Neon Dreams

What:
Embracing the bright side of #SpringFashion with a little help from Miami’s iconic & colorful Little Haiti and trying to figure out why everyone is acting a little crazy, including myself. Thanks #MercuryRetrograde.

Why:
I’m not gonna lie, I wanted to mail this blog in. Put on a cute neon outfit, take a few snaps, write a couple of paragraphs and be done with it, but I can’t because I have all these feelings and emotions gnawing at me and I’m not sure where to put them and how to deal with them, so writing them down seemed apropos. And, let’s face it, it’s cheaper than therapy.

About four weeks ago, for whatever reason, my phone started blowing up like Mount Vesuvius; favor, after favor, came pouring in. Shireen, can you do a story? Shireen, can you do a blog? Shireen, can you make an appearance? Shireen, can you wear my clothes? Can I borrow something from your closet? Can I stay at your house? Can you meet for lunch? How about dinner? Can you ask James to hook me up with FREE photos? The requests were endless & relentless.

INHALE. EXHALE. Turn phone over as if it’s a piranha about to devour my hand which, coincidentally, did happen a week later – not by a predatory fresh water fish; by a dog leash that accidentally got wrapped around my right hand while walking my beloved Rigby. It snapped back so severely, I fell to my knees and wept. I was so disoriented from the pain, I crawled onto someone’s lawn and passed out. The doctor fixed me up, ordered me to rest and see a hand specialist ASAP. I didn’t.

The next week, armed with inflammation-reducing pills, ice and tenacity, I muscled my way through my busy life. Ding, ding, ding, ding; my phone wouldn’t stop. Shireen, can I borrow money? Shireen, can you pass my resume to your boss? Shireen, can you get me a job at Channel 7? Shireen, can you feature my hair salon on Deco Drive? Shireen, can you help with my charity? Shireen, can you tell me a good TV agent? Shireen, why aren’t you answering my IG messages? SHIREEN, are you there?

When I mentioned the onslaught of requests/demands/favors to my best friend, Jackie, we talked it out. We came to the conclusion that, more than likely, it was about my boundary issues. I had always had a hard time saying NO and turning a blind eye to people who, for whatever reason, had nabbed my phone number over the years (for stories, blogs or events) and used it with absolutely no discretion. Ahhh…so, that’s what this was about: taking care of myself. The universe was allowing me to practice and if I didn’t listen, I’d have to learn the lesson over and over again. Noted.

INHALE EXHALE. Bury phone in stylish purse. Go to CVS. Buy hand brace. Rip package open in car. Fumble with Velcro. Wrap contraption around hand. Lay head on steering wheel. Cry. Go to work. Type with left hand. Carefully drive home. Lay in bed awake. The pain can’t last forever, can it?

By the weekend, my hand started to swell and stiffen and my daily tasks became impossible. I could no longer brush my teeth, put my hair in a pony tail or do Pilates comfortably. I backed off social media, stopped texting as much and promised myself to call the hand doctor first thing Monday morning. Still, life went on. I attended a beautiful wedding, a chic birthday brunch and tried practicing those all-important boundaries…

Message after message, text after text, I replied NO (in one form or another.) If I valued the person and/or organization, I asked politely if they could please STOP pitching stories to my personal phone and/or private social media platforms. More importantly, I called the hand doctor. Nothing. No answer. No returned call. I called another one. Nothing. No answer. No returned call. I fumbled through the next few days in a haze of pain.

Like a broken record, I cried to Jackie about the ongoing barrage of messages and the excruciating pain in my hand. “Maybe this isn’t a boundary thing,” she said frankly, “Maybe it’s because Mercury is in Retrograde.” I grew quiet. I didn’t know a lot about astrology, but I did believe in the universe and all of its beautiful mysteries. Mercury. Retrograde. Noted. Will look it up when not in pain. Jackie added: “GO TO THE DOCTOR.”

(If this were a movie, this would be the part where I turn and talk right into the camera: “I’m not an idiot. I fully know I should have gone to the doctor earlier. In fact, I should be there right now, but something so medically earth-shattering and tragic happened to me years ago, going to the doctor is a stark reminder of some of the darkest days of my life. Despite therapy and a decent recovery, I suffer chronic pain, CIDP relapses and seem to be prone to injury. So, as you can imagine, denial has turned into a powerful friend. On that note, things are about to get real.”)

INHALE. EXHALE. Walk into television make-up room. Clutch hand. Nauseous. Dizzy. Collapse into chair. Co-worker calls hand doctor. Exam. X-ray. Prognosis. Needle. Pain. Swollen man-hand like Seinfeld episode. Then, like magic, everything stood still. Someone hit the pause button. I couldn’t pick-up the phone, couldn’t blog, couldn’t email, couldn’t be on TV. The universe wanted me to STOP and this time, I listened. Healing is never easy; it takes patience and a willingness to admit your own limitations and frankly, I should be a professional at it by now, but we all have our issues. So, there I was, alone with my fat hand and my mile-a-minute thoughts. I went home, drifted off to sleep and dreamed of #MercuryRetrograde…

An optical illusion that a planet is moving backward, but somehow, it is not: representing communication issues, psychic clutter, frazzled behavior, intensity and if you’re a Leo, like myself, it can pose the question: “Am I getting exactly what I want outta life?” And, perhaps, most pertinent, Mercury Retrograde can also mean coincidences are extra-ordinary. Demanding favors, aggressive social media messages, hundreds of emails and a hand injury forcing me to IGNORE all of the above. A serendipitous twist of fate? I think not.

They say we dream in black and white, but it’s not true, because just before I woke up from my post-hand procedure nap, I floated through a cocoon of neon colors, mainly, pink and yellow. The vibrancy of the moment stayed with me and is the inspiration for this blog. Google says, “Neon Dreams” represent a person who’s seeking a solution or a change, in order to find relief. Coincidence? I think not.

My hand is finally healing and for the most part, the crazy favors/messages/demands have stopped. Intensity doesn’t have to be a bad thing, I guess, but how you handle or interpret it can make all the difference. Life is all about pacing: realizing what’s important and giving those things your unbridled attention. The rest is just noise. A LOT of noise. As I type the last words of this entry, Mercury has officially creeped its way out of retrograde and it seems all is right in the universe again and that’s why, “Neon Dreams” is one of my Favorite Things.

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“I dream of you in colors that don’t exist.” — anonymous

James Woodley Photography
Pink Neon Dress by Hot Miami Styles
Yellow Neon Purse & Accessories: Aldo, Lincoln Road
Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Shireen, can I talk to you for a minute?” Auerbach

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