My first Synagogue experience at Temple Sinai in Sarasota.

It is completely normal for me to double, triple, quadruple up on events or plans when I go out of town, especially if I haven’t been out of town for a while. This trip was no different. Since I was going to be in Sarasota for the boat show Friday during the day, I decided I should see what synagogues are down there so I can attend Friday Shabbat. I picked Temple Sinai and I’m 100% certain that I made the right choice for my very first experience.

I have been to every single church service you can imagine… Free Methodist, Baptist, Pilgrim Holiness, Pentecostal, Catholic and who knows what else plus all some holidays spent at the services…. but this was my first time ever stepping foot inside a temple/synagogue. It was breathtaking. Of course, we live in the 21st century where we have millions of photos and videos at the tap of a finger, but absolutely nothing compares to walking inside of one. Being there physically, mentally.

Everyone welcomed me with open arms. I was so happy to be greeted with so much love and kindness, and by SO MANY OF THEM …. at the same time… asking all of the questions! But, it was lovely, and my Friday night was certain made.

The service I attended wasn’t a normal one—the night was basically dedicated to the teachers there at the temple as it was a teacher/staff appreciation. But that’s okay, because it reminded me how much I miss all of my teachers and how much I used to shower them with ‘Happy Teacher Appreciation Day/Week’ emails way back when.

Temple Sinai’s service included a lot of singing… which I absolutely love. I recognized the phrase “Baruch atah, Adonai” that I hear a lot from Central Synagogue’s services when I watch/listen to them online.

It is often scary and awkward to be the only one in a large place that doesn’t know the language that the group is speaking/singing. However, that wasn’t the case for me that night, even though I didn’t know any Hebrew (other than those few recognized words). My feeling was more of a… wow, I can’t wait until I can learn the language so I can join in. “I wonder when and how fast and what I need to do to learn?” That was one of my moments on how I knew I am on the right path. Pure bliss… I tell you. I’m sure it’ll be like when I first had to start reading Latin for choir… that I still know how to read to this day, and I often (silently) thank my choir teacher for making us learn those massive masses. But I digress.

Overall, I can’t express my gratitude enough for them welcoming me in their Temple and making me feel completely at home. Literally. I absolutely love Temple Sinai. I am hoping to make it back at least once a month if not once every two months to attend Friday Shabbat. I mean Sarasota isn’t too far away if you really look at it, and I enjoy the place… so why not??

The Very Beginning of my journey to Judaism.

The Very Beginning

Nearly every single day of my 31 years of being an old soul on this Earth:
I have been searching endlessly for what my heart wants,
where my soul belongs, and what my life’s purpose really is.
Reading and questioning everything. Why this, why that? What if this, what if that?
I’ve created this realm of philosophical thoughts that led me
to wondering why this often ignited flame inside me dies out?

I am in a much different place than where I was born..…
I broke away from those roots at 21 with a different mindset
by walking down the road less traveled, and I never looked back.
Growing older—supposedly wiser—only harmed me in some way.
My soulfulness of my wondering youth and the youngness of my mind
was nearly erased by the every day menial problems.

Last year in December, around Hanukkah, my soul was screaming.
After not being successful to distract myself with anything else,
I walked down to the local Menorah lighting ceremony on the first day.
Something about being there was magical—I saw a flame that didn’t die.
A million of my dreams as a teen have been realized, but why, I ask:
during the most fulfilling moments of living….there’s still something missing?

The night before my aunt died, I told her a secret: I discovered Judaism.
I told her she no longer had to worry about my soul. I finally found where it belongs.
This is my journey, the one that I will wholeheartedly embrace,
the one that I will choose to carefully walk—not run, skip, jump, hop—and practice
often, for this is something that deserves my true attention and patience.
I cannot ever take this moment for granted because I have found my spiritual home.

My aunt, being of a different religion, replied “A good place to start your spiritual
journey is Judaism. Jesus was Jewish so you can’t go wrong starting there.
Follow your heart and look to God. He will answer all of life’s questions.”
That answer provided me with the stamp of approval.
I sent my letter out to the universe, to the world, to God himself
that I was ready to take on this new responsibility of finding out who I am.

I’ve spent so much time being blinded and sidetracked by the clutter in life,
and in turn, I have missed some of the best moments that could have been.
There are years shaved off my life that I can never get back.
Depression swallowed me whole in the darkest days of my life,
and what I would have given at that time to close my eyes and never wake.
But, I had forgotten: both the good and bad in life serve us with life lessons.

Just this week, I cut back on TV shows, and looked to finding synagogue feeds online.
I found one in New York and I instantly fell in love with this Rabbi’s sermon:
“Gam zeh ya’avor. This too shall pass.”
How true it is that with every breath we take and move along the day, the moments shift
from bad to good and good to bad, back and fourth like a pendulum…
always leaving room just enough for an action or a reaction.

Time is sometimes a lie that we rarely take seriously, and living in the moment
just doesn’t exist anymore when people’s hearts aren’t pure from distractions.
We think we have time to say what we need to say, or do what we need to do,
but we don’t… and we’re almost always gone, even if we’re there in present day.
I’ve had many people—and moments—taken from me as I’ve come to love them.
It’s the constant reminder that nothing is ever permanent.
And to trust the thought that everything happens for a reason, no matter what it is.

*

These last few months–My discovery of Judaism and the beautiful Jewish Culture–has lit my life’s candle so full of love and light. It’s such an intense feeling that I’ve never felt or seen before. When a person knows, they know. I know I have a whole lifetime worth of catching up on, but embedded deeply in this soul of mine, I feel like I already know it… that I’ve walked the path before in another lifetime. It brings up a lot of loaded questions, and I’ll still be searching for answers come as they may. I can’t even begin to explain how it has completed the largest missing piece of my life’s puzzle, even in this short period of time, even with as little as I recognize I know, right at this given moment.

Visualize this: it’s like when you read a very good piece of literature and the words start lifting off the page, turn into music, and suddenly, you’re singing a song you felt like you’ve known your entire life….but you don’t know how, because you can’t place ever singing it because it just doesn’t make sense how you would have known it…and then, suddenly, the music turns into the most beautiful piece of artwork that you’ve ever seen–like a sunset–and you’re just so much in awe that you stand there for hours upon hours just staring at it because it takes your breath away. And you just want to grab some glasses, pour a drink or two, and make a toast screaming TO LIFE at the top of your lungs….because you’ve embraced life like you’ve never done before and you truly never, ever, ever want it end. That’s where I am. And, that’s where you’ll find me.

~ Karen Maeby 2.21.18

Thanksgiving Edition: A small update, list of thanks, a short story, and more talk about my future. 

Hi Family/Friends, 

I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’ve been hiding out as you can tell. It was the first weekend I’ve had off since August, so I basically did nothing…but fall deeply in love with PBS once again, listen to podcasts (I’m such a junkie), and slept a lot.

Friday I closed a chapter in my life: I am no longer working my second job where I have to go all the way up to Ulmerton. (Thank Goodness.) After our boat show this weekend, I will be working full time in the boating industry again, and I’ll be about 10 minutes away from the rest of my world with a flexible schedule. Before I left that job though, the boss said, “Do what you love.” So it was a great goodbye and that door is closed forever….

I am super duper thankful for…. (not in any order) 

– all of my friends / family

– my new friends / family this year

– my family at gulfport community players

– reuniting with my favorite person

– a chance at being stage manager

– patrick’s writing class

– the moment that all of us theatre people do lunch/dinner every single time we get together for some event

– attending the star awards / being nominated

– all opportunities basically

– being coached for bsg

– my world of boating family who i haven’t talked to in ages

– just this week: reuniting with the pirate captain friend from years ago

– just this week: reuniting with another pirate friend from years ago

– eisenhower

– my theatre couch

– the moments that i can actually remember

– good books & bookstore 321

– pbs / npr

– podcasts

– all the shows i’ve been able to attend by audience or help with

– my love for all things

– jimmy buffett’s music

– all music. all theatre. my ability to write. all arts. everything.

– etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.

Story Time — DREAMS 

I’m going to tell you guys a secret. It’s a deep, dark secret that maybe hardly anyone knows about… when I was in middle school I was such a weird kid. My favorite music was classical—mostly Mozart—and I loved opera. When I got home from school, my radio went straight on NPR and I listened non stop. My weekends were scheduled to listen to: Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, Prairie Home Companion, World Cafe, Car Talk and so on.

When I finally got a TV (whenever that was), I fell deeply for PBS. I watched all Great Performances, and anything else that was related to music and theatre. I used to religiously watch award shows like mad, and—when I thought I was going to be a music director at one point—I came up with a list of songs my choir would do and entrances/exits.etc.

(Now, remember all throughout my entire life I was also a bookworm and I constantly wrote.) 

This weekend I started watching PBS once again after a huge break, and I fell back in love with it again. I first watched In The Heights: Chasing Broadway Dreams. It’s basically a documentary that follows from when it was born to some of the practicing to the performance. It’s magic. I watched this full musical a while ago and it’s genius. I must say, it’s one of the first ones in present day since RENT that I really “got” and felt connected with. But to be a part of something like that—dreams coming true—absolutely wonderful and breathtaking just to watch/hear. To see the writer’s face when they were getting ready to perform… that… that is just something worth watching.

It’s just the feeling I get any time I am helping with a play. We work hard for the few weeks/months and then it’s show time. Cue the butterflies, the endless nights, the final day, the cast party and the goodbyes… all until the next show where you get to do it all over again just with a different script, different people, etc.  I told my former-former boss that’s how I want to live my life: work on a project for a while then it’s over, take a tiny break, and do the same with the next one…

I also found Noel Coward’s Present Laughter to be freaking genius. Everything that Patrick taught us in his writing class… it was in this play. No wasted dialogue. Characters are well developed, with a sense of purpose, and they made a difference each time they entered the room. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that I really want to live in the set design too. Watching this really helped me understand even more than I did before.

I’ve also caught up on some (not all) of the film shorts, some of the music documentaries, and I found another program “Black Folk Don’t…” It is such a wonderful show on black culture and everyone should be required to watch it. It’ll open your eyes to what you don’t know.

All of this watching and listening to podcasts that follow these shows or even short radio shows has me thinking about something. One of these days, I’m going to have to make a decision, and it’s going to be which path do I take from here? It’s a difficult one.

I find myself willing to admit (at this point) that I know deep down in my heart that I really belong to the arts world. I’m going to be that late bloomer (wrong word?)… the one that actually does this in the second half of her life, which is basically right now, I just need to do a little bit more towards this dream if I’m going to make it.

One day… I will be doing all the things — like maybe writing a play that could be produced on Broadway, being a big part of some show that could be at the Lincoln Stage, writing lyrics that could be performed by someone at Carnegie Hall, working with PBS/NPR on stories, finally write/finish The Office 2.0 & it being a big hit, or even attend jazz fest because I’ve actually had enough guts to do something with my love for it. Or even—more importantly—that dream of what I write in general gives people hope to never, ever forget their dreams and to always set large goals and hit them. That’s what I want. 

Eventually, I will be there. I’m working on it now. One… by one…

Before 2016, I had been so disconnected from my dream’s path but I believe it was meant for me to get that experience, to fully understand that I am on the wrong one, and make that decision on how to start earning money where I belong. Joining the Gulfport Community Players in 2016 was the first step towards crossing off one of my dreams…. do you want to know how many more followed after that? A lot, and almost all of them. All because I joined my theatre group did my dreams start coming true. Totally meant to be. I mean, life didn’t really exist beforehand… other than experience, don’t get me wrong…

I am seriously due for writing new dreams because that’s what’s wrong with me right now. I’m out of goals, and big picture dreams. While that’s a huge and wonderful accomplishment of checking a lot of them off, having my world so cloudy because I’m not focusing on what’s important, hasn’t been great for me….

Writing with purpose is the first goal, and everything else will follow. I know deep within my soul that my future is in the arts industry (writing, film, theatre, music, etc.etc.etc.) it’s just a matter of time when I will switch over, and what my journey will be when it happens.

– Karen Maeby 

Surfing in a Hurricane

Howdy All ~ 

Oy vey. Right when things are finally getting back to what we Floridians can call normal, there’s been another announcement that Hurricane Maria is brewing in the ocean and it looks like her forces are going to be sending her right down Irma’s path. You’re kidding, right? This is a joke, right? #thisistoomuch #waytoomuch Cuz, that’s kinda what it felt like when I saw that.

The Weds-Fri before the 9/10 into 9/11 hurricane was absolutely insane. 8 or more hours of listening to hurricane talk at work, then following the Spaghetti Models website and watching how it can go three million trillion different ways…but yet, it was COMING STRAIGHT AT FLORIDA ON THE EAST COAST…then NOOOO WAIT…the WEST COAST…back to the east coast?! Nope, back to the west coast… MANDATORY EVACUATIONS ON THE WEST COAST, WHEN IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE HEADING TO THE EAST COAST. East Coast is doing nothing to prepare, but yet… IRMAGERD….Moving more NW more north, more west, now heading STRAIGHT FOR TAMPA AND OMG WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE BECAUSE IT’S A CAT 5, ETC.

Wow. It was stressful, and now, I reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally hate spaghetti.

By Friday, there weren’t many open gas stations and the ones that had anything left was forty cars deep on each open pump. People were going insane–lots of screaming, impatience, and basic nastiness. There was NOTHING left in grocery stores (like cans or water) and most all places were sold out of plywood or anything you normally need to fix stuff in a hurricane.

By Saturday, I was just freaking out so bad that I truly thought this was the end for me. That’s why I said the goodbye that I did on Facebook. Saturday I spent all day packing up my entire apartment–like covering all electronics, getting stuff off the floor, making sure I had enough water in the fridge and freezer and etc.

My neighbor and I ended up going somewhere else in St Pete to stay during the hurricane. Because this thing had been drug out for so long–and when the electric went out–it was basically a waiting game. I kept looking at my phone and seeing that we were in the circle of it all but heard and saw nothing. I got sick of waiting and, as terrible as this is, I fell asleep through the brute of the storm. Oops. So I can’t exactly explain being awake and explaining what I heard… because I was so tired, I heard nothing.

But the stress was enough to kill a person. I was stressed about losing my car that I’m still paying for, I was stressed about losing the house and stuff that I’ve worked so hard to keep, I was stressed about Eisenhower reacting in this storm, I was stressed about losing work and not being able to make money to survive and what to do if something did happen. The headaches and extreme body pain that I got out of this was bad too.

After all is said and done, the power at the place where we stayed went out but we went home to our duplex house and nothing but tree limbs and stuff on her side was out of place. Luckily, it was untouched. We had power. We were thankful. I had NO SERVICE on my phone at all for a week, so every evening I’d walk down to the Gulfport waters and catch up for a few hours before going back dark when I got home. That was kind of inconvenient. But, nothing was touched, we had electric and water… So thankful.

The worst part of all of this was how crazy some people went, how some went out in the hurricane and was killed for being stupid, the way some reacted right before the hurricane, and the people who left their animals tied to trees while fleeing themselves.

The BEST part of all of this… was the chicken burritos (down in Key West someone wrapped up all the roosters/chickens in newspaper and took them away from KW so they’d be saved), the “cone of uncertainty” and “God flipping a fidget spinner” meme, and the single file flamingos from Busch Gardens.

But that’s not all of the best…. my beloved adult hometown of Gulfport had spirit. As soon as this was over, some of the places were open and people were gathered laughing and having a good time. Many people pitched in to help one another. Florida as a whole should be kissing the ground that we’re mostly 95% lucky that (almost all of us) quickly got everything back up and running. The town of Gulfport and Florida was amazingly quick and humble about handling the situation that was given to us (minus South Fl and Key West which will take some time)…and surprisingly, I haven’t seen any insane reactions lately, but I bet they’re heading back to town. Ha! FLORIDA STRONG AND GULFPORT STRONG. Fo’Sho!

Needless to say, I really hope Maria surprises us and goes back out in the ocean. I do not think I am ready for another one nor ready for any kind of rain. Or storm.

I know some of you are probably wondering why I stayed in FL when people were leaving town? This is my home. I want to be here to help if need be and I want to be around my family of friends who (for the most part) didn’t leave. Plus, there’s always that feeling of… if something like a window is broken, will my stuff be stolen? Sorry, I’d like to stay close to my place and make sure it’s okay.

I appreciate everyone who contacted me throughout this whole thing and was worried and asking what I was planning on doing. Thank you SOOOOO much! You guys, it means a lot. 

For those inquiring about Eisenhower: The day of the hurricane, he was acting so funny. Like, trying to climb up to the top of his carrying case. I was hoping to calm him down by picking him up and he pinched me so hard (for maybe a minute) and pinched a hole right through my finger. It. Hurt. Yes, it drew some tears. I kept him close for a few days, and last night (the 16th) when I was holding him, I could feel him go limp. He went into another molt, I confirmed that earlier, and I am praying to the universe that he turns out okay in time. He is moving around and was munching on his old skin… sooooo… that is good news.

In other news, as of Friday (I think?) Eisenhower has a new brother, a Betta fish. His name is Lord Augustus Wolfgang Fishypants. He’s a cute red fish, and he’s already reacting / communicating with me.

I think most of you know already…. I’ve been appointed as the stage manager of the kids show on Saturday and I’m taking Patrick’s writing class on Sunday plus I will soon be doing boat shows on the weekends and then working 2 jobs during the week. I am still staying absent from Facebook (if you message me, I won’t get it), I don’t really have time for much other than posting to Instagram. Please know I’m not ignoring you if I don’t answer. Emails are hit or miss, considering half of it is buried right now from not cleaning it out.

There’s going to be a ridiculous amount of things going on in my life the next 60-90+ days so the BEST bet from now on is to just text or call me at 919-900-0052, ESPECIALLY if you need an answer right away or it’s really important. Leave a message if you call and I don’t answer, or just text away. I have unlimited so it doesn’t matter how long or short the message. 

Love you guys, 
Karen Maeby, Eisenhower & Augustus 

Amazon Kindle Books by Karen Maeby

I have just released my newest book FASHION POETRY in honor of Project Runway coming back to our TVs! Get it FOR FREE along with the following books…. (This promo will run Friday through Tuesday next week. Amazon Kindle Direct is still free through.) 

DEAR ANNE FRANK | Dear Anne Frank is a narrative-based short story set up in a “dear diary” format. It was written in reference to a weekend trip to Washington, DC that the author took in 2010. What is shared is an unique mixture of thoughts ranging from personal feelings in relation to Anne Frank’s spirit, details about the trip to DC, updates since that trip, a poem and more!

MAEBY IT’S ONLY THE BEGINNING | Karen Maeby becomes vulnerable as she pours her soul into her poetry in ‘Maeby, it’s only the beginning.’ She invites you to join her as she tells her story, even though—like many—she’s been hurt before. Her poetry draws emotions from every angle and touches on many subjects such as: soulfulness, general: life, among the living, heartbrokenness, some narrative / non fiction, the ocean, goodbyes, truth, dreams, and so many others.

THE CAPTAIN IN ME SCRAPBOOK | This book is free because it needs to be updated, but it gives you a taste of In Love with a Sailor as well as The Captain in Me. 

This is the scrapbook / preview-teaser for The Captain in Me, of which, also will include my previous book In Love With a Sailor.

The Captain in Me takes your soul for a walk down a long pier on the beach where the only guide is the sunset right before your eyes. It’s the moment where you wake to see that you are no longer dreaming and you are given the chance to take charge. The only existence for the moment would be you and the words to describe how you are feeling when you realize that you can change anything around that you want.

Or, at least that’s how I would describe it. This poetry collection is composed of a mixture of a few sugar coated fiction and 99% non-fiction pieces plus several narrative-based essays. The poetry is a mix of romance with the life of the Sea, locations, characters, deep philosophies and eras of life, and lots of nautical references. My inspiration was the events that occurred while living day to day.

CAPTAINS & SAILORS THE POETRY BOOK | Priced at $2.99, you can get 200 poems!!! It’s free for Kindle Unlimited readers. 

Captains & Sailors: The Poetry Collection is a work of art that touches on every subject you can imagine! Each poem has a flair of narrative based truth to it, and Maeby brings it to life by sharing her dream of a very determined love, the characters in her life, an endless love for jazz music and all things vintage, life’s philosophies, Pirate adventures, life on the Sea and so much more.

So if you are in need of an escape from the wintry wind that the snow storm has brought, this is the book for you. Kick back your feet and imagine yourself sitting on the warm beach—with a drink in your hand—as you are watching the sunset. Use the words in this book as your map to escape your current world and step into viewing the life of a very soulful Pirate named Maeby. This is her “message in a bottle” to the entire world of which she wrote something for everyone.

 

Another trip around the sun at 31.

Aloha everyone! 

It’s another personal year for me as I turn from 30 to 31. Wow, what a year my 30th was… I am pretty sure that I experienced every thing one could experience in a year and then some. I have to thank Facebook a little bit for sharing with me my memories because I know I can’t remember them all on my own.

Last year–turning 30 in 2016–was spent amazingly and it was one of the most epic days, I just wish certain circumstances had turned out different. There was jazz night at the Hideaway Cafe, and a rather large party for Eisenhower and I at work. My actual birthday, our AC went out at work and it was 100 degrees in there… and that was the first time I was taking clothes off as opposed to wearing 15 shirts and 3 jackets. “My first hot flash now that I’m getting old,” they joked.

The year before that – my 29th (2015) – since I could get in for free because I worked at John’s Pass, I went to the alligator place there and held a baby alligator. I also kissed it. On. The. Lips. There are pictures somewhere on Facebook as the proof. This is the same year I adopted Eisenhower, BUT I had to take a couple of days to think about it. Did I want to bring a wee little creature in my life? I’m so very glad I did. He was meant to be in my life for sure.

I kind of blank out before that… but I know there had been a trip to Florida for my birthday week maybe in 2010 or so (which was amazing because we spent time with some amazing people while here having amazing experiences) and then some more time spent in John’s Pass either 2011 or 2012 (I really love that place). Oh and another year not sure which (2013? 2014?) was spent with Blanche and her BFF eating somewhere.

This year… 2017… a celebration started at my favorite day Christmas in July (25th) with G and I. We went down to Sarasota to a cook out with some friends. I remembered Joe Anthony like I always do. I told G the story about him, how he passed away and the story of my connection with that.

On my actual birthday a good group of us from the theatre plus a few others came together to eat at Neptune’s and it suddenly felt like we were back at the theatre taking a break in between shows! Ha! This was yet another epic birthday for sure. THANK YOU ALL FOR CELEBRATING WITH ME! 

So, I was late to my own party – I was stopped by some people sitting outside at the restaurant next door because they wanted to know all about Eisenhower. They said that sort of thing is why they love Gulfport so much! A GP police officer was eating in there and so he wished me a happy birthday, as well as I found out one of the cooks/waiters there was a birthday twin! They sang happy birthday to me followed by a piece of cheesecake. E and I blew out the candle. Also, we didn’t get any pictures except for what G took of E and then E & I.

Give or take a few more days and Eisenhower has been with me for 2 years. I cannot believe it. I was so scared that he wouldn’t even last a week or two with me, that’s why I was so hesitant, I didn’t want adopt a hermit crab only for something to happen to it instantly. My way of raising him is a little different than what hermit crab enthusiasts have going for their crabs (and, believe it or not, I’ve had those people grumble at me for certain things). As you all know, he does not stay home all the time – he’s seen 3 plays now, attended 3 different work places with me several times, goes on short rides, has been out to John’s Pass multiple times, and sometimes visits downtown GP. One of these days, E will have his own legacy. Everyone will know us as Maeby the Pirate and her crabby son Eisenhower. Only one could hope…

It was seriously one good birthday to spend it with friends who seem as close as family. I am 100% sure that E really enjoyed visiting with everyone too. Thank you all so much – again – and can’t wait to do this again next year! 

Always, 
Karen Maeby 

Wondering why you haven’t seen or heard from me? This is why.

Hello everyone!

Oh boy. I don’t know where to even start but I guess starting at the beginning would be great, aye? This’ll be long so make sure you have tea/coffee to sip while reading!

With a lot (and believe me when I say A LOT) of consideration and talking with my boss after my Ft Myers-Miami vacation in February, I put in my “90 day notice” at T. While it will always be my dream company to work for, the position of which I worked was NOT the dream job (everyone knew this). Basically if you work at a dealership the marine industry is so cut & dry – you’re either in sales, service advisor, parts, warranty or upper management or an admin training to do one of those things. Some companies have a marketing department but we weren’t big enough to have that and that is what I wanted. I really loved working in the warranty but we already had someone, and even if it became available, it was only going to be a portion of the job–not full time–and the benefits from the previous person would never follow out-of-house ever again like I would have wanted to continue.

So hence my big decision. Every time I would go in and talk to my boss, I’d start crying, my heart was breaking even more than what it already had been. I knew that even the thought of leaving was sad, but it was just time to move on. Two years of doing the same exact thing every day was enough but almost 3 was just too much for someone that wants to do a whole lot more with their life (you should see my goals/dreams list – it’s now 1,000 pages long). What started this whole thing was having a really, really good performance review but it being said that they were aware of my abilities and talents and couldn’t satisfy them because a position like what I was wanting either didn’t exist or couldn’t there. I understood.

So on a Tuesday at the tech meeting I told the guys about my “90 day notice” and they were shocked because they knew how much I was Team T forever and ever until the day I die. (I still am!) We didn’t know how long it would take to hire someone, so 90 days felt safe for finding someone, training and giving me enough time to get my act together.

However, not shortly after, a girl had walked in with experience in the same things that I did in the admin role, so they hired her. By the end of the first month I was like, okay there’s just one computer and either I need to stop working (and feeling bad about that) or not let her do anything (and that just wasn’t right)… so I decided to leave two months early. I didn’t want to stay if I wasn’t able to earn my keep. 

All four of my bosses were completely 100% behind/beside me and supported me wholeheartedly. Before I left I got to go on my first seatrial which was a lot of fun and super philosophical for me (yes there’s a poem, it’s on boatshowgirl.com). Also, they threw me one huge party.

I left on a Tuesday and came back on Friday for my lunch party. When I walked in, there were thousands of decorations hanging from the ceiling, on the walls, everything. It was amazing. They gave me two cards, a poster that said “good luck with your next adventure,” a crown that said “retired” (haha), and even bought a flag that said “it’s five o’clock somewhere”. They fixed shrimp tacos for me and we all ate together for the last time. (Eisenhower even joined in and he was sooooo full from the shrimp that he fell asleep propped up against his ship! ha!) With them doing all of this for me, it gives me even more fuel to not give up no matter how much I might fail. They believed in me enough to let me go. And, like a butterfly… if it was meant to be….back around it comes. 

What’s a shocker to the very few that knew about this — I left without having a job or much of a back up. While that might scare people, it did me too, but please know it was for the best. The last few weeks of April I was unraveling at the seams. Holy cow was I ever. After going from doing everything I was doing at the end of last year until April, I was just so overwhelmed I needed one hell of a break… and that, I did get. There were weeks I didn’t get out of bed. I slept up to 20 hours some days. I didn’t talk to anyone really. I wasn’t working, I wasn’t doing the theatre or film at that time, and no other activities other than reading 1-2 books a day. Actually, I did get started on some of the scenes out of a book I’m writing about T, but that was about it. I even “quit” BoatShowGirl for the time being. Yep. My heart and my brain was just so broken by that point. There were so many clouds in my sky that I couldn’t see right in front of my face anymore. My ideas weren’t ideas any more. Nothing would compute. It was not good at all.

Then………weeks later, I went to the Gulfport boat races and reported live to my radio show. I felt sort of alive again being by the water and seeing the boats. It’s a thing I can get behind – boat races – it was awesome.  The next day I went and saw Foolish Fish Girls at the theatre and saw everyone I loved and cared about. I started missing everyone so badly.

The end of April to middle of May, I kept applying to full time jobs. Why? Why in the world would I do that? I don’t know. I went on a few interviews and they didn’t work out. I wanted to strangle myself because I left my dream company to do my own thing.. not to go work for someone else (unless it was freelance/contract)! SO. Ever since having realized that the reason nothing like that was working out is because this is my time to make my future and it is not by coping out and having a cheat job. It’s working my ass off to get everything I ever wanted in this life. When I truly realized that, things started to center out with me again, and I’ve been able to smile and be happy.

After taking that good ole awful couple of weeks worth of a break, I can finally breathe again. I can finally think creatively again. I just feel so free. I can’t explain it. I have ideas. I feel like I have a creative future, unlike what I was feeling before.

One night I was turning in for sleep and a large storm of termites (yay Florida!) started taking over my apartment. It was awful. I ended up running to the store at 10pm at night, getting bug spray and a new metal bed frame. I stayed up for 30 hours straight moving and going through everything in my front room just so I could move everything from my bedroom into my front room. I threw my wooden bed frame out the next day, set up my metal one in the front room and completely crashed.

My neighbors and I had a yardsale this past weekend and just by having a lot of $1 items I made money, more than I’ve ever made at any of the previous yardsales. I’m going to be doing another one in a few weeks. Right now I’m just getting rid of a lot of things I no longer want that’s mine, and it’s helping clear the apartment of so much clutter. I believe that letting go of a lot of things (like items no longer used or wanted) is a part of my life lessons for this 30th year of mine. It’s working well thus far. My apartment is almost back to normal and I FINALLY HAVE A DESK AREA AGAIN. I haven’t had that for a few months now, so I haven’t been able to use my desktop computers which has been annoying! But alas, there’s a lot of room in here and much needed junk is going bye-bye! First step: become less of a past hoarder. I guess? Lol.

Work status: I’ve been getting about 3 emails or calls a day pertaining to my ads about work, so I’m super excited, this is a great start. I will be popping up a lot more places but for now I’m keeping things under wraps. I don’t want to take on too much right at first or talk about many of my ideas/goals because I need to figure out time and prioritizing, but so far… I’m really liking the freedom. Once I’m ready, I’m going to start posting all of the things I’m doing. In fact, if you keep tabs on my websites you’ll probably start to see some stuff pop up. I already have 1 perm job that I started this week, and doing some other work for both myself and others making amounts here and there.

In another sense, it was frightening to scramble money together to be able to pay this month’s rent, but it’s something I needed to learn… in order to work harder, smarter, better to make more money than ever so I’ll never have to go through that again. It’s going to be rough for a little bit, but I’m getting it together, and it’ll get easier.

Here’s what I need you guys to do for me: if you live in this area, spread the word that you know someone that wants to do freelance/contract marketing/ graphics/ small office work/ stuff like that. I can do online selling via etsy, eBay and those places. I know how to do a lot of things. My resume is at karenmaeby.com/work Or you can just keep an eye out for stuff like this and let me know if you see anything. I like tiny projects, but I also like ones that’ll keep a stream of income month after month…

As far as everything else… I’m so, so, so, so, so happy I’m back at the theatre helping out with the Summer One Acts. Auditions was actually my 1 year anniversary! I attended movie night with the film society last month and really enjoyed that. For those that I have seen, it’s so good to see everyone again. I’m just counting on a lot of things working out for me with a lot of hard work, and hopefully, another butterfly (not the one mentioned above nor one that has to do with work) will come back around this time again but in a better, different, more permanent way. My heart and soul feels it as my chakras are being cleaned…but it’s just not time yet, dammit. I am not the most patient person which is why ‘patience, young grasshopper’ makes me angry sometimes. 😉

Always,
Karen Maeby

My initial reaction to the possible axing of film/entertainment offices and tourism groups in Florida. 

Last night I attended Tampa Bay Film Society’s general meeting and the big topic of discussion was HB 7005 (formerly PCB CCS 17-01). If passed, this bill will cause our industry to have a tax increase as well as abolishing Film/Entertainment offices directly effecting tourism/jobs. I haven’t been in the film society for very long, and I know I have a lot to catch up on before I can really discuss things. But today, I researched a lot on this topic, and now, I am speaking out because it is so important for the future of film in Florida. Here is my take on what I have read thus far and took notice of:

First of all, the person who is responsible for wanting to pass this bill and kill such things, seems to have nearly the same mindset and agenda as our now, well, leader. With having said that, the first line of business I see is that [he] wanted to get rid of is VisitFlorida after a certain event. I dug around the Internet for a while to read on this, and truth be told, I am highly disappointed in the VisitFlorida people. Here’s why:

A while ago VisitFlorida hired Pitbull to do a music video. They wouldn’t release details nor the amount of which he was paid. And, he was paid a LOT… to produce such a…well….let’s just say, to be fair here, I do like him, but VisitFlorida—really? Like, really? The video and the lyrics were ridiculous. Suuuuuure, it pictured Florida beaches up and down the coast and mentioned Florida. But… really? And they say they were trying to get Millennials to come to Florida.

I’m a Millennial—a different kind of Millennial—but still a Millennial and there’s no way that video would’ve convinced me to come here if I lived somewhere else. This is where I direct it to the film part…. If VisitFlorida wanted a tourism video or something about Florida, why in the world didn’t they reach out to film makers across the state? They could’ve shown the rest of the world that the state of Florida (aka a tourist-based company from Florida) supported local film makers by hosting a contest where they could’ve won portions of the money they spent on Mr 305. I mean, really. That alone would’ve been so good for the talent in this state, and maybe we’d get noticed again. I could see them splitting up and having a competition for each area where they’d find the best photos and video to put together in either one large video or several shorts and have some sort of documentary where they point out not only the best beaches, but the best local retailers and food of all of the area. Do you guys know how important that would’ve been? Had it been produced, and found by people either on Netflix, Hulu or even YouTube? If people of other states heard the stories behind certain locations (say mom&pop shops) or secrets to the hidden gems of Florida… I mean, not only would we support our own people, we’d get even MORE tourists here.. but, no.

Which brings me to the next point—I have learned in these general meetings that Florida isn’t very friendly towards the film industry due to having 0 incentives, which means, almost no production company wants to produce movies here without having something like that! According to Wikipedia, in 2006 our state used to be #3 in having movies produced here, and now, we’re not even near the top. This is sad. This means: lack of jobs for any one involved in the industry. Not only that but people are losing the chance to be enticed by seeing scenes of Florida in the movies/shows, and that’s one of the many things that drives tourism. Shortly after Dolphin’s Tale was released, it is very well known that Florida saw a rise in tourists. This is what Florida is all about—tourists—that’s what keeps money flowing in our state so why aren’t we being supported?!

Not only am I involved in as much of the arts side of things, but my other industry is the boating industry. Florida has a loooooot of beautiful beach towns, central locations, attractions and events that build up the audience to come here—among those—are having really large BOAT shows all throughout the year in several locations. People from other countries visit Florida just to go to these conferences that we have, the boat shows, or just to boat! They make money here, but they also spend it. So there are a TON of ways to get people here—but to take away certain avenues that might help—isn’t exactly the best decision.

My other alias is “BoatShowGirl” and in the near future I am going to want to use my film knowledge to develop a show about going to the boat shows in order to attract potential employees to the industry as well as future buyers of boats. Bringing newcomers into the state to fill empty jobs, creating more jobs because we can, and having a booming economy could develop from things such as these! Do you think that I want my dream (or someone else’s) to be killed over something like this? No, no, and no. We must fight to keep what’s right for us and the state of which we live in!

To play the devil’s advocate—I will confess that in a way I understand why some of this is going on—in certain people’s minds, they think that money is being hemorrhaged, and tax payer’s money shouldn’t be going towards one person’s paycheck (or things that doesn’t help the economy or community in a big way). I get that, and agree, however, is killing something so important going to do more harm than good? Probably, and that opens a whole other mess of where will all of that ‘saved’ money go? Does it get transferred into another one person’s pocket, or will be it be sent into the community to boost things there? These are the questions we have, as well as what will become of the film industry’s future, will we ever be supported again, and how well will tourism be over the next few years if such avenues disappear?

If you are interested in saving the film industry and reading what’s going on with this bill, you should look up HB 7005 (formerly PCB CCS 17-01) and read on it. I will definitely be doing more research as the days go on, and write more as I see fit.

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day.

THIS DAY. Holocaust Remembrance Day….. A very, very, very important day that we must remember. ALWAYS. EVERY SINGLE DAY.

WE MUST REMEMBER THIS PART OF HISTORY EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES. 

When I was growing up learning about the Holocaust was a part of history class but I believe I found and read Anne Frank on my own (I know I did a book report at one time on her diary). My mom had a copy, then I asked for my own copy for Christmas.

Unbeknownst to my soul I have always had the deepest connection with Jewish people, the Holocaust, and a feeling for what happened. I have always had an interest in learning more and wanting to help out in some way–to spread the word–to make sure this would never happen again. HOW was the question, how in the world could someone do something so fucking horrible like this? I always wondered. Why. Hate? Why? Just why?! The feelings and emotions I have had as I think about this are still as strong as when I learned about them.

I’ve watched Anne Frank (the movie) thousands of times, and each time, I still cry so hard. I’ve read her diary so many times. I even wrote a book called “Dear Anne Frank” about when I went to DC and wrote to her my experiences, especially what I was feeling when I was at the Holocaust Museum when someone was disrespecting the person who was speaking. I still remember wanting to turn around and smack them and tell them they should listen because it’s really important.

The more someone tries to deny something like this, the more apt it is to happen. The more someone tries to forget this happened, the more it can happen. This is how history is repeated. This is WHY it is sooooooo important to get the word out. To share. To stop what should be stopped before it can happen again. Whether it’s today, tomorrow or one hundred years from now. The signs of hate and bigotry and separation needs to stop! REGARDLESS of what you believe in—-those things are so wrong for a trying-to-be-functioning society. That’s WHY we have the issues we do because people like that STILL exist!

I saw something posted online various places in reference to if her family and her could’ve gotten out and survived…..You think about these things. This had to of happened, her diary left behind, to possibly teach everyone in the future? The people who left anything behind. Then you think, what kind of a difference could they have made if they were alive now? It angers me that there were millions of people’s lives destroyed because of something like this.

I can’t say it enough—-we must remember what happened, and teach those younger than us, so that something like this shall never happen again. TODAY, THIS WEEK, THIS MONTH, THIS YEAR… we must EDUCATE ourselves on how to surf through those hiding their true soul. We must NEVER lose our identity, we must FIGHT for what is right and for our SOULS. We MUST LEARN to think on our own and be able to sniff out when this will happen again… and we must STOP IT this time!!!!

There is an older based-on-a-true-story movie called Freedom Writers that really spoke to me on many levels. If you’ve never seen it–basically a brand new teacher goes to an “at risk” school that is having so many racial issues. She tries really hard to teach them, all the while they are so used to being disruptive, not learning, drugs, drive-by’s and other things like that from their community. She decides to teach them about the Holocaust, and gives them journals to write their own issues. She helps them change their lives, and teaches them in the meantime to change what they can change to be better. A lot of her students were the first in their families to graduate.

THAT is why I say…

EVERYONE HAS A STORY. 

EVERYONE 
HAS 

STORY 

Get out there and share! SHARE what your heart and soul is telling you! This is the future, this is the only way, the only way people are going to be helped and will learn about anything that is important is by true life stories. Everyone has a story, and 2017 is the time to share it. 

Souls Enlightenment
© Karen Maeby 1.27.17

Our souls sought survival yesterday,
as we’re caught in the middle of learning
the life lessons our ages bring to us
when passed down from generation to generation.

We must learn about our past–
to meet, greet and shake hands with history.
Tell history, share OUR history:
to make sure we don’t live the history, again.

My soul becomes unraveled and my heart
nearly stops—with every siren I hear.
Every moment, are we getting closer and closer
to having our names and our personalities erased
to be replaced with numbers that’ll never define us?

Only guard yourself and guard your soul carefully, lest you forget the things your eyes saw, and lest these things depart your heart all the days of your life, and you shall make them known to your children, and to your children’s children. – This is a quote–that I’ll never forget–from a postcard I got at the Holocaust Museum in DC.

Tonight I read my poetry out loud for the first time.

I bet you gasped at the title, aye? I’ve been writing poetry for years and years and have never attended something like this where I read my poetry. Mostly because I’m better writing the words than speaking them. (I’m sure that’ll change eventually, as I do need to become a model speaker.) 

TONIGHT the mayor of Gulfport accepted the role of Poet Laureate for the year. I missed last year’s initiation reading due to me being sick, so it was a treat tonight to go and still be able to hear the first PL. I was probably one of the youngest people there by at least 10 something years.

I was nervous and only read one poem, but still, I did it. And people thanked me for reading. Which–that–in itself was strange, but nice… and the comments–like–keep writing.

What did I read? I read the poem I wrote about the Summer One Acts in homage to the one thing that changed my life for the better. Forget everything else, I owe a lot of everything to my family at the Gulfport Community Theatre for giving me the opportunity to work with them and find what I’ve found so far.

I saw the inside of this year’s book, and unfortunately, only a handful of people submitted their poetry.

This is the 2nd year in a row that I’m in the book, and in “A” book other than my own self published ones. A couple of goals checked off over this one, for sure!

There are two things that’s important to me in my life and that’s a) helping find a solution for the large gap in the boating industry and b) supporting the arts, and most important of all, literature/writing poetry. And, if I’m lucky, as BoatShowGirl I will some how magically be able to combine both of them to be some sort of life changing thing.

I know a lot of people I’m around don’t really understand poetry, but they’ve told me the stuff I write grows on them, and maybe one day… they’ll understand. I hope. We need more people to write. Writing is therapeutic, writing sometimes saves people’s lives… especially mine… in all of these years that bad things have happened.

WE – THIS WORLD – have to be more PUSHING towards written literature! It’s a way of life for many! And I intend on being one of those people! {In time.}

Here’s a poem I came up with tonight as I was listening to the others. In direct result to what’s going on right now….

Premature Goodbye
by Karen Maeby © 1.26.17

she’s considering packing her belongings
in her 1920s suitcases
and leaving everything else behind.

she knows she belongs somewhere,
but doubts it’s here anymore.
a brand new start yet again
is probably what her heart needs
after being left alone and wondering
why he broke her so fucking hard–

and the world, her world
came crashing down like a beautiful
chandelier falling from the ceiling
during a tornado that randomly passed through
without warning.

he left her speechless, but full of words
as he gave her everything
and then took it all away!
she’s looking to the moon tonight
to give her a reason to stay
maybe he’ll come back to her one day.

‘god, i missed you so much’
they’ll say to one another
as they realized it was meant to be.
but she’s really leaving
is it really worth it to stay?
he doesn’t care one bit–he walks away.

she decided it’s best to pack her bags,
it’ll be soon she’ll say goodbye
and off on her merry little way.