Cock-eyed Optimist

Thank you to everyone who sent a note of concern, prayers, well-wishes, good vibes, and all the wonderful posts in the last couple of days since I posted what happened with my leg. They are very much appreciated! Gracias!

There was a common comment in some private messages asking how I could be so positive. My answer? Well…what’s the alternative?

I know there is a lot to be angry about lately… and I know that’s an understatement. But, you see, I’m an optimist. I’ve always been. I can’t seem to help myself. I always see things on the sunny side of life, glass-half-full, with a smile on my face. Guess I was just born that way. Or maybe I learned as I got older to have more faith in myself than allow the outside forces to dictate who I was and how I should feel.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I have my moments. I worry. I overthink sometimes. I get pissed. I use to hold grudges – that was never a good look. But I also know that I control my own reality. So, when I begin to worry or be down, or something wants to make me feel “off-kilter,” I shake it off. My kid hates when I tell her to do the same.

Just shake it off. Keep moving forward. One step at a time. Don’t get discouraged.


Okay, okay. Guess I had to learn to be optimistic rather than discouraged at times, too.

One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn’t pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.

Lucille Ball

And in 2020, with so much happening around us, it’s easy to get discouraged.


And, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, and so many others …

And, the protests.

And, Portland.

And, the government.

And, the police state.

And, the school system.

And, demanding parents.

And, anti-masks.

And virtual classrooms.

And, social distance.

And, no hugs.

And, all the craziness that have now been thrust upon everyone.

Optimism can be difficult to maintain.

I am too positive to be doubtful. Too optimistic to be fearful and too determined to be defeated.


And, people ask me, “how can you still be so optimistic about our future?”

I have to be. It’s in my DNA. And, damnit, I am not going to give in to those forces that want to determine whether or not we are all worthy, valued, loved, joyful. Because you know what?


I can’t control the world – shit, who can? But I can have an impact on MY world. I can do my part to keep people safe. To keep my family safe. To find joy and love and worth in my world.

To vote and encourage voting for change.

To try and uplift those around me when they need a hand.

To cry when it does feel like too much.

To dance when my leg feels good.

To sing even when my family tells me to “please stop.”

To smile, even when I’m wearing a mask.

And, breathe.

And pray for those that are on the front line fighting for our rights because they are there for all of us.

And know, that while the pendulum may not have finished pivoting backward, it must begin to return to center.

Hope is not optimism, which expects things to turn out well, but something rooted in the conviction that there is good worth working for.

Seamus Heaney

So each day I meditate. I have my crystals. I light my candles. I listen to music. I don’t wallow – that takes too much time and energy.

Why? Because I have hope in my heart.

I know this way of being, of thinking, isn’t for everyone. But just as my beautiful and equally optimistic friend, Melanie, told me when she heard about this new leg injury, “Well, the cha-cha is forward and backward…so just keep dancing.”

Dance with me, please!

I hope that we can all begin to be even the tiniest bit optimistic – for a world in peace. A world of understanding. A world of equality. A world without COVID. A world that appreciates its inhabitants. All of them. A world of love. A world without pain. And, I know that is a BIG HOPE!

But, hey, I’m a cock-eyed optimist.

Carmen is a single mom who acts, sings, drinks coffee and writes stuff as she authentically navigates life. Sometimes it’s interesting, sometimes not so much. You can decide. But if something moves you, drop a line, share it far and wide, and let me know what you think! Be sure to check out her business website, Heart-Centered Marketing and Business Solutions.

Rupture | A Change in Direction, Again

It’s been an interesting, sometimes volatile, difficult, painful, traumatic 8 months. So many changes in our world and in my life. Broken femur. COVID. Quarantine. Masks. Physical Therapy. Social Distancing. Racist Police. BLM. Closed Businesses. Incompetent Government. Protests. Virtual Classes. Shuttered Restaurants. Job Losses. Dashed Dreams.

Not to mention theatre closings, darkened Broadway, cancelled concerts.

It’s too much to handle sometimes. Our lives, relationships, dreams, futures were ruptured, breached, disturbed.

Back a few years ago I had made the decision to return to the stage and find my way back to being a professional actress. And, I did. It was marvelous.

I was ready to work toward making the theatre my main profession. I knew it was going to take time but felt I was on my way. Until everything changed and everything stopped. The world. The country. My leg.

And now, in the crazy year of 2020, everyone has had to consider how to change focus and find new ways of making ends meet. Find new work opportunities. Find new ways of making money. New ways of trying to pay bills. New ways of existing.

Me too. Not only because I was unable to work in theatre again, but because I have just begun walking without assistance in the house. Progress from a broken femur has been moving forward. Feeling stronger. I felt good.

Then a couple of days ago I was stretching my leg, bent it in toward my chest and suddenly I couldn’t extend it back out again. It hurt so bad to try to extend my leg that I just knew that I had dislocated my knee. Of course, that’s what I thought when I broke my leg too, but I digress. So, now what?

Called my primary doctor who told me to go get it x-rayed.

Ruptured Quadricep Tendon.

Well, shit.

I’m now back in a leg immobilizer.

I may need another surgery to repair the rupture.

I’m not a fan of the word “rupture.” Or “surgery.”

Just how many steps backward am I supposed to take to make a few steps forward?

An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means that it’s going to launch you into something great. So just focus, and keep aiming.


Last year I made a new friend.

I had been dabbling as a marketing consultant. Helping with online newsletters, social media, updating websites. And, then I made a friend with a woman doing something similar.

It was kismet. It was instant synergy. It was magic.

Our knowledge complemented one another so well. And, not only did we become good friends, but we also decided to become business partners. Figured, it was going to be a great way to supplement my theatrical career. Every actor has some kind of “side-hustle” anyway to make ends meet. And, after my break, it seemed like a good idea since I was primarily on my tush most of the time anyway.

Sometimes the most ordinary things could be made extraordinary, simply by doing them with the right people.

Nicholas Sparks

Little did I know that this new focus was going to be, not only a life line, but true joy.

I am sure that it has a lot to do with my friend. She is funny, thoughtful, brilliant, creative, and just a wonderful human being. Since we began working together we have found clients, gained an employee, made a real change in how we work individually and together. And, it’s only been about seven months since we seriously got started.

I have an outlet that allows my creativity to come forward. I am enjoying my days and look forward to getting up each day to see what the day holds.

In these trying times, I am so fortunate.

It only takes one idea, one second in time, one friend, one dream, one leap of faith, to change everything, forever.

Mike Dooley, The Universe

I am always of the belief that You Create Your Own Reality (Seth Speaks) and that Thoughts Become Things (Mike Dooley, TUT). I didn’t realize when I was forward-thinking of financial abundance that it would take me in this direction. I had my sights set on a theatrical career. How about that?

And, while I am confused about my leg wanting more attention, I am grateful that I have my business partner by my side to show me what to be joyful for. Although my focus has changed, theatre is still very much in my future. But I am truly happy to be focusing on this path and finding success. Most especially of having a new friend with whom to ride the waves of change that have taken us both in a different direction!

Carmen is a single mom who acts, sings, drinks coffee and writes stuff as she authentically navigates life. Sometimes it’s interesting, sometimes not so much. You can decide. But if something moves you, drop a line, share it far and wide, and let me know what you think! Be sure to check out her business website, Heart-Centered Marketing and Business Solutions.

The Power of Silence

I love sleeping with the window open most of the year. In the summer I let the a/c do the work, but the rest of the year… nothing like some fresh air.

Our house is on the top of a hill in our subdivision. We look out our back on to a common ground with houses surrounding it and a little creek at the bottom of a hill.

When the house was first built we had farms surrounding us. We could hear the cows mooing and horses neighing. Roosters would wake us up early in the morning.

We could also hear the train so clearly in the distance. I love hearing the train whistle. Something so romantic about a train whistle.

Nowadays with the growth of our area and subdivisions taking over all the farms we have a lot of houses and a lot of movement and a lot of noise. Children playing. Lawns being mowed. Highways and hospitals. Cars up and down the streets.

Thankfully, I can still hear the train on clear nights – along with the whistle. At night, I can also hear the traffic on the highway. Each big rig rumbles as it speeds by. Almost like white noise to me as I fall asleep.

As we manage the hustle and bustle of our busy lives, finding opportunities to quietly be with ourselves may help us tend to the details of what we value most.

Jenny Oh

I rarely get up to go to the bathroom once I go to bed. Sorry TMI, I know. But bear with me.

When I was getting back in bed I looked out my bedroom window and suddenly realized how quiet it was. It was so still. No noise at all. Completely silent.

No traffic. No train. Nothing.

The silence was deafening.

It was eery. Unnerving.

Sometimes, simply by sitting, the soul collects wisdom.

Zen proverb

I stood there at the window for a long moment. Waiting to hear something. Anything. A dog bark, perhaps?

Nope. No sirens. No planes. Not even a dog.

Perhaps it was time to get out the white noise app on my phone!

But then I took a deep breath. Became present again. Counted my blessings. Was grateful for being safe and happy and healthy.

And, grateful for Netflix and Spotify and InstaCart and my daughter and my parents and my dog.

So, I gave in to the quiet. And, I meditated.

I prayed for those isolated alone. I prayed for those on the front line. I prayed for those who know much more about the tsunami that is on its way to us and yet are ready and willing to go and fight and keep us healthy.

The quieter you become the more you are able to hear.


Us humans, we are not accustomed to being silenced. To sitting still. We are social animals, after all!

Week two in social distancing and self-isolation is getting tough for a lot of people. We understand why it is necessary, yet we are getting stir crazy. We get bored easily. Even the most introverted person needs human connection.

But what if in this silence we can all begin to find our humanity again.

My daughter first mentioned to me that this may well be a reset button for the world. Having to stay in and regroup, realign, relearn, reconnect, and realize how much we do have.

This is an awakening of global proportions! We are all being asked – the World is being asked – to stop and be still in order for us all to heal. In order to save each other. To realize how much we are connected and how much more connection is needed.

Let me sit here, on the threshold of two worlds. Lost in the eloquence of silence.


There is an opportunity in the devastation. An opportunity to hit the reset button on earth. Our lives.

Be still. Be grateful. Be in the moment.

We are in the beginning stages of the biggest collective awakening ever seen in the history of mankind.

John Walsh

If we all can sit in silence, even for a moment, and send our collective energy on to the collective vulnerability we are experiencing – can you imagine?! What a world we can begin to build from here.

Ok… call me crazy. I know. But we are never going to be the same after this. So, why can’t we imagine something better?

A seed grows with no sound but a tree falls with huge noise. Destruction has noise, but creation is quiet. This is the power of silence…grow silently.


When we can begin to gather once again, can we remember how much we missed and cared about each other when we were not together? May we build a collective of caring and loving people. May we be more patient with each other and understand the vulnerable. May we be more accepting of our differences and see how they make us stronger as a collective. May we see how fortunate we are and appreciate what we have.

Silence may not be welcomed and can be very inconvenient. Silence can be deadly and boring and annoying and frustrating and overwhelming and overpowering. But sometimes… just sometimes, silence is the best answer.

May you all find peace and solace in these times of COVID-19. May your silence be filled with reawakening and love. I send you all so much love and positive energy to fill your days with gratitude and sunshine.

Paciencia y fe, my friends. Patience and faith.

Wash your hands. Wash your spirit. And, please, watch over each other with love. And, perhaps sleep with your window open so you too can hear the silence.

Carmen is a single mom who acts, sings, drinks coffee and writes stuff as she authentically navigates life. Sometimes it’s interesting, sometimes not so much. You can decide. But if something moves you, drop a line, share it far and wide, and let me know what you think!

One Step at a Time

One Step at a Time

Sometimes for the many steps we take forward, there are a couple back. It sucks. But it happens. My leg is getting stronger every day. (#brokenfemurssuck) My physical therapist has helped me get stronger and on my feet that I forget it’s only been a month and a half of therapy so far.

I’m walking using a walker.

I’m riding a bike.

I’m doing leg presses.

I’m driving.

I’m mastering steps. I’m stepping up an 8” step now. 

I’ve been practicing steps at home since the ramp out my front door will be taken soon. I’ve gone up and down a step at home to let Piglet out! And I’m so proud of myself for doing so. 

Then…the last time I went up the kitchen step my knee buckled and I fell. Down the basement stairs. 

All. The. Way. Down. Head. First. 

“Falling down is a part of life. Getting back up is living.”

~ Anonymous

Now, thankfully, we have a baby gate at the top of the stairs to keep my cousins dog from going downstairs. I fell on the gate and practically slid down the stairs instead of bounce. 

And, thankfully, the basement is carpeted. So when I reached the bottom head first I didn’t hit anything hard. 

Then my walker followed me down. Now that hurt! 

I have bruises in places that I can’t understand how they got there. But when I took inventory everything was still intact and moving as they should. 

“Be mindful of your thoughts and words for they are the pen writing that which will manifest.”

~ Sanjo Jendayi

My dad kept saying the week before when I was going up and down that step that he as worried that I would fall down the basement stairs. I kept reassuring him that I was fine. 

I guess we were both right. Two manifestations converging. That’s what I was thinking as I was falling. 

When I reached the basement I realized how long it had been since I was down there. Now, that was a weird thought. 

Then I realized, my phone was on the kitchen table and I had to figure out how to get back up the stairs. 

I’m smart. I’m strong. I do leg presses now, ya know. 

I maneuvered myself around. I got my booty on the first step. Then began hoisting myself up with the railing and lifting myself with my legs backward, seated, up the stairs. 

When I finally got to the top I realized I ran out of railing. Oh boy! My therapist and I never discussed how to get off the floor if you’re on the ground. Plus, my walker was still in the basement. 

I got on my belly and did one of those elbow, military crawls across the kitchen floor to the table. Sat up. Reached the phone. Texted my neighbor. 

“If you want to find who’s a true friend, screw up or go through a challenging time…then see who sticks around.”

~ Karen Salomanson

God bless my BFF neighbor and her wonderful firefighter husband. They are more family than friends. They came running and got me off the floor. 

And I started laughing. Hard. 

Hey, it’s better than crying. 

“Smile when you’re hurt. Laugh when you want to cry. Have faith in yourself when nothing seems right. Believe in your heart. Trust that even though its hard now, in the end you’ll be okay.”

~ Anonymous

I’m fine. I go to therapy the next day and tell them what happened. They went easy on me that day. But I still did leg presses and I still practiced going up and down a step. Can’t lose progress! 

“This is my journey. There is no time or space for fear.”

~ Carmen

The next morning Piglet needed out again. My mom in the shower I decided I needed to go up and down the step. This time in the living room. Not going near those basement steps in a while.  But, I was not going to let fear take over either.

No big deal. Going down is the easy part. 

So I took my step down and as I went to get my good foot down the step, my knee buckled out from under me and I fell backward on to the step. And as my knees bent when I fell back it twisted a bit and the pain was harsh! 

My leg is swollen again. And it hurts somewhat to walk.

Damn it! One step forward…

Went to physical therapy. She said to call the doctor. 

New X-rays. Knee is still good. Just angry. 

Can’t say I’m too happy either. I was supposed to be on a cane by now. 

“Fall seven times, stand up eight.”

~ Japanese Proverb

So the ramp out front will be staying a while longer. I’ll be going to therapy for at least another month. And I’m still using a walker. 

But hey. I’m driving. I’m doing leg presses. I’m riding a bike. I’m getting stronger. I’m laughing. I’m living. I’m here.

Getting through the journey may be hard at times – but, getting through it will always take one step at a time. #betheturtle

Carmen is a single mom who acts, sings, drinks coffee and writes stuff as she authentically navigates life. Sometimes it’s interesting, sometimes not so much. You can decide. But if something moves you, drop a line, share it far and wide, and let me know what you think!


I had a Physical Therapy appointment – which is really nothing new because I have had a few therapy appointments almost every week since coming home with this broken femur (#brokenfemurssuck) – but what was new were the exercises we did during this session.

I have had trouble lifting my leg off the bed and engaging my quad muscle. It’s odd because I still can’t feel my muscles. I have to tap my fingers on my thigh to feel where the muscles are so I can trick them into working. It is so weird not to be able to feel what is working inside your body. I found I couldn’t feel my hamstrings either. But, I can bend my leg so I know they are there.

Anything you can’t control is teaching you how to let go.

Jackson Kiddard

So the therapist told me to relax while she lifted my leg and allowed it to hang in the air and stretch the muscle. This position would allow gravity to straighten my leg to where it should be because I went from hyper-extending my leg to keeping it bent all the time – which is not a good thing.

“You can relax your leg, Carmen,” the therapist told me.

I am…

“No,” she said, “Just let me hold your leg. You can release your muscles.”

I am…

“Let go, Carmen. I’ve got you.”

I couldn’t seem to relax. I couldn’t seem to let go. The more I “tried” to relax, the more my body tensed up. I started shaking.

It takes more energy to control than to let go.


I had flashbacks of Christmas.

You see Christmas is “my” holiday in our family. I’ve hosted Christmas dinner for years. A sit down dinner for 25 – 30 family members as the years came and the families grew. When necessary dinner would be buffet-style. I can be flexible that way.

I love hosting Christmas… the traditions, the family gatherings.

The day starts at my mom’s house when we would all spend the night to wake up to see that Santa had come. I would make some breakfast casseroles and we have coffee and breakfast and watch the kids open gifts.

Then I’d start on the ham and potatoes and sweet potatoes and whatever else was on the menu that year. All the others would take off home to see if Santa got there and then return for dinner later that evening. Or come by early to see what they could do to help and bring their dish to share.

There were years when we would gather at my cousin’s house because hers was the largest of our homes. But it was always the same. Breakfast first. Gifts. And, I start cooking. Then we took everything to her house.

Any change, even for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.

Arnold Bennett

Then there was this holiday season. This year that brought me such a sucker punch. This year that had me already missing a chance to be on stage, missing Thanksgiving with my family at home, and missing my freedom, and my pride… this year’s Christmas was being changed without my even being involved. I had suddenly realized how I had lost complete control over almost every aspect of my being – even “my holiday.”

I was suddenly being informed of how “my holiday’ was going to be held.

Some of us think that holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go.

Herman Hess

I don’t think I was ever as angry as when my sisters were telling me how things were going to be this Christmas. Without a conversation with me. Without a discussion of what I felt I could or could not do. Without consideration of how I would feel having changes made to “my holiday.” I kept asking them not to take this away from me. Please. I had to hold on to something. I felt bulldozed.

I was so angry I couldn’t articulate my frustration. They couldn’t explain their reasoning in any form that I would listen to.

I couldn’t let go.

When you try to control everything, you enjoy nothing. Sometimes you need to relax, breathe, let go and live in the moment.


For most of my adult life, I have prided myself of being able to let go and let be. Live in the moment. Be grateful. Take a deep breath and release.

I’m the laid back one. Things always work out. I’m really good at letting go.

Until I wasn’t.

Real strength isn’t control. It’s knowing when to let go.

Christopher Barzak

I had no choice but to give in to what my sister’s wanted because I had no recourse being in my wheelchair. I understand that times are changing again, but that on top of my leg … well, it made me feel useless. I had lost control of my life. I felt dismissed. And I hated that feeling.

But as the day progressed I began to understand. And, I began to let go.

I at least was able to make the ham.

And, really I should have been more grateful to my sisters because they went shopping for me and brought in the food and brought up the dishes and got the table ready and I couldn’t have done it all without them.

Really I owe them a debt of gratitude that I was too stubborn to give at the time.

It was a tough lesson though. Letting go of what we can’t control. What I can’t control. Trusting my sisters to have the best intentions in mind Relaxing and enjoying the moment. I was trying to hold on way too much. Instead of allowing and flowing and being grateful for the help and love.

Once I let go I could relax and enjoy my family. The evening. The food. The festivities.

And, once I let go I could stretch my leg. And, I didn’t shake anymore. And, it didn’t hurt as much.

Learning to let go gracefully is a challenge at the moment. Obviously. And learning to let go to allow healing, change, growth, movement, sisters, love, family is getting easier – but certainly not all there yet. Especially now that I can understand that it is for my benefit and not something that is being taken away from me.

You can’t control everything. Sometimes you just need to relax and have faith that everything will work out. Let go a little and let life happen.


This was a not-so-subtle reminder of my having to return to having faith and to live in the moment and in gratitude. Faith that things will all work out alright. Be in the moment to allow goodness and strength to flow freely to me. Let go. Let life. Let it flow. And be grateful that there are sisters and therapists ready to hold me up when I need them.

I can relax now. I can let life happen. And, everything will indeed work out.

Carmen is a single mom who acts, sings, drinks coffee and writes stuff as she authentically navigates life. Sometimes it’s interesting, sometimes not so much. You can decide. But if something moves you, drop a line, share it far and wide, and let it be known!



I hate missing out. Gatherings. Movies. Plays. Dinners.



I feel like I’m at a bus stop and the busses keep passing me by without stopping. I’m waving my arms wildly, trying to get their attention. But I’m at a standstill.

Just like the world… it just keeps spinning, doesn’t it? It doesn’t really concern itself with whether you can jump on or catch up.

I mean, I’m not much of an extrovert, but I also know I’m not one for sitting around a lot either. And, the opportunities I had, I worked hard for. They are the most difficult to let go of.

You’re better off missing a bus or an airplane once in a while than getting there too early all the time.

Andy Rooney

And, all I’m doing right now is sitting around.


This broken femur and a wheelchair sure have put a damper on things. I just keep watching the busses pass me by.

I have gotten out of the house for a couple of wonderful times. But what a pain in the ass! Wheel out and down the ramp. Grab the walker. Hop to the car. Watch as someone puts away all your paraphernalia into the trunk of the car. Arrive and do everything in reverse. And, I’m just sitting there.

Now, I do realize how fortunate I am. Truly. This is only a temporary situation for me. It’s just that … Eight weeks feels like an eternity. Physical therapy is work.

Sitting here has also brought about a heightened sense of vulnerability. It has my daughter helping in ways that I wasn’t prepared for – until at least I reached a much older age and she would be older to deal with it as well. Or having my elderly mother, mother me again and do for me as though I was a young girl.

Having a bathing aide (a wonderful and patient and kind woman) come to the house and help undress me to get into the shower. I may be clean but with it came a loss of pride and freedom and control and feelings of humility and shame. A weakness I have not known in a while. Especially during my last couple of years with a motto of “No Fear!”

Vulnerability is not weakness. And that myth is profoundly dangerous.

Brené Brown

Having others do for me has been difficult. Being vulnerable has been difficult. Watching the buses and opportunities pass me by has been difficult. Trying to catch up with the world around me once again feels like a daunting task.

Letting go and allowing has been tough.

I think that the most difficult thing is allowing yourself to be loved, so receiving the love and feeling like you deserve it is a pretty big struggle. I suppose that’s what I’ve learnt recently, to allow myself to be loved.

Nicole Kidman

Allowing to be taken care of. Allowing to heal. Allowing to slow down. Allowing to be vulnerable.

Allowing to be loved by your family and friends as you continue to progress and get well and do the work of regaining strength.

Allowing everyone you know to see your weakness in the moment. Yet, living the moment as honestly as you can. In pain. In humility. In loss. In love.

Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.

Brené Brown

I am reminded that a broken femur and the subsequent surgery to repair it was major surgery. No, I shouldn’t be on my feet yet. No, recovery is not quick, nor easy. Although, without any past experience it is hard to accept this truth.

All I know is that I will continue to show up until I can catch that bus once again. I will show my vulnerability as it will uncover courage.

I guess you can say I’m working on Carmen 3.0 – only this time I’m bionic! Watch out world. Keep spinning because I’m getting ready to catch up!

Carmen is a single mom who acts, sings, drinks coffee and writes stuff as she authentically navigates life. Sometimes it’s interesting, sometimes not so much. You can decide. But if something moves you, drop a line, share it far and wide, and let it be known!

To the Moon and Back: A love story

To the Moon and Back: A love story

I have been single all my life. I’m not saying that because I want pity or dating advice or anything of the sort. That’s not to say I wouldn’t take you up on a blind date. I only mention it because it’s just fact.

By the time I reached my 40’s, I figured my days of having children were over. I hadn’t met a man I was interested in spending the “rest of my life with.” But I would go out on a date or two. And, I did have a man in my life for a short time. We spent a good part of a year together until we broke up because, according to him, I worked too much.

What can I say? I enjoyed what I was doing.

At the end of my 41st year, I found myself pregnant.

Really, Universe? I didn’t even think that part of my body worked!

Let me tell you, at 41 and dramatically overweight you are considered a “high-risk pregnancy” with all the drama that physicians and nurses and specialists and hospitals want to add to your already surprised body.

And, I was busy! I don’t have time for extra appointments. A multitude of ultrasounds.

All these appointments were cutting into my networking and socializing and fun. I wasn’t used to slowing down! Just ask the baby daddy! I didn’t know how to stop.

Being a mother is not what you give up to have a child, but what you’ve gained having one.


The day came when I realized why there were so many ultrasounds and appointments. You see, older women are more prone to give birth to children with down’s syndrome.

Oh boy.

The ultrasounds were showing “signs” that that may be the case with the nugget in my belly. And, at first, I thought, “poor kid! I’m older already. How in the world will ‘it’ fend for itself if something happens to me?”

I was given information should I decide to terminate the pregnancy.

Now, I have always, intuitively, created my reality. I never called it that. I didn’t know that as a real concept at the time. I’ve never worried really because I just knew things would work out. But this!? I wasn’t sure what to think. To do. And, I told no one about it. I needed to think this through on my own.

Well, me and the nugget.

You see, I sang and read and conversed with my nugget. Pretty much the entire time from when I knew it was in there swimming around. So, it and I needed to come up with a plan. After all, we were now a team.

The doctor’s decided it was best to do an amniocentesis – where they put this long-ass needle into your belly and extract some amnio fluid. Very dangerous because it could cause a miscarriage.

The doctors were adamant that I have the procedure done. I was fighting it. And, nugget wanted no part of it. But they were sharing all the reasons why I should. And, I made the appointment.

And, I sat in the waiting room. Still uneasy with my decision. And, my name was called. And, I followed the nurse. And, I walked down the hallway. And, I thought… why? What difference would it make? What if the nugget had downs? That nugget is mine. And, as I walked down the hallway time stood still. I knew – this whole life of my nugget flashed before me – I knew she was fine. I could see her and I knew she would fill my life with laughter and music and love. I knew.

She is my heart. My soul. My “best thing that ever happened to me.” The source of many laughs and a few tears. She is my daughter. She is my world.


And she was perfect. A month early and came out kicking her little chicken legs, but perfect. Just like I knew she would be.

Just like I knew she would be a performer when I heard her sing for the first time at 4 years old. When she would sing and dance to The Wiggles. When I would have music on in the car and she would sing at the top of her voice in perfect pitch and I would harmonize… I knew. When she wanted to get up and sang “Landslide” during a church fish fry, and we harmonized behind her, I knew. When she was asked to sing the National Anthem at the grade school talent show all by herself, acapella, on the large high school stage as a third-grader…I knew.

She grew into her voice. She grew as a performer. She began singing with a show choir, started a band with grade school friends, was cast in leads in middle school, began a duet with another friend and gigged at restaurants, and made videos, and started auditioning for shows outside of school, and got her first professional role as a sophomore in high school, and finished her senior year with more professional roles and leads.

I knew this would be her chosen profession because it also became very clear that it was her passion. I knew she was good. I know she is good. My child is talented. And, I know I’m biased, but I know.

And, I knew when she was accepted to the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. I just knew. The very first time we stepped foot in the school and toured the campus and walked around Chicago. I knew.

And now, 18 years later, my nugget is in college. My lovely. My “plus one” to everything. The love of my life. My heart beating outside of my body.

Her father didn’t want to be a dad. And, that was just fine by me. I knew I could be both father and mother for her. She was all mine. And, I was all hers. Her last name is mine and that’s all she has known. We’re a team, as I use to tell her growing up.

Being a single mother seems at a first sight, extremely demanding and exhausting. What makes single mothers resist strongly to all the stress and work is the unconditional love that they share with their children. Love makes them strong and able to fight everything that comes their way.


And now that team is exploring new paths as solos. Exploring new friends. Exploring new activities. Exploring what life means creating new realities. For her this is growth. For me, it means remembering what life means to be alone again. We’re still a team, just miles apart.

Ok – so, in truth I’m the one actually struggling to find my footing once again. Slowly. That first week waiting for her to tell me she was “home” so I could fall asleep. Now, three weeks in, I wait to hear from my girl to tell me about her classes, her adventures, about her new friends, her professors, her rehearsals.

It’s joyous! She is blossoming. She is blooming. She is spreading her wings!

I have to admit, however, that I am a tad lost without her.

But, I couldn’t be prouder. My heart is full.

My lovely. My pookie. My sunshine. My whole heart. My Isabel. Growing and expanding and becoming her own person.

And, now it is time to work on me once again. Spread my wings too, as it were. I’ll get there. I may need some help, so if you have plans that can use one more person, let me know. I’m up for some fun!

Until then… to the moon and back my lovely. To the moon and back…TQMM

Isabel and I singing a mash-up of Nothing’s Gonna Harm You/Children Will Listen arranged by Leah Luciano for R-S Theatrics Cabaret, 2017. Isabel was 16.

Carmen is a single mom who acts, sings, drinks coffee and writes stuff as she authentically navigates life. Sometimes it’s interesting, sometimes not so much. You can decide. But if something moves you, drop a line and let it be known!

Painting: “Mother and Daughter” by Diego Rivera



I’ve been working on a lot of beliefs lately.

Feelings of being a victim. Self- Protection. Broken Heart. Vulnerability. Self-Worth. Connection. My alignment.

Well, you get it.

A few years ago I went through an amazing transformation finding my authentic self, my unique self, my brilliant self as taught to me by a brilliant friend and leadership coach, Deborah LeeAnn. She helped me find my SHINE. Led me to achieve some goals I didn’t even realize I wanted to achieve. Talk about transformational! I felt so aligned. So free. So brave. Radiating energy and vibrating high.

She taught me that I was energy. I was soul. This body transports me, but I am a high vibrating soul of energy.

And, I started taking care of this body. And, started working as an actress again. And, I started dating. And, I started living. I felt free! I felt brave!

Then, I started to lose myself with the busy-ness of life and love and work and family, and, and, and, and…

If you’re brave enough, often enough, you’re going to fall.

Brené Brown

I was brave as I grew and learned and expanded and shone and then started to fall. And I seemed to have fallen. Hard.

I started to lose my SHINE. I started to lose my energy. I needed to do something to find that energy once again. I had to do something! I had the SHINE tools, I knew what to do, but something was missing.

So, I reached out to another brilliant friend of mine, Bridgette Kosser. I knew she did energy work. And, I knew I needed some serious alignment. And, let me tell you what…

Bridgette led me through an amazing experience. She helped me unpack some deep, hidden, hurtful, heartbreaking truths that I didn’t even know were simmering so close to the surface of mySelf. She exposed how I was settling for experiences, things, people that were resonating with the pain I experienced so long ago. How I “naturally” returned to my patterns of “settling” because I wanted to protect and hide mySelf – surviving instead of thriving.

I had so many painful beliefs playing on repeat in my head and heart that I was dragging them with me through my life. Such powerfully strong energy that needed to be released. And fast!

In a (what seemed a nanosecond) two-hour session, Bridgette taught me that I was “managing” my energy through the pain. She explained that I manage how to react to people, places, events by being intuitive, but not feeling as though I was enough to move past the negative patterns of pain and guilt. I had to use my energy differently. Effectively. Remember who I truly am, not the version that I used to protect myself and my heart.

I felt like that image of the Monte Python exploding head. My head was literally blown and things and feelings and memories and events and pain and embarrassments and anger and all the things I had hidden away just bolted out. Pandora’s box if you will.

But instead of throwing it all back in I released it with gusto. Bridgette helped me go back to the original time when my heart was broken and worked through that pain. She had me realize how it was affecting me as I moved forward through my life now. How the pattern continues on repeat until I break the cycle.

She had me realize that my issue of wanting to be seen and heard was excruciatingly powerful. Please, I just want to be seen and heard.

She then had me go to a time in my life when I did feel seen and heard. Surprisingly enough it was at an audition a little over a year ago. When I was the oldest person in the room. When I completely threw caution to the wind and said, “fuck it, I’m owning this shit!” Then actually did.

I was brave and free and hot and tingly, and open and fluid and sassy … I was me. The true me. The authentic me. Why then? Because I had nothing to lose. It didn’t matter to me how they saw me at that moment and I allowed myself to open up and be seen. I allowed it to feel safe to be seen.

What an amazing experience to feel that completely joyous feeling once again. I embodied it. I accepted it. I became it.

You are liquid love in physical bodies, wanting, more than life itself, because it is life itself, to adore the vessel that’s you through which this Source Energy flows. You are God. You are Source. You are creator.

Abraham Hicks

Bridgette helped me find my energy. I am creating my authentic reality. I am fluid once again.

Now, I know I have to continue working on keeping it here with me. Front and center. Continue to remember the fluid and free and sassy me.

But man, does it feel good to be doing this energy work. Thank you, Bridgette!

Energy is fluid. And, now so am I.

You can check out Bridgette’s class, Mastering Your Energy, on Friday, August 9, 2019, at Silver Lining: A Holistic Center. You can find more information about the event here.



Letting go is hard. Especially when you feel wronged. Hurt. Angry.

I’m not saying it is logical. At. All! I’m saying it happens.

We hold on. We hold on to grievances. We hold on to the hostility. We hold on to the anger. We hold on to the pain like a prized possession. Like a badge of honor.

But why!?

Things in the past that are painful, such as unrequited love, a painful breakup, an insult, are replayed in our memory, our hearts, our souls. We rehash and reflect and re-feel the pain, over and over again.

But why do we feel the need to hold on to such pain and anger? Why do we feel the need to make it part of our identity, like a prized-possession? Why do we feel the need to hold on to the forgiveness we so desperately need to express? To release? To accept?

Forgive others. Forgive the experience. Forgive ourselves.

So many questions. All these “Whys.” All this forgiveness.

I’ve been meditating to Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra’s 21-Day Meditation Experience. This session is on Miraculous Relationships. And Day 20 is Miraculous Forgiveness.

Oh boy!

I love how the universe sends me messages just when I need them.

The focus of this meditation is the “gift of forgiveness.”

“If we want to experience loving, life-long relationships, we need to be able to let go of grievances, hostility, and anger. These feelings are a product of our ego self and keep us mired in the past and weighed down with emotional pain.”

Deepok Chopra

The “Ego” is the self. It’s defined as the part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity.

Deepak Chopra says, “The ego knows all your weaknesses, your repressed desires, and your areas of denial, and it will use them against you, to knock you off your spiritual path.”

Sounds about right. The ego really wants to take control. Wants to keep you angry. Wants to make you feel good about being mad because it’s all everybody else’s fault anyway, right?

“To be wrong is nothing, unless you continue to remember it.”


But we need to refocus our ego. We need to allow our true self to shine through with self-awareness and begin to forgive.

Forgive others for the pain we feel we they have inflicted on us. Forgive the situation where we felt we were a victim. Forgive time where we feel we’ve been ignored or disrespected or unloved.

And, I know I have choices – no matter what my ego tries to tell me.

I make the choice to forgive. I make the conscious effort to be present. Be grateful. Be aware. Be happy. Let go. Accept.

Our Centering Thought in Day 20’s meditation was, “I experience forgiveness as the flow of loving acceptance.” As I concentrated on those words I felt lighter. I could feel myself beginning to let go of situations and feelings that were heavy in my heart.

I could feel my capacity for love and compassion and healing grow and expand as in Deepak Chopra’s message.

I have a choice. I choose to be happy and forgive.

I release fear and embrace love.

Disengage and Self-Protect

Disengage and Self-Protect

I’m listening to Brené Brown. I have this love/hate relationship with her words. They touch me deeply. Truly. Honestly.

It’s hard to like it sometimes.

It’s hard because it makes me shine a light on me and my emotions and my story. Especially the tough ones. The ones that make me disengage. The ones that try to define me and own me and railroad me into thinking I’m less than. My worth. My vulnerability.

The book I’m listening to right now is Rising Strong. Wow, her stories! She is a wonderful story-teller. They cut right to the chase.

In this book, she tells us about a time she and her husband have a tiff and how she learned from that time and faced emotions and vulnerabilities to strengthen their marriage.

Now, I haven’t even gotten past the second chapter, but already she has given me so much to think about.

“We disengage to self-protect.”

Oh, have mercy! Those words cut through me so completely. I wasn’t ready to hear them. I wasn’t ready to understand how I avoid conflict like the plague. How I turn and run whenever anything gets too difficult. When anybody becomes too difficult for me to understand. Whenever an emotion becomes too overpowering or difficult to feel. When I feel vulnerable and want to hide.

I was ready to cut and run right then when I heard those words. But I was on the highway going home, so I had to sit and listen – and feel.

Recently, for as much work as I have done to find my authenticity and strength and joy and gratitude I am still working through avoidance and fear and self-protection.

I was proud of myself just recently when I had to say “no” to an offer to barter my services. I had to have more respect for myself, for my worth, for my value. I realized that and took measures to ensure that I stayed true to myself. That was huge! Especially when the guilt started to set in. When I thought the other person would not like me because I said “no.”

But also, just recently, I had to walk away from a relationship that made me frightened to stay in and more frightened to walk away from.

A friendship/relationship that was intense and made it hard for me to say goodbye.

Disengage. Self-protect.

I was hurt. My feelings were hurt so deeply I couldn’t move forward. Couldn’t express myself. My needs. My wants. My worth. I felt so vulnerable. It was frightening.

Disengage. Self-protect.

You see, I am relatively new to the dating game. I know… I’m freaking 60 years old. You’d think I’d have been around the block a few times.

You’d be wrong.

When I was younger I was concentrating on my career. When I came home to St. Louis I was concentrating on my family. When I decided to stay in St. Louis rather than return to New York I concentrated on surviving. When I went to work I concentrated on existing. Then I had my daughter and I concentrated on my blessing.

There were a few men sprinkled here and there. Obviously, there was at least one good one! But, you see, I never felt worthy of any of them. It made it easy for me to be manipulated. To be used. To be thrown aside when something better came along. Vulnerability was not my strong suit.


It made it easy for me to disrespect myself and build a wall of fat around my body. I figured if I wasn’t worthy of someone’s love I was going to be damned sure they weren’t going to be interested in me because of how I looked. I mean, if they didn’t get close I can’t blame the real me. If they didn’t get close I wouldn’t be hurt. If they didn’t get close I wouldn’t have to be vulnerable.

“Hurt doesn’t go away simply because we don’t acknowledge it. In fact, left unchecked, it festers, grows, and leads to behaviors that are completely out of line with whom we want to be, and thinking that can sabotage our relationships and careers.”


Fast forward to a couple of years ago when I decided to take my life back! I lost a ton of weight. I feel great and have pride in myself. I feel authentic and grateful and joyous. I returned the stage and felt seen and heard.

And, it was time to start really dating. Allow myself to be vulnerable. And, it worked.

Until it didn’t.

Until I felt more than I should have from a two-year relationship that was deemed to be only friends. Intimate friends. But friends.

Until I feared being left behind. Until I felt lonely knowing my daughter was leaving and I would be left on my own. Until I wasn’t enough and “we were truly just friends.” Good ones, but friends nonetheless.

I knew I needed to change the dynamic of our intimate friendship a while ago. But I was scared. I didn’t want to be alone. I didn’t want to lose the intimacy. I enjoyed the companionship. The company. The laughs. The man. But, I could never communicate what I wanted or needed.

And he was always looking elsewhere. Of course, he did. I allowed it. I looked elsewhere too. Where was the respect in that?

I was told I was his only true friend. Until I needed to care for myself and then was told I failed him as a friend. Where was the respect in that?



“We can’t ask people to give us something we do not believe we’re worth receiving. And, you’ll know you are worth receiving it when you trust yourself above everyone else.”

Damn’t it Brené!

Where is the trust in myself?

I deserve more. I deserve love. I deserve someone to see me as their partner and companion.

I don’t blame anyone. I remained in his company because it felt good. Knowing there wasn’t any romantic love.

That’s not true. I blame myself.

So I need to express my story. I need to tell it loudly if only to myself. Because I was unable to share it with my friend. I wasn’t able to communicate what I wanted or needed in our relationship. Because I wasn’t able to express my past and how I feared my future.

Of course, what I really only wanted was a friendship, but the intimacy threshold was crossed and I was unable to go back. Was he using me? Or was I using him? Either way, it wasn’t right.



Would it have saved whatever we had, had we more communication? I’ll never know.

But, I cannot deny what brought me to this moment. To face my worth once again. To face my fears once again. To trust ME once again. Without hiding. Without staying silent. Without disengaging or protecting myself.

Because I do deserve – companionship, partnership, respect, love. Yes, and friendship. I am worthy.

“Loneliness does not come from having no people around you, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to you.”

I must learn to stay engaged while protecting my heart, myself. I need to learn to communicate what my needs are and not cut and run when things get tough. When I feel hurt. When I feel discomfort in any situation – personal, professional, or otherwise.

Share what is important to me and making sure I am heard.

And, just think, I still have 2/3 of the book left! I’m looking forward to hearing what more I can learn.

Time to engage once again!


But wait, there’s more…

What’s Next?

Playing Berthe in Pippin with COCA is next!

July 21 – 23, 2023 | Tickets Here

Director: Shanara Gabrielle

Choreographer: Christopher Page-Sanders


Moonstone Theatre Company

Elizabeth Ashby (Columbia College Masters in Directing – Chicago)

Center of Contemporary Arts (COCA)






R-S Theatrics

Solid Lines Productions

The Tesseract Theatre Company

St. Louis Repertory Theatre

Mustard Seed Theatre

Theatre Nuevo

Spread the love