After the first night of the show, Her and The Change in Me. At Upstairs at the Western in Leicester, I couldn’t help smiling to myself.
Even though I was panicking I would run out of fuel. Do you know I could not find one garage on the A14 opened Essex bound. As each promising light in the distance failed to meet my needs, I cursed and reprimanded my self as to why I was in this position – Again.
It’s all about preparation, you know making sure everything is in place with nothing to possibly add. The feeling that you’ve got this, that you’ve done everything possible to avoid any dilemmas. It occurred to me this is what the show is about. Everything has to be prepared. The script cooking in my unconscious, whilst the conscious waited patiently for it to present itself. Believe me that was no picnic, it took a constant battle not to submit to brain fog. Everyday whilst writing, I would make my self write something. Even if it was a scrap of an idea, preparing for the arrival of a creme brûlée blow out. Just seeing it teasingly expose itself in my handwriting enveloped in fog, gave me momentum.
At one point I stopped writing and spent a night on Amazon, picking out items for the doctor and the judge. This, seemed to delight whatever was going on in my brain, as when the props arrived my writing started to flow. I had something tactile, I could see doctor Meena Poors and Judge Eunice. They were becoming real. Dolly Slatemen was left on purpose till the end, she is like an old friend now and I knew we could pick up where we left off. Once the script came together and the alter egos were all starting to inflate the armbands of their one dimensions, I then had to learn my lines.
For me, this is when the power struggle with brain fog really erupts. There is nothing more tempting when trying to learn a one hour show, than logging onto social media and believing the world is demanding your presence. Somewhere, in my head I have persuaded myself this is imperative! I now understand, how close humans are to fruit flies. Not only in their DNA, but also attention span. Just as I would start to learn a part of the show, I would just drift off to Facebook and then my attention was forced to look at instagram and then twitter. (You can see where this going right) Eventually, I sat at my desk and drew the whole show out in pictures.
It was the best thing I ever did.
Thats what the menopause does, it makes you regroup. There is a need to have a conversation with yourself. Think about how different techniques can be applied, to achieve an outcome that you know you are capable of. I thoroughly enjoyed those two days producing images that could remind me of what to do and say. I was in control, at the time I had no understanding how intrinsic the drawings would be to Her and The Change in Me. Not only had I created a device that allowed me to stick two fingers up at brain fog, they revealed on paper what is in my mind. I now realise some part of me is trying to help me understand who I am, and its not the next Mary Cassatt (American, 1844–1926)
I knew that grade C in my Art O’level would come in handy one day.
I never liked the idea of being overly organised, in my younger days the rebel in me would resist the world of predictability. I used to be proud of my ability to multi task achieving complex things spontaneously. Like pushing my mum in a wheelchair whilst she pushed my youngest in his pushchair. Fast forward to the present, my mum is no longer here and my son is pushing himself around in his own car. I on the other hand, now crave being organised. Because it frees me up to do more things I want. Not only does it ease my mind that everything is in order. It also contributes to the plausibility of what I am trying to achieve. “And what’s that then Debbie”? I hear myself ask. To spread the word about the menopause. Just talking about it, will lay foundations in the heads of women yet to experience this natural transition. As a collective voice, we need to build blocks of preparation for future communities. Give others the heads up, discuss ways to prepare by educating each-other. Offer assurances that only the voice of experience can. I really was not expecting this post to turn out the way it has, it’s just that there is so much more that can be done and as a collective it will get done a lot quicker.