is there a time in your life when you felt disconnected? What did you do to change that feeling?

Please respond in the comment section and don’t forget to subscribe for more minikin musings from bananagrapes.

Thanks for connecting and reconnecting with me today!


2 thoughts on “Connection and Reconnection

  1. Anna, I am in the middle of that disconnected time in my life right now. I separated from my husband about 3 months ago and moved across NC, leaving behind a workplace and church communities that were like family. Fortunately, I have a good new job (though it’s not what I really want to be doing with my life) and an affordable and very comfortable place to live. But I am struggling to make new connections while I am still dealing with the emotional madness of the last few months. In short, I am the loneliest I have ever been. Getting reconnected with you and other friends that I consider life-long friends even if we rarely see each other will be an enormous blessing.
    I have been thinking about starting a blog too… maybe I’ll join you here in the blogoshpere soon. 🙂
    I love you, twin! And I am so proud of everything you have accomplished in spite of all that life has thrown at you. You inspire me!


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