Sunday, September 19, 2010

My therapist tells me that I have a train inside of me.  I want to believe that's true.

She says that my ability to work around people's expectations and limitations (which must have developed in the last while, because I wasn't always this delicate) is a gift.  I am able to, on the surfacte, supply what they need and take a back seat, doing the groundwork and subtly making suggestions until they notice I have skills. And she says that it's like a train inside of me. I'm patient but inside my heart, there's an engineer steering this thing, who knows - like a mother knows her child - that I have the skills to make this happen, and nothing is going to stop me from getting there.

It's a comforting idea - that I believe in myself so completely as to be charging like a train.  On the surface, I feel like I waffle when it comes to faith in myself.  "Is this good enough?"  But I do see her point. It's been a long haul of career-building and heartbreak, and I don't even have a job that allows me to be a "creative" - a writer, a director.  But still, I find myself pushing (if gently) closer, closer towards my goals. 

And part of that, this year, has been the process of developing our animated series, Bubble Gumshoe. It hasn't been as constant as I'd like. When I'm exhausted, when I'm overworked, when I'm in self-doubt, I don't work on it as much.  But when I'm taking good care of myself, when I'm choosing healthy routines and taking positive action, we move ever forward.  No matter what, they're always there waiting for me... my patient husband-slash-writing partner... and the little characters we've sired, with whom we've fallen in love.  We're nearly finished with the script for episode #2, and I kind of love it.  And now I can say definitively that I have the chops to (co-)direct the eventual recording sessions, when we're ready.

This kind of boils down what the blog is about.  I know in my bones that I have got to keep pushing myself down these train tracks.  If I really look inside myself, I know I have what it takes.  And I know what I have to do - I have to take care of myself, so that I can keep writing, because I have to share these projects that Tom and I are developing.

It's strange... I've been doing all of this so quietly.  Tom, of course, is fully aware of everything.  My therapist has been helping me shape it, too.  But I seem to talk about it with so few others.  I'm so focused on finishing the hat that I watch the rest of the world from my window.  And that's where you come in, my blog readers.  I am not a terrarium.  I am not a self-contained system.  I'm not even a train.  I am a human, and I'm flawed. And I think I might need your support.


  1. Heidi, although you have only recently known you have a train inside you I have known it since you were a little child. Have confidence in yourself, find the right balance in your life, don't let Evan put you in a box and fight for your dreams. Bubblegum shoe is only the beginning. You have the writting, direction and producing skills to succeed. Not "Go Blue" but "Go HJ"

  2. One of the things that is the first to go when you're sad or distressed is intuition. It goes unused due to all of your energies being focused to keeping functions going. Your train IS that talent and intuition. It was always there and now it's moving... and it wants to move faster.

    You've recognized what's going on within you and that's always a good step in the right direction. You know you can do it and I'm positive that I'm not the only fan of Heidi Jo. ;)

    As a human, you can only do so much, but you're so talented that your train itches to go faster down the track. Thank you for inviting me on your journey. I'm here for you!

  3. Thank you so much for posting and starting a blog. It's tough to get these profound thoughts into a short phone call/lunch. I want to know what's going on in you mind, heart, soul, and I appreciate the privilege of being a witness to your journey.

    My love, of course you have what it takes. Keep pushing down the track and I'll help you push wherever you need me. You are brilliant, talented, and amazing - b/c that's who you ARE.

  4. Thank you for including me in your support team.

    I've come to believe that we all live dual lives to some degree. Those of us that are the most bombastic are often the most vulnerable inside. Those of us that often waffle and waver have a hidden inner driving force. I've found similar contradictions within myself, and often I wish I could simply be one kind of person - but how boring and predictable would that be? My current theory is that we are given all the tools, it's a matter of figuring out when to be bold and when to keep your mouth shut.

    Seems like you're ahead of the game already. Learning to work within a workplace culture and let your skills shine through at opportune moments is a talent in itself, just as important as the REAL talent lying in wait within you. Your patience is commendable. Many an artist ends up not getting anywhere near their goals because they want it all, right now - and you're much, much smarter than that.

    I know you'll keep at it, and that it will pay off. Love you!