Monday, September 19, 2011

Deb And Barb Have A Three-Way

Deb And Barb Have A Three-Way With Angie

Although Angie and Barbara were both actors as well, they only really met during prenatal classes when they were both pregnant with their first children. Finding themselves in adjacent hospital rooms, their children born within one day of each other, just cemented what would become a lifelong friendship. Deb and Angie have known each other and been friends since acting classes in university. Welcome, Angie!

Travelling Spring

Angie: This spring, I got to take two trips alone. Being all by my self, I saw a “me” I’d almost forgotten was there.

The first was a clichĂ© all-inclusive trip to a beautiful beach in Cuba, getting my travelling toes wet in a “safe” environment. Jumping in the warm waves and being waited on softened any edges that had been formed.

Then my well-travelled friend, Monique, wanted to show her best friends where she grew up. So ten of us from all over travelled to Brittany, France this June. I booked a cheap red-eye and hooked up with a friend at the airport in Paris for the train ride to Auray where Monique picked us up for the 20min ride to Carnac. We stayed on the ocean in a place her mother still owns. Yes, it was a dream week! We explored, laughed, and had long meals with the stimulating conversation that wine and cheese brings! Who knew I was so funny?? [Okay, some of it may have had to do with my French pronunciation.] But I lived with a group of people, many I’d never met before, and I got to see myself in a new light. Not as a mom, as a wife, or even as the old predicable friend, just me in this moment and who I’ve turned out to be so far.
Monique's buddies wearing the famous Brittany sailor sweater!  We all bought one at the Carnac Flea Market that day. That's me: the short one in the middle with the big grin! 
 I wasn’t going to leave France without seeing Paris, and as everyone else had to be somewhere else, I had four days to myself in that fabulous city. Armed with a wonderful guide book friends had recommended [Rick Steve’s Paris] and its recommendation to stay in the one-star Hotel Stella [filled with “character”, long winding wooden staircases leading to attic rooms with windows that open to the rooftops of the city, all at 240 Euros for all four nights in Paris? Worthy of a blog entry of its own!] I filled each day with adventure, taking in the visual stimulation, choosing when to engage in conversation and even sharing a glass from that fabulous bottle of red at the table next to mine in that corner cafĂ© where Hemingway drank. I came home “well fed” in all ways.
One of the oldest restaurants in Paris. Where a glass of red wine was shared with my dining neighbours!
Everyday life goes so fast and so much information comes at us from so many sources. We deal, we compromise, we care, we choose, we discover, so much of our time is spent reacting to so many different circumstances and it gives us so little time to check in with ourselves. I was so lucky to have this time to revisit and rediscover my “me” and enjoy her company.

Barbara: What a wonderful experience, Ang! It always excites me to hear how people find ways to claim their true selves at some point in their lives. It usually takes a real shift in focus to get us into that zone, though, right?

For me, it was definitely following The Artist’s Way (the book). I was so stuck in the everyday at the time (and not in a situation where I could pick up and take off, as much as I would’ve liked that!) and the prescribed Artist Way “duties” of journaling everyday, of doing something out of the norm, entirely for myself, but also simple enough to flout concerns about budget or inconvenience, made me find my true “me” (as you say, Angie) unlike anything I’d ever done before. It was so easy: take a walk in a cemetery, find 5 different leaves, make a collage of aspirations, go to an art gallery, etc, etc. Out of the comfort zone and into the very mild, very nearby unknown.

I relate in a visceral sense to this journey of discovery you made, Angie. I wish it for everybody at some time. I wish it for everybody several times over their lives.

Deb: Ang, I am so glad you have had this special journey because I know what a lover of life you are. Angie regularly had these great parties called "Goddess Parties" where she would invite wonderful interesting gals from different parts of her life and we would eat great food, drink great wine, sing and howl at the moon. It's funny, Ang, but being alone or traveling alone is not something I was comfortable with until the last few years of my life. I would shop alone, but c'mon, who wants people around when a shopping rampage has reared its head? As Barb said, the alone adventures really started for me with The Artist's Way too. I loved my solitary adventures. But they were not nearly as adventurous as yours.

In October, I am going to have an Angie "Lite" adventure. That is to say, I will be with my husband, but he will be working a good deal of the time. We are going to London for two weeks and every day I am going to get up, and go out and explore. I can't wait. Some days I am going to map it out and some days I am just going to wander. You have inspired me, Ang. But I have one question. If I can "find myself" doing this, can I also "lose myself"? Time will tell.

Thanks for a wonderful inspiring blog-post describing your "me, myself and I" trip.

Angela was an actor for most of her working life and now has a company, Scene and Heard, Inc. with her partner, Cheryl. Her company specializes in communication and presentation coaching utilizing the actor's technique for non-actors. Angie lives in a household of males [a lovely husband, two wonderful sons and two adorable male dogs], so she really appreciates reading this fabulous blog by her dear friends, Barb and Deb. She is thrilled to be asked to contribute!


  1. I enjoyed her journey and have done many myself as you know. It's easy because my kids are grown and I have been divorced for over 20 years. I love my life.

  2. Wow! I hope to one day feel this comfortable to travel alone and enjoy a journey like Angela's! thanks for the inspiration...

  3. The first time in my whole life that I ever truly felt like an adult, an independent and competent person, was walking down a street in London one night. I wasn't on the trip by myself, but I had gone out by myself that night. Everyone else was too tired (or too sick drunk) from the evening's dinner activities, but I didn't want to be cooped up in the hotel. I didn't even carry a purse - just my passport and a few pound and pence coins in my pockets. I was wearing a black skirt, a black blouse with 3/4 length sleeves, black and white thinly striped suspenders, plain black pumps with flat heels, and a thin black headband holding my hair out of my face. Yes, I remember it in that detail. I remember walking down a crowded street at around 10:30pm, blending in with the bustle, passing the lit doorways of small markets and food stalls, and listening to the most beautiful assortment of foreign languages I'd ever heard at one time swirl around me. It was neither hot nor cold, the air a perfect neutral temperature to slide its finger along my cheek. I had my hands tucked into my skirt pockets and could feel the stiff cover of my passport with my left fingers. And, all of the sudden, I could not stop the small, satisfied grin from peeking out on my face as I realized, "I'm on the whole other side of the world, in a completely different country, with a passport in my pocket. Foreign. I'm walking down the street by myself at night in a big, busy city hearing multiple languages and smelling exotic, spicy cooking smells. No one's giving me a second look. It's as though I belong. I can do stuff like this."

    Since that night, I have many, many, many times gone places and done things by myself. I have no compunction with independent travel, independent adventures, and independent exploring. (And, btw, I prefer doing museums and art galleries by myself so I'm not rushed and distracted.)

    Something in me clicked on that night, and, happily, it has never clicked back off.

    (BARBARA: You aren't going to believe this! I first read today's blog post and started typing my response while kiddo was finishing getting ready for school this morning. Then, I left it waiting thinking I'd be back from taking him to school in just 25 minutes or so. Well, I didn't get home for closer to an hour and a half because I just worked a big wreck out on the highway! Yes, another one. We ended up packaging one of the teachers from kiddo's school for transport to the ER. WTF is up with the universe plopping me down into this stuff lately?!?!?)

  4. Madge, I knew you'd relate! And Susan, so glad you enjoyed the inspiration. Me too!

    Rigel, love love the story of your independence. Just you wait, baby. (And, PS, that stuff about wrecks falling into your path over and over is downright freaky. Do you know I have never in my life -- nor has it happened to anyone I know -- been at the scene of a car wreck? And here you are, what, 3 in the last couple of months alone??! Not to mention the how many before that??! When you decipher the message, share it please!)

  5. Angie, what a lovely thing for you to be able to travel like that and rediscover yourself a bit. Six years ago, while seven months pregnant, I traveled alone to Italy to attend a conference. I had such a wonderful time seeing a beautiful city, attending lectures in a topic I'm so interested in and just being alone for personal thoughts. My hubby worried about me going off alone like that, without being able to speak a word of Italian, but last summer, I topped the Italy trip in terms of craziness. I spent four days, alone in downtown Detroit! You don't need to travel anywhere exotic (or scary) to spend time alone with yourself, but I think it's so important to do that once in a while.

    Deb, I read yesterday about your husband's October business in London. Sounds like his opportunity should be fun and hooray for you to spend some time sight-seeing in London.

  6. Great post. Yes it is always great to travel alone sometimes. Deb it sounds like your London trip In October should be great. I hope you all have just a wounderful time. I love to sight see and when you get to just sight see when you are by you self can be great. If gives you time to explore for yourself and all that it can be.. Great post ladies..

  7. Deb, I'm sure you will love London (Holly can vouch better!) Loved this post! Makes me a bit nostalgic about my summer travels. Thanks for the good memories :]

  8. Great post, Angie!
    I now have a dreamy-eyed look on my face, wishing to go on an adventure like that (and use the little French I remember from high school! lol) Actually, any adventure would be nice... away from work, and my parents! Maybe sometime soon.
    Deb, I heard about what is bringing you and Colin to London- I'm all kinds of excited to see it! I wish him and his fellow improv-ers the best of luck! :)


    1. Can I go with you?? :)
    2. You will LOVE it.
    3. I'm a little jealous...

    And this post makes France seem absolutely lovely...which it probably is. Never been, but definitely on my list!

  10. I am looking so forward to London. Actually I have been there many times, but during each and every visit I was soooooooo many damn different people. This time I am on a mission to do London things I have never done, and visit a few greatest hits. Abbey Road) I am going to live London this time.

  11. Abbey Road is awesome!!!! Watch out for the crazy people who will actually walk onto the middle of the street for pictures...definitely almost saw a few people get hit! But it's worth it! Also try to go on the London Eye if you have time; it's a bit pricey (about 18 pounds for a ticket), but, worth it!

  12. Holly you are going to laugh. I have already done Abbey Road. And yes...I was one of those crazy people. Only I was pushing a stroller! The guide we were with stopped the traffic for us, just in case you were thinking "wow,bad parent!"

  13. Hahahaha, love it!!!!! Never would have done of my friends felt the brush of a bus go by her! That was enough for me!

    AAHH, now I want to go back!!!! Please take lots of pictures! :)

  14. Deb -

    Yes!!! Pictures, please!!! A big, wonderful London blog post! Or 2 or 3!!! :)

  15. I love traveling by myself, and I've learned a LOT about myself by doing so. I can get lost and not panic. I crack myself up when I squee at an awesome hotel shower. There's a happy feeling, a RUSH, when I'm on my own.

    It gives me a break from the real world for a bit, and I'm in control of what happens next.

    My FAVORITE solo vacation is Vegas. I get to go at my own pace, eat wherever I want, and do what I want to do (even if it's nothing). If I'm looking for conversation, there's no shortage of people willing to teach me the ins and outs of craps.
    Over Superbowl weekend, being able to give an informed opinion about what Tom Brady was going to do in 2008 without Randy Moss to throw to anymore... Good times, good times.

    I've also been to many small towns in New England and New York, following a couple of entertainers who do a two-man improv show. No regrets there, either. Only when I'm on my own can I walk around 'til I find that hole-in-the-wall used bookstore and browse in it for hours. My traveling companions on these trips, my car and my camera, have no complaints. I'm headed to Ottawa and Kingston, ONT this weekend. Car and camera are ready and raring to go.

    I am asked ALL THE TIME about why I go by myself. My thinking is, "Well, if no one else wants to go, why should I miss out?"

  16. Hey, all, Angie has had an impossible time creating and keeping a profile (this goes waaay back), so she isn't able to comment. But she is a loyal reader and wanted you all to know how much your feedback and responses have meant to her.

  17. Dawn, you're SO lucky you've gotten to see the two awesome fellas you were talking about! They might be coming to where I live next year, so I might try to go! :)

  18. Dawn, (if I'm thinking of the same two awesome fellas.....), I'm seeing them in November!!! Can't wait! :D

  19. Looks like it was such a fun trip, Angie! Very jealous, I've personally never been outside of the US (not even to Canada as of yet, though I do live rather close in Minnesota. Perhaps someday...I have taken a trip to NYC by myself a few years ago, which ended up making my mother very nervous. She's never been to NYC and has a rather diluted and inaccurate idea of what it's REALLY like there. It was fun to not really have an agenda and just enjoying everything in the moment for a few days. I would love to travel across the pond someday, but it won't be in my immediate future :( It's just too pricy, even though I'm sure it'd be worth every cent. -Apey

  20. Ladyfriends, I'm late chiming in AND off-topic, but when you said your kids were born in the same hospital on almost the same day, I have to ask: do those two children's lives have much in common?
    My sister and her friend from school were born on the same day, same year, in the Wadena Hospital; their mothers shared a room, even.
    Now, according to astrology, your life will be influenced by the way the sky looks at the time you were born from the particular location of your birth. Therefore these two babies should have very similar lives, right?
    Right. They married brothers who farm together, live in two houses built in the same farmyard, and each had three children AND work in the same town.
    Just wondering ....


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