My Thoughts Moving Forward

blog post 2019 june 25th

ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES, UNLESS EXPLICITLY EXPRESSED OTHERWISE. FEATURED PHOTO TODAY IS FROM HIDDEN TRANSFORMATIONS COLORING BOOK PUBLISHED BY MINDWARE 2007. ALL RESPECTIVE RIGHTS RESERVED, 2019. 

I realize it has been a hot minute since I have posted anything on my blog. I have been going through some personal issues that I needed to take care of in order to move forward with my writing and other ventures.

As many of my readers are already aware of, I have been a lifelong sufferer of depression and anxiety. I sought help in 2002 right after college but I didn’t stick with the regimen because my doctor ended up dying and I was sick of feeling like utter crap and no one helping me or understanding me that I went rogue and stopped going to therapy and quit the medicine I was taking cold turkey. Until then, I’ve endured many hardships but I’ve had some happy moments mixed in and was able to compartmentalize my depression and anxiety and bounce myself back to my own state of equilibrium and I was able to function in my own way. Yes, the underlying issues still remained but I was able to be a functioning depressed and anxious person for a very long time.

This year, I’ve faced one hardship too many and this was the very first time in my adult life that I found it virtually impossible to bounce back the way that I needed to in order to continue being a productive member of society. I just couldn’t handle things on my own anymore. The very last straw was how I was treated at my old doctor’s office in early May. I snapped and decided that enough was enough. I have been shit on my entire life and I wasn’t going to allow anyone else to speak to me in the way that I was spoken to that day. That was the very last day I was ever going to allow people to speak to me like I was lower than they were. I have accomplished so much in my life, so much more than most around me. I am not nothing. I have value and I deserve to be treated like everyone else. Today’s photo is a coloring book page that I found from a book in 2007. When I first saw the picture I thought it looked like me in my twenties, that’s why I liked it so much. Upon coloring the photo, the picture came to life to me and I wished I was that person in that photo: strong, powerful, beautiful, graceful, and poised, instead of the falling down mess I became in my thirties.

I realized I desperately needed help and the first step to getting that help was seeking out a new primary doctor. Due to the limitations of my insurance, I had to settle for another male doctor. I was very nervous going into the appointment the first time. I was grateful that my mom was able to go with me both times that I went so far. Thanks, mom! I have developed this new mantra based on Adelita’s Way song “Ready for War.” They sing, “I pray for peace but I’m ready for war.” That’s my new mantra. I go into every new situation hoping for a peaceful interaction but secretly my fists are clenched and I’m ready to fight holy hell if I have to to get to a healthy place mentally and physically. I went into my doctor’s appointment, not at all hopeful and waiting for the same spiel, “You’re fat, lose weight, here’s a bunch of prescription, come back in six months.” But what I found, pleasantly surprised me. He just had this positive aura about him right from walking into the room. I just knew instantly that I could trust him. I spoke to him, choking back tears, bravely telling him every single thing that had been holding me back for years and he not only listened, he handed me tissues, he gave me permission to feel how I felt, he gave me permission to relax and just let life happen, and not bear the burdens of the entire world on my shoulder. He is teaching me to tackle one thing at a time and that I can do what I can but I’m not a failure if I can’t do it all in one day. I was so relieved to finally find someone who fucking understands. I waited twenty years to hear those words even though, I really needed that every day my whole damn life.

I am finally getting my life back on track. I did bloodwork and I’m happy to report that I’m a fucking healthy thirty-eight-year-old woman! Fuck the assholes who are so concerned about my weight. I’m metabolically healthy and I’m proud of my body and I don’t need to fit into the standards of society. I go for walks when I can, and I mix good food with the bad so fuck everyone else who has a problem with me. This bitch is fat and she’s most likely staying this way for a while, at least until I get my shit together.

I am going back to therapy, I also made appointments for other doctors like gynecologist, dermatologist, etc. I finally feel like I have control over my life again. Everything was collapsing around me beginning this new years eve with my breakup, my dad nearly dying, and just trying to deal with all of the drama around me. The force field around me that I used to protect myself was weakening and I couldn’t hold on any longer. I was so relieved to unleash all of my heart’s burdens to my doctor. Like Carrie Underwood’s song, “Jesus Take the Wheel,” I’m not a religious woman, but I was so the personification of that sentiment that day. I gave all of my burdens to my doctor and he was more than happy to take them away from me, give me permission to feel, and help me acknowledge that I won’t get the answers that I crave for closure and described my life experiences as a gallery in an art museum and he said that some exhibits I can visit freely pain-free, but some I’m going to have to put a tarp over and walk by and that’s okay. Sometimes things just don’t get resolved no matter how much I grieve or revisit, or self-blame, or torture myself over. Shit happens basically. I needed to hear that more than anyone will ever know. I want to thank that man so much for not only saving my life, but seeing my life as something worth saving. He will never quite understand the immensity of his words that first day. Even his entire staff was helpful and kind and that meant the entire world to me too. So, thank you!

That all helped me put things into perspective and help re-set my mindset for my writing and other future ventures. I am a little behind on my editing of John of Art but I still have the tentative release date for both the song and the book as August 15th. I really want to make sure that this book is absolutely perfect. I don’t have any means of recording the song in a way that is professional so I’m just going to sing it and place it on my Bandcamp account when I’m releasing the book on the same day and will be sure to post links for both. If you noticed my Amazon Author Page, I did release the song lyrics already to the
John of Art song. It’s available for 99 cents for the Kindle, if anyone is interested in supporting me and getting a glimpse of song lyrics, I’d appreciate your support and feedback. You can access this and my other works on my Amazon Author Page here: amazon.com/author/psglopes

I found a wonderful resource in Amanda Palmer’s book, The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help. This book opened my eyes for a lot of reasons. I always felt like a loser asking people for donations for my work. I first utilized crowdfunding in 2014 when I was hoping to finish my phd. I ran out of funding for the oral defense and sought out the help of others. I will never forget my cousin, Julie, gave me one hundred dollars. I felt so touched by this gesture. I was not accustomed to having family believe in me and when she told me that she believed in me that moment changed me forever. Even though I didn’t meet my goal for the crowdfunding, I never forgot her kindness and I always promised myself to return the favor somehow someday but I never was in a position to do so. I was always struggling and coming up for air my whole life. But I want her to know that I will never forget that one moment of pure kindness. That moment taught me so much. It taught me that there are still amazing people out there. It taught me that there’s no shame in asking for help when you’ve exhausted all your other options. I’ve learned that it’s not being pathetic or foolish reaching out and asking for others’ help. I have just befriended an individual who lives in the deep south and he told me that in that area they are big on being neighborly and that’s what’s missing in the area in which I live, that long-lost concept of neighbors helping out neighbors.

I no longer feel foolish in asking for help when I need it. I feel that what I’m doing is powerful and can help a lot of people and I wish to continue fighting for my work. If others come along and help I’ll always be greatly appreciative but I’m no longer going to see it as modern day panhandling. Especially in the arts where people have to fight tooth and nail to keep art alive nowadays. Every bit of help counts and matters, as long as we work together to keep art thriving and alive.

On that note, I do have a Patreon account mostly for professional editing services and to produce my song professionally. If you are interested in taking a look you’ll find that page here: www.patreon.com/themoonlitgoddess

I thank you all as always for coming back and checking up on me and what I’ve got going on in my life. I hope that my words prove helpful and encourages others to seek help if they need it. What I’ve learned from my ordeal is you have to be persistent and not give up after the first try. You have to shout louder and louder each time until someone finally hears you. There are people out there who will listen. I wish you all a productive and fruitful week full of laughter, love, hope, and friendship. Let us continue to be good to one another and lift each other up when things are not going well in our lives. Judgment has no place at my dinner table.

My Music Evolution

blog february 13th 2019

ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2019.

No matter what changes I go through in life, one thing that has always remained consistent is the fact that I am a huge music fan. Over the years, music has helped me in so many ways. Depending on what I am listening to, music can either calm my nerves, get me pumped up for an occasion, relax me, or get me fired up when I’m angry, or even help me come to terms with my emotions. Music is responsible for so much joy and can elicit the strongest memories. My mother, father, and siblings heavily influenced my tastes in music over the years.

My parents got me into earlier stuff from the 1960s and 1970s like Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, Carly Simon, Carole King, James Taylor, John Denver, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Johnny Cash, ABBA, and so many other great musicians. I still listen to all of these incomparable artists today. I have always been huge on nostalgia and listening to any of these always brings back positive memories in my life.

When I was a child in the 1980s,  I listened to the typical pop music that was popular in that era. I listened to Billy Idol, Blondie, Tiffany, New Kids on the Block, and whatever else was new and considered “in” at the time. I am actually going to see Tiffany and New Kids on the Block in concert this coming July! How’s that for a blast from the past!

I remember also being introduced to rock music and metal from my older brother. I remember the first metal band that I was introduced to was Metallica. I remember singing along to their songs as young as seven or eight years old because my older brother would blast them in his room. I also remember being into bands like R.E.M., Bon Jovi, and Guns N Roses in the late 1980s/early 1990s.

When I was seven years old, I traveled to Portugal with my sister, younger brother, and mother. I remember spending three months there. I was exposed to new types of music that I had never heard of before. I listened to very eclectic and different sounding Portuguese pop music and that was the first time that I became really aware of Portuguese fado music, especially from singers like Amalia Rodrigues. My mom still listens to all types of fado music to this day and every time I hear it, I think of her.

I remember when I was about eleven or twelve I became simply enamored by Celine Dion, and the then-popular pop group Ace of Base. I remember during the winter Olympics around that time putting on crocheted booties over my sneakers and pretending to ice skate over the linoleum in the kitchen of my old apartment in New York State. I would play Celine Dion and Ace of Base as my performance music and I would disappear “into the ice” and imagine being a grand performer! I had quite an imagination back then!

As I got a little older, I remember grunge music being huge and I was then introduced to bands like Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Nirvana, and others from my sister. What is so fascinating is that I really liked Pearl Jam’s other efforts after their “Ten” album more while so many others complained that they sold out to become mainstream pop artists. I think that Pearl Jam, even to this day, is one of the finest rock ensembles ever to grace my ears. No one compares to Eddie Vedder’s unique voice and his lyric writing always spoke to me. I still consider Pearl Jam’s “Daughter,” “Better Man,” and Eddie Vedder’s solo effort, “Society” three of my all-time favorite songs.

When I moved to New Jersey, I feel that music was transitioning as well as myself. Grunge and rock began to blur, merging into alternative rock and other sub-genres. I remember during this time period, I was a huge fan of The Cranberries, Candlebox, Better than Ezra, Our Lady Peace, Black Lab, Semisonic, Silverchair, Weezer, Moist, and so many others no matter what pop/rock category a band belonged to. I remember also discovering punk rock and was very into Goldfinger, MXPX, Blink 182, Bad Religion, Misfits, and other similar bands.

Then when I reached college and post-college age, music evolved yet again and I found myself being heavily influenced by the nu-metal scene and other rock acts popular in this era. I listened to Korn, Limp Bizkit, Filter, Creed, Staind, Orgy, Evanescence, Finger Eleven, and so many others. I went to so many rock shows during this time that I lost count!

My younger brother got me into European symphonic metal in the early 2000s and I started listening to bands like H.I.M., Within Temptation, Delain,  and The Rasmus, that I still enjoy listening to even today.

I feel that this time was a particularly absurd time in my life. I had so many bizarre ideas and expectations of music. I actually believed that if I listened to anything but rock music that I was a “poser.” I was so afraid to be caught listening to artists I formerly enjoyed in my youth because I didn’t want to be attached to such a negative label. Also, I believed that people who were once hardcore listeners of pop music and all of a sudden started listening to hard rock music they were also posers. I also used to find it odd seeing old people at rock concerts and made it a personal vow to not be one of those people. Now, in 2019, nearing 40, I go to rock concerts all the time. My last concert was Halestorm/In This Moment/New Years Day back in November. I think it’s so funny what kinds of things you believe when you’re in your late teens/early 20s. Now in my late 30s, I’m not too caught up on labels. I’m not ashamed of my music tastes. I don’t feel like I have to compete with my tastes. I like what I like and I don’t really care what anyone else thinks about what I listen to.

Today, I feel that there’s been a real rock renaissance. I’ve been really into listening to bands like Asking Alexandria, Halestorm, Papa Roach, Godsmack, Fozzy, Beyond the Horizon,  In This Moment, Seether, Adelita’s Way, Irontom, and Yonaka, and any others out there that speak to me lyrically and musically.

I still highly enjoy Celine Dion, Barbara Streisand, Lady Gaga, The Greatest Showman Soundtrack, and whatever I feel drawn to. I am now happy with my music choices. I no longer feel shame over listening to what I like. I enjoy what I enjoy and I don’t listen to people who think they know anything and everything about a band. I don’t care about that kind of petty nonsense anymore. I love music. I love all kinds of music as long as it speaks to my heart and soul. Being a poet and a writer, I first fall in love with the lyrics of a song. I tend to stay far away from trite, meaningless lyrics. I feel like we need a connection when we listen to music. It has to be relatable, that’s why there are so many love songs out there. Who hasn’t been stung by love at least once in their lifetime? I think what’s so lovely about music is that it’s like its own language and everyone can relate to it in their own way and get something completely different from every song out there. Everyone has their own story attached to popular songs and I love hearing about them all!

What music influenced you as a kid? Do you have any guilty pleasures you are ashamed to admit to family and friends? What are your “go-to” tunes you put on when you need an emotional boost? What’s your anthem? I’d love to hear from you all! Thanks so much for reading my blog! I can’t wait to hear from you all!


Also, I have a new book out! Dark Musings Poetry Anthology: Volume 3: The Wilted Perennials of Yesteryear has just come out on Amazon. This anthology is available in paperback and Kindle editions. Thank you all for your continued support in my writing ventures. Here is more information for those of you who are interested:

Hello everyone! I am so excited to announce the release of my latest work! Dark Musings Poetry Anthology: Volume 3: The Wilted Perennials of Yesteryear is now available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle Editions! I am so very proud of this work! This was my focus throughout the whole month of January. As many of my readers already know, 2019 started off with heartbreak. I saw two forks in the road for myself in 2019. I could have either taken the self-destructive path and allowed what I went through to destroy me internally, or use my pain productively and focus on my writing. So, I chose to work on my writing and rebuild all of the momenta I had lost in 2018.

For Dark Musings Volume 1, I had focused on my transition from leaving education to becoming a writer and that volume focused greatly on loss, and rebuilding my life from the ground up. Dark Musings Volume 2 was an experimental anthology where I wrote my very first epic poem and decided to incorporate illustrations, photography, and short stories with this work. I simultaneously released Volume 2 with the 2nd edition of Volume 1 to incorporate photography in this edition as well.

For Dark Musings Volume 3, I decided to include 45 poems and one short story entitled, “The Clown-Covered Canvas.” The 45 poems in this volume vary in topics including heartbreak, nostalgia, how I am coping with my dad’s dementia, and feminism. I experimented with several types of poetry such as: haiku, sestina, sonnets, concrete poetry, ekphrastic poetry, elegies, villanelles, acrostics, epigrams, limericks, free verse, tanka, and more! I tried to really vary the styles of each poem. I am very proud of this work. Since the theme for Volume 3 is “The Wilted Perennials of Yesteryear,” I decided to incorporate my photography of nature. I included pictures of flowers, landscapes, and photos depicting the handiwork of mother nature.

Here are pictures of the front cover and back cover of my book:

 

The back cover blurb reads:

Dark Musings Poetry Anthology: Volume 3The Wilted Perennials of Yesteryear, focuses on heartbreak, loss, nostalgia, and coping with the illness of a loved one. The third anthology of the Dark Musings Poetry Anthology series contains forty-five poems and includes one bonus short story, “The Clown-Covered Canvas.”

For those of you interested, you may purchase my book using the orange links below:

Kindle Edition: $9

Dark Musings Poetry Anthology: Volume 3: The Wilted Perennials of Yesteryear Kindle

Paperback: $25

Dark Musings Poetry Anthology: Volume 3: The Wilted Perennials of Yesteryear Paperback

 

 

For those of you interested in my back catalog of other written works, please visit my Amazon Author Page for my writing: PSG Lopes/The Moonlit Goddess’ Amazon Author Page

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Or Amazon Marketplace for my song single, “In Recovery”: PSG Lopes/The Moonlit Goddess Song Single “In Recovery”

I am trying to work on possibly doing a Virtual Launch Party for Dark Musings Volume 3. I will update you more about that as and when it happens. For now, I am currently in the process of working on my next project. I am wasting no time and diving right in. I currently have 2 more things I’m working on at the moment. I want to thank the followers of my blog and social media, my weekly listeners of my podcast, and my friends and family who have supported me throughout this odyssey of mine.

Thank you for never giving up on me! Thanks to anyone who supports my work. I hope that you enjoy the work that you will kindly leave feedback on Amazon. It really greatly helps with spreading the word out on what I do!

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On a side note, for those of you who missed it yesterday! Yesterday’s podcast was the first interview I conducted with the ever-talented comedienne and writer Amanda Lynn Baez! We had so much fun talking about our career paths, women working in competitive creative fields, feminism and so much more! I was so happy to do this interview for several reasons. Firstly, Amanda is a former student and I love highlighting success stories of those who have graduated. I absolutely love Amanda’s positivity and fearless nature. She will let nothing get in the way of her success. She was an inspiration to me and motivated me as well. Last night, I was interviewed for my local paper and I was nervous about it in the morning but after conducting that interview with Amanda earlier in the day, and just hearing her story of empowerment and courage, that really helped provide me with my own confidence to proceed with my own interview later that evening. I am a firm believer in the saying, “everything happens for a reason!” So, thank you, Amanda! I wish you much success and luck in life!

If you haven’t yet, give the podcast a listen. Just click the orange link below! Thank you so much!

PSG Lopes/The Moonlit Goddess Podcast Interview with Amanda Lynn Baez

If any women are interested in being interviewed for my podcast please email me at themoonlitgoddess@gmail.com  

We can set up a time to do our podcast. I am highlighting women of all ages who are entering, have entered, or are well-established in entrepreneurial or creative fields and who would like to highlight their success stories to my listeners. These are volunteer spots as I cannot currently afford to pay my guests, but volunteers do get copies of my books and other fun treats for their time!

Thanks again, everyone! Onward and Upward!