lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

Left Unsaid August 7, 2018

Fellow bloggers,

Do you ever start to write a blog and then erase it because you know about twelve people will be utterly certain you’re writing about them even though you’re not?
This is going to be one of those.

I get that everyone deals with stress in different ways. We all have coping mechanisms and twitches. Some people read, some run, some drink way too much wine, some people pretend nothing bad is happening.

But here’s the thing: acknowledging that your life isn’t perfect doesn’t make you a “negative person.” I will never understand people who think that acknowledging they chipped a tooth should be frowned upon by society because it isn’t cheerful, meme-based conversation.

Isn’t human communication supposed to be more than cat pictures?

I’m not saying that we should all spend every conversation fighting the good fight for human rights and equality, but if you only tell people the good things that are happening in your life, does anyone actually know who you are as a human? (more…)

 

Live Fiercely April 13, 2016

Filed under: Tales of Humanity's Imperfections — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
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I’m not perfect. I know it. I have an Irish temper and Polish determination. I’m not afraid of fighting for the people I care about and for what I believe in. And that makes some people mad.

Some people would rather live with a lie their whole lives than take an honest look in the mirror. Rather have a half-relationship with someone than risk a little pain to know someone all the way.

It’s tragic. Really horribly tragic. To be more attached to your entirely false sense of security than to the people around you.

Sweep things under the rug long enough, and you’re just going to trip over them.

I have a wonderful husband and family. I have friends who have become family, and faraway places that have become home. And do you know what knowing that many different people teaches you? That you can’t ignore truths. You can’t pretend there is no crack in the wall. That’s how the demons get in.

What does all this have to do with anything?

Live fiercely. Get messy. Love someone too hard. Dance in the spotlight, run through the rain. Hug a person you love and love them warts and all.

And if someone isn’t willing to love the honest you, walk away. Life is too short for pretense.

Find a story that is beyond exaggeration, and make it your own.

 

To Knock or Not to Knock October 7, 2015

Filed under: Tales of Humanity's Imperfections — meganorussell @ 10:37 am
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I have an interesting question for all of you: does it bother you when people knock on the door while you are using the bathroom?

I have a Facebook friend who rants nearly every day about how much they hate it when people knock when they are using the toilet.

Now, sometimes I claw at the bathroom door when my husband is in there just to see if he’ll get mad. Or just keep knocking incessantly to see if he’ll be done faster, and I can understand how both of those things could be considered annoying. But a sensible knock to see if someone is in the bathroom… I don’t see how that could be considered rude. On the contrary, it’s much kinder than being barged in on.

Since I don’t understand the door knocking anger, I asked a few of my good friends their opinion on the potty knocking. Unanimously, they all prefer the gentle knocking to the ferocious handle jiggle or worse, the blatant barge. Seriously there are few things more annoying than having someone constantly wiggling the door knob when you’re peeing as fast as you can.

Other potty pet peeves include the person in line in front of you who refuses to knock so you’re all forced to wait outside an empty stall, and loud door banging like the police have come to stop you from violating the poor toilet.

But I understand that like people gravitate together, so I should ask a larger population than just my friends. So what do you think? To knock or not to knock?

 

#blessed June 10, 2015

Filed under: Hi-Ho the Glamorous Life — meganorussell @ 1:21 pm
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Traveling can be hard. Really really hard.


I’ve never been great at grocery stores. They’ve always made me panic a little. I mean, why would anyone need more than one kind of milk?! But I’ll tell you that story Saturday. And traveling makes it even worse. I go into a grocery store, and I don’t know where anything is. Is the Amy’s soup with soup or in the organic section? Is fruit to my right or left?


Even the simple act of buying food gets confusing. And that’s before you even get to waking up in the middle of the night and having no idea which side of the bed the bathroom is on.


Changing all the time is fun. I love being in new places and having new adventures. I can tell you right now I wouldn’t be able to manage it without my husband, but it’s fun. Meeting new people on every show contract is mostly fun, but the older I get, the less I love explaining why I hyphenated my name to every new cast.


However, I am one lucky girl. I just got an iPhone this year, and besides being able to facetime with my mother and my adorable nephew, I also have unlimited text messages. And somehow I’ve ended up on a text thread with a really great group of friends. There are six actors on the thread, and we text about everything. Sometimes I look down at my phone and see thirty missed messages. I laugh, I ask for adivice, bitch and moan, and join in the banter. But it’s always fun. Somehow I ended up at the cool kids’ table. Or on the cool kids’ text stream.


It may seem small to people who live in their homes with a satisfying sense of stability. It may seem cold to people who hate technology. But to me, it’s a lifeline to a theatre that feels like home and a way to keep a conversation going without having to go back to the beginning. 


I love my text feed everyday. #blessed

And by the way, I only hyphenated my name so I could cash a paycheck no matter which name they wrote on it. 

Now you know, too.

 

Gerty the Dead Prostitute Raccoon February 25, 2015

Filed under: Animal Antics — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
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Once upon a time I worked for a theatre and lived in cast housing two-and-a-half miles away. Two-and-a-half miles may not seem that far to commute to work to you, but when you live in a place with no public transportation, and half the people you live with don’t have cars, getting to work suddenly becomes a big thing.

We had a friend who would ride with the husband and me to work almost every day. We’ll call him M. I love M. He has the sort of sarcasm, wit, and nerve that are hard to resist.

During the heat of July, we drove past a dead raccoon on the side of the road. Naturally, M instantly said, “Oh poor Gerty. Such a terrible death after a hard life.”

We all laughed and assumed that Gerty would be gone by the time we headed home at the end of the day. But Gerty was still there.

M added to her tale. (more…)

 

The Friend Who Saved My Butt… Literally October 13, 2014

Filed under: Hi-Ho the Glamorous Life — meganorussell @ 8:30 pm
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In theatre, you travel. A lot. And after a while, you begin to create your own urban tribe of show people. We spend the holidays together. We spend birthdays together. We work and play and spend nearly all our time as a unit. And then the show closes. We all go our separate ways, and aside from a chosen few, we don’t really speak off of Facebook until the next show we do together.

But there is a certain bond you gain from doing the impossible magic that is theatre eight times a week with people. The memories you make while doing quick changes stay with you forever.

I had a friend once (Ok, I know how sad that sounds, but just keep reading.) I haven’t spoken to her in forever. She has a big kid life now, and I’m a terrible person who doesn’t really keep in touch with anyone, but she is wonderful. One of those friends you can count on no matter what. Drunk, bleeding, naked, or all three at once, she’s the one you go to. (more…)

 

A Foaming Frenzy January 29, 2014

Filed under: Starting Off Strange — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
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When I was little, I had a friend who had to get Rabies Shots. Her rabbit was being attacked by a dog or a bat or something, and she got bit or scratched or something. I was never really clear on the details because I was too fascinated by the fact that she could have had rabies. Things like throwing water on her to make sure she wasn’t afraid of the nasty wet stuff became a good way of ensuring our friend’s health. If she got mad at us for dousing her in water, it was clear proof she was infected. We were really great friends to her, always looking out for her best interest. (more…)