Rants, Ramblings and General Diary of Juliana Wathen

PLACES MS. WATHEN…..

DRAG SHOW
No matter how old I get, I hope I never hesitate to take that NEXT step cause you just never know where it might lead you. I pulled together all my pennies, nickels and even a Visa gift card to get my ass to the BIG D (that’s Dallas to all non-Texans out there) to attend an Actors Boot Camp this past weekend.
People came from New Orleans,Tulsa and the Great Piney Woods of Texas to polish up their skills on Auditioning for the Camera, Continuity and Scene Work with the ever so gifted Del Shores. If you don’t know him…shame on you – look him up. In-credible writer and director. And it don’t hurt he’s home-grown from the great state of Texas!
The experience reminded me …that yes

#1: I can and WILL pee my pants when my little Mazda Zoom-Zoom goes skating and sliding over an icy overpass just north of Ennis….even when I’m NOT the one driving!

#2: You just can’t beat a good Drag Show at The Rose Room on a Friday Night.

#3: I don’t love acting because I get to “BE” someone else for a few hours and be everything I never was or thought I could be. I love acting because I get to “BE” everything that I AM and proudly put it out there for everyone to see just like Show and Tell in Mrs. Bennett’s first grade class at Runyan Elementary in 1969!

#4: When you stop learning… you stop living. When an actor stops “training” then check the mirror for fog. Chances are they aren’t breathing.

#5: Life is like a show! It has a First Act, an Intermission, a Second Act and an End. I’ve had my First Act and intermission and I am called to “Places” for the second act. Curtain up baby! I’m flying without a net and NO UNDERSTUDY!

I love each and every one of you
Juliana

Copyright 2014 Juliana Wathen

Spotlight Image Wake up Blanche…we’re not in Kansas anymore!
Today, I’m taking a big step out of the wings and moving center stage into a new adventure. I’m headed up I45 North to the currently frozen tundra of DALLAS for a weekend “Acting for the Camera” boot camp with one of the best known “friend of Dorothy’s” in Hollywood today.

I’ve got my vitamins sorted, my bag packed and my script in hand!

I’m not sure where this will lead me but I bet I come back with some hellacious stories and some new skills in front of the camera!
Quiet on the set ya’ll!!! I’ll be back shortly!

LAW – Leave the light on!

I love each and every one of you.
Juliana

Copyright 2014 Juliana Wathen

Swimm’in in My Socks!

Sock Monkey

It’s a new year and just like every other “NEW” year I feel I have been beaten thoroughly about the face and neck with a bar of soap tied off in an old sock to assess my GOALS.

Everywhere I have turned lately I have had to review goals, adjust goals, set goals, stretch goals or hear about goals.
It’s all black and white and a whole lot of spread sheets and numbers and quiet frankly I’d rather wash a stack of dirty dishes by hand.

So with all this HYPER-GOAL-ISM going on I realized I had made a goal out of making my shoes fit.
You see… my feet have shrunk…a lot. All my shoes are too big since I’ve lost weight and so every morning I have succumbed to a ritual of trying to make my shoes fit just right. Each pair of shoes requires a different strategy, thicker socks for one, two pairs for another, three for another but it has to be the RIGHT three pairs and in certain layers. All this work to reach my GOAL of wearing a damn pair of shoes.
I was fixated on the GOAL to wear these shoes….and this morning it dawned on me after layering on two pair of black socks to wear my tennis shoes…The GOAL is not always the best answer.

So today – I look BEYOND the goal. I will eliminate the stress and time consuming burden of decisions.Instead of climbing over a wall I will go around it! I WILL BUY A NEW PAIR OF SHOES and stop the insanity of swimm’in in my socks and make sock monkeys instead. Life is about the journey – not the destination.ENJOY!

I love each and every one of you
Juliana

Copyright 2014 Juliana Wathen

big-changes It’s hard to believe that there is an unflattering side to losing weight. But there is! And NOBODY, I mean NOOOOOBODY warns you about it. Now, before you go getting your granny panties in a twist, I’m not talking that 10 lbs of “Water Weight” you think you are retaining. I am talking about losing big pounds…75…100…125! Sure, you’re gonna be able to wear smaller clothes, pull your car seat up a few inches or perhaps even come a tad bit closer to fitting into the NORMAL airline seat in coach. But what they DON’T tell you is what can kill ya!

I’ve been shaving my legs for years…a lot of years! But this weekend, I damn near had to dial 911 for a paramedic. I knew the “landscape” had changed a smidge as I have lost 113 lbs. But it has been pretty gradual so I didn’t honestly give it too much thought. Besides, why the hell would someone need to TEACH me how to shave my legs? For Christ sake. I’m 50 years old. I think I got this!
And I was gliding along just fine with my hot pink Venus triple blade razor with it’s handy dandy moisturizing strip (which just looks like another piece of plastic to me) till this thing…this…unknown obstacle got in my way. This thing above my foot and below my calf, protruding grotesquely out of the side of my…..OH MY HOLY JESUS!!! I have an ankle!!!! And not just one….I checked the other leg….I HAVE TWO! TWO ANKLES!!!!! And one just happened to be gushing blood like a newly drilled backyard oil well. And I am pretty sure that because of my hot pink Venus triple blade razor with it’s handy dandy moisturizing strip that I was missing not just one, or two but THREE layers of skin to boot!

Physicians, family and friends, and let’s not forget complete strangers, all whisper about the “Shar Pei” effects on skin after drastic weight lose. But can we just focus on the bigger picture right now. The fact that I FINALLY have ankles and one is drastically SCARED for the rest of my life and I didn’t even have it for more than a month. I hung my head, deflated as I bandaged my new ankle. :-(

For those who just can’t relate because you have always HAD ankles….let me put it in terms you can understand…You have a BRAND NEW CAR….It’s the one you always wanted – the right color, the best features and you haven’t even had it a month before some asshole in the Wal-mart parking lot pulls his Ford F350 pickup truck into the VERY small parking spot beside you and dings your NEW CAR DOOR getting out of his giant POS! THAT…is how it felt. It’s not like I’m gonna go to the BODY SHOP for a repair. I’m just gonna learn to live with it.

So me and my battle scared ankle will warn the masses! Who’d have thunk it?

I still love each and every one of you
Juliana

Copyright 2013 Juliana Wathen

1170840_10201895592298430_1342804037_n Think….outside the Tower!..
As I expand my thoughts about myself and the world I live in, the larger my world becomes. It dawned on me yesterday in a quick trip to the local grocery store that the more I am SEEN the more I see others. And that THEY like ME may feel invisible to the outside world. So yesterday I lifted my head and became an observer. I met peoples glances and I smiled. Sounds small…..but it was a step out of my castle and into the Kingdom. I roamed the aisles in search of this and that to add to my basket….the experiment gave way to a “Good morning” in the vegetable department as I perused the raspberries on sale. “Please, after you”, followed by a giggle as I rounded the frozen food section a little too fast and had to slide to a halt to avoid a collision of carts with a tinnie tiny, blue-haired lady. On to the diary dept. and the cheese glorious cheeeeeese…. And then I saw her. I mean I SAW her…..and for a moment she SAW me. She quickly looked to the floor and then darted her eyes over the gads of “GREEK” yogurt selections in front of her….never glancing up too high, her shoulders rounded in and I saw her try to become SMALL right before my eyes.

But it was too late. I HAD SEEN HER! And I wanted her to know what I saw. She was tall and dark skinned, her hair swept up and away from a soften middle-aged face. She was wearing a white cotton shirt dress with buttons down the front and a full circle skirt like June Cleaver used to wear on Leave it to Beaver. She shuffled her feet and as I passed closer to her she lifted her gaze for just a second. I smiled at her and said, “I love that dress, you just look gorgeous today!”….. I recognized the look on her face. It wasn’t shock that I complimented her….It was shock that she was seen. It took a moment then I could see the tension flow down and out from her body head to toe and she stood a little taller, squared her shoulders and smiled. She said “thank you” in a soft voice….But it was if she was thanking me for so much more than a casual compliment. She THANKED me for giving her a gift. The gift of seeing her.

I put the oxygen mask on myself and then I assisted others…..just like the flight assistant said I should!

I love each and every one of you

Juliana

Copyright 2013 Juliana Wathen

Into my dreams…..

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You visit me in my dreams. Dreams so vivid and real that for a brief moment the dream becomes reality and I am totally immersed in the time, taste, and smells surrounding me. Emotions are more intense and swell unrestrained by any insecurity or proven past history. My true reality seems like a distant childhood memory clouded over by a low, ground hugging fog that I dare not stir. I feel the pull between the two worlds and I can sense the end is approaching and I fight to stay longer and FEEL more, EXPERIENCE more, LIVE more. I begin to panic and tell myself to “Find the key”…Find the key that will bring me back here.

In my desperate attempt to  “Find the key”….I panic and open my eyes. The veil is lifted and I am here. I feel empty and alone……

So I get up and do what I always do….make my first cup of coffee…turn on the morning news….check Facebook for the latest gossip and news….line up my vitamins and medications….and ponder the message and meaning of my dream.

It dawned on me that I had to do nothing to enter the dream. It came to me. I had not carried the fears, rules and restrictions I had engrained into my life with me to this new place. I had not consciously set them down, they just no longer existed….I was happier than I had ever been. Everything seemed enhanced. My sight was sharper, my heart was fuller and I could experience everything around me with increased appreciation. It was only when I began to worry about  losing all that I was experiencing that I felt the pull and weight of reality and waking consciousness.

Dreams are our training ground….a chance to experience all that we are and all that we can be when we let go and live in the moment. Moments we don’t have to create, manage or manipulate to bring about.

There is a saying I have heard all my life “Let go and Let God“…Let go and allow the perfectness that is within you to manifest the perfectness around you.

I love each and every one of you.

Juliana

 

Copyright 2013 Juliana Wathen

 

Hiding in plain sight….

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Much like a hermit crab I have spent my life living in a shell and as time rolled by I would exchange it for larger and larger shells. It was my home, it was my comfort and protection. And with it I was able, for the most part, to hide in plain sight.

You see, the majority of my life I have been morbidly obese. You would think the larger you are the more people see you but the opposite is true. The larger you are the LESS people see you….let me rephrase that…..the less people WANT to see you. They turn away in stores and elevators as if they are embarrassed for you and rarely speak. It’s a silence you just become accustomed to over time. It’s normal, not being noticed or being glanced over and passed. The silence itself becomes a layer of comfort.

In December 2012 I shattered my silence by undergoing full gastric by-pass. The weight began to fall away at a steady pass. But let’s face it, when you weigh 320lbs it takes a while for people to notice. So I was able to hide in my shell for a good while longer. It wasn’t until I had lost nearly 80lbs that the change began and my silence was broken.

I was alone on a hotel elevator having been at a business meeting or something. I honestly can’t remember because it was what happened next that is so solidly burned into my memory. The elevator “dinged”, the doors slid open and several business professional got on. I looked up at them and their gaze met mine and suddenly I realized they were addressing me. “Hi, How are you today?” a gentleman asked…….I stammered, “just fine” , as I backed my ass waaaaaaay into the back corner of the elevator. All the while the voice inside my head screamed, “Holy shit! They can see me!”. Panic set in immediately. No I mean REAL PANIC….as in a PANIC ATTACK.

I bolted out of the elevator when it reached the lobby and headed to the valet. I passed off my ticket to the young man who ran for my car and I stood there…out in the open…..waiting for my car. I might as well have been standing there butt-ass-naked with a spot light shining down on me because THAT is how exposed I felt in that moment.

I had to have a good, long discussion with myself when I got home that night. I could choose to hide at home and hold down my couch or I could push myself out the door and join the party. I felt like the hermit crab, soft and vulnerable inside. But the choice wasn’t to shed one shell for another like Hermie the Crab. It was time to accept the fact that I had a life changing surgery for a reason….to live. And the only reason to live is to be SEEN and HEARD.

So cheers, to “LIVING OUT LOUD”.

I love each and every one of you
Juliana

Copyright 2013 Juliana Wathen

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