So it’s been a hot minute since I’ve done an update on my life, career and grief journey. A lot has happened since the last update. In June, I went almost full tilt back into life. Performing, teaching weekly classes, doing art, developing new hobbies like archery and climbing, etc… It felt really good to get back to a feeling of normalcy. A routine, some sense of stability.
Honestly, it was too soon. I took on to much. I’ve had to clear my plate to make time and room for creativity to flow and more importantly keep space for my self care. I have a hard head and it’s nearly impossible for me to admit when I need help or I just can’t do something or to say ‘NO’ to someone. I hate to disappoint, but to be frank, life can be full of disappointment at times. It’s not a negative thing unless you want to look at it that way. I see it as this… If everything went exactly as planned every time, life would get boring, we would stopped being challenged in our coping and quick thinking skills, etc… My biggest disappointment was losing Anthony. But out of that came my greatest triumph thus far.
Out of this, I have worked real hard on not just picking myself up out of the darkest pits of my mind, but spreading my wings and working to reach soaring heights as a human with my personal growth and development. I’ve decided to put aside my ego as much as I can, when I can and embrace my fears. Walk up to insecurity, uncertainly see them, acknowledge them and give them a great big bear hug, no matter how uncomfortable it makes me feel at first. The best things in life are never easy or comfortable. And I think you all know by now that I seldom find my truth or happiness in comfort or complacency. Now that’s not to say that I am going to go and give up my bed, my coffee and delicious fur rugs, but I would halt a relationship that’s not healthy even if it does seem easier to keep it going for sake of having to end it. This. Is. Part. Of. Self Care.
I’ve tested my limits this year on many levels. I didn’t turn to drugs and alcohol (for more than a week) to numb the pain of losing Anthony. Instead, after the initial few weeks passed I stopped taking Benzos and I slowly started looking at my grief. I looked as grief as if it were my conservative right wing grandmother who was generally unpleasant to me (another story for another time) and I was inviting her to a tea party. I wanted to feel it, every ounce of that pain, longing and anger. I soaked it up like a sponge, I let it consume me at times. The truth is, the grief never ends, but it also becomes part of you, something you can carry and a visitor that comes at unexpected times. Once you’ve experienced intense grief and trauma, it changes you. The truth is most times though you have a choice. I could have chose to drink and pop pills or do away with myself and truthfully, that was in the darkest pits of my mind. But I didn’t. I chose to keep going.
Just. One. More. Day.
Then one day, I had a sunnier outlook, I felt lighter. no the grief was not gone, it was something that had become a part of me, something I had learned and grew from. Something that I had channeled into my art and dancing, I channeled it into my human relationships. I credit my whirlwind trip to Santa Fe and back a few months ago as a huge part of my healing process.
Since then, I’ve drove to Virginia. It was an amazing experience, I made new connections with amazing humans and saw new things, went skydiving and roller skating neither of which I had done before. It was a beautiful part of the country and really, just what I needed to get me prepared for my many travels this fall. I had so many fun and random experiences. I have found the most fun to be in randomness and absurdity.
I have learned that I can love again, I can find beauty in the pain and “ugliness” of life. I’m dating someone and after much ado, I have learned to not feel guilty about it or feel like I am betraying Anthony. My seeing someone doesn’t make me miss him any less or demean my love for him in the least. In the throes of grief it seems impossible to go on from day to day, much less the thought of being with someone else. But it’s all about mindset and again learning to sit with and carry that grief. And these feelings surprised me to be quite honest. After three months of lighting candles every single night and bawling every day, I was not expecting love to come knocking so soon. But it did and I am glad. Not only do I have room for my love for Anthony, but I have room for this person also. My love (and kindness and forgiveness) really knows no bounds, I have for many and it’s only finite if I put limitations on it. Do I still feel grief and get sad and wish this hadn’t happened, of course. Am I looking for a replacement? Absolutely not.
Love truly is infinite. People put limitations on it all the time by saying things like I only love so and so, etc… but really if you open your mind and see, love is energy it ebbs and flows. Love is love and it can be infinite if you want it to be.
Another exciting thing with the journey of grief is “grief brain”. This is a real thing. You’ve experienced a traumatic event and your mind is doing the best it can to make sense of things. So my normally organized and well put together self will brain fart frequently. I will be explaining something in the middle of class and my brain just overheats. Things like messing up video from my shows because I’m just not functioning properly. Stuff I have taught a million times, now takes me longer to prepare and execute due to grief brain. Now I am not blaming my normal ADDness on the grief brain, I have always been a little all over the place with creative ADD and, “OOO look! Shiny thing! Squirrel!” But this is 10 times worse than that. Sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s embarrassing and most of the time it’s downright frustrating. Sometimes it’s saddening when I have flashbacks from the night of the murder in the middle of class, etc. I have to remember to be patient with myself and just breathe, which can be hard and is one of the lessons in this life I am working on every damn day. I am just thankful for everyone who is hanging in there with me when I do things like leave my purse on the roof of my car or fill a vase with coffee instead of water.
With all that being said I’m still forging ahead. I’m teaching a few temporarily private classes a week, still doing Cats n Mats at Tenth Life. I’ve slowly started adding bootcamps back in. I’m still adding new content to my Patreon slowly but surely. I’m also doing monthly giveaways of art and headdresses and jewelry. Here’s the link to my Patreon if you should be so inclined to support. The videos aren’t the best right now but I’m hoping to be able to hire someone to help me edit them www.patreon.com/amiamore
So with all that being said here is my schedule for this fall:
August – October 2019
August 31st – Kansas City Oddities and Curiosties Expo – vending as Amorticious
September 13th – Transcendence – The Art of Ami Amore’ and Anthony Sapone – 6-10pm at Mad Art Gallery – I’ll have new art, shadow boxes, performances, jewelry and more, it’s going to be a multi media spectacular honoring love, life and death. Honoring my beloved Anthony Sapone.
September 19th – Meat & Potatoes Fusion Bellydance workshop in New Orleans
September 21st – New Orleans Oddities and Curiosities Expo – Vending as Amorticious
September 25th – For Quidam – A benefit at the Crack Fox
September 29th – Ami Amore’s Bellydance Bootcamp – at Amorticious
October 5th – Denver Oddities and Curiosities Expo – vending as Amorticious
October 12th – Show in Salt Lake City – TBA
October 13th – Workshop in Salt Lake City – TBA
October 19th – Portland Oddities and Curiosities Expo – vending as Amorticious
October 19th – Nightmare on Yelm Street 2019 – performance
October 20th – All About Layers! Bellydance workshop in Tacoma Washington sponsored by Tacoma Dance
October 28th – Ami Amore’s Bellydance Bootcamp at Amorticious