Thursday, November 9, 2017

A Return to The Page

A year has gone by since my last blog post. It wasn't the nicest thing I had ever written, but it was my Truth at the time and I needed to say it. I don't regret it, and it's linked right there if you want to read it. This is not an apology for that piece. this is explanation of a transition. 

A lot has happened in the last year. Because of my family, my therapist, and my dozens of friends, I have managed to almost completely heal from a heartbreaking end of a relationship, which is HUGE, and not something to discuss here. (Most of you have heard it all already...that I am actually apologizing for. So boring.) 

But also in the last year, I've started writing my book, I've managed job woes and real-life adult responsibilities, I've tackled some tough medical challenges, I've done a few shows, and as we are currently in a touchy political climate, I have found my voice and haven't shut up. (Definitely not sorry about that. #BlackLivesMatter) 

Friends have come, and some friends I considered to be my closest are no longer in my circle. I feel like our generation gets shoved out to a stormy sea in a flat bottomed boat with a bucket, a rain jacket and the wish of "good luck, and Godspeed!" and that's about it. We navigate life and relationships with very basic tools, the tides ebb and flow, and somehow, we manage to stay afloat. 

I turned 29. I am far less panicky about 30 than I was when I was turning 28. I've considered lying about my age, but it catches up to you pretty quickly. I've avoided the existential crisis of "What have/haven't I accomplished that I said I wanted to do before I was 30?" Because times, and the culture, have changed. We (millennials) aren't getting married younger, we are waiting to have kids, or we've decided to skip that altogether. We want cats, dogs, careers, adventures...all things we could have while in a committed marriage relationship, but we've seen so many fail that we just give up. or decide to Try Less Hard. But that's a different topic too. 

In January I went to New York to visit the Atlantic Acting School. Atlantic was founded by David Mamet and William H. Macy. As I walked through Chelsea, the cold air hitting my face, I felt nervous, but there was a familiar feeling in the air-anticipation of investing my time into my craft. Even just for a night. I walked into the building, got a security clearance and shared the elevator with a young actor who was headed up to Atlantic for a first read through. He asked if I was involved in the project, and I said no, that I was just visiting. He told me he loved Atlantic and hoped I would consider applying. The open house was amazing...we had an info session with the executive director who was also one of the founding members. We had an improv workshop which was far less scary than I had expected, and then we had an on-camera audition workshop. I wasn't that great, but that solidified my belief that I need on-camera training ASAP. As I talked to the admissions director while simultaneously shoving expensive New York cheese into my mouth, I realized how much that room felt like Home. Creativity, talent, promise, on the walls of TONS of actors we know and love that studied there. I talked to one of the girls on my way out, and told her I was torn. Do I uproot my comfortable life and my big girl job that provides me with health insurance that I need to survive and move to the city to follow my dream? She looked at me and said, "It sounds like you already know what you want to do." She smiled, said goodbye, and disappeared into the night. I cried as I passed the Chelsea Market, imagining coffee breaks with my new Atlantic family. Picturing our pre-showcase ritual knowing that agents would be in the audience to watch our hard work; thinking about our final project of forming a theatre company...exactly how Atlantic Acting School was born. "Yes. This is what I want. This is My Thing. This is My Dream."
It's been 8 months since that trip. and I haven't started the application. Fear is holding me back and I've acknowledged it. I'll do something about it...each time I think of that night my heart aches for that familiarity again. 

But this isn't about that either! (But it kind of is because look at how much I loved it!) 

This is about transitions. And being ok with sitting in them. Look around at where you are. If you're having a Good Life right now or an Ok Life, or a Sad Life, acknowledge it. Allow yourself to be vulnerable in that spot. it's's so so so difficult, and sometimes it hurts. And that's ok too! As cliche as this sounds, growth and progress and transitions happen in the Dark Times.

How do you get through the Dark Times?
1. Develop a plan. Have friends that you trust keep you accountable. Strength in numbers!
2. Have a healthy outlet for releasing the tension. I had my first massage this summer and I went directly to therapy afterwards. The release of physical tension allowed my brain to be clearer and helped me to be more vulnerable that day to my therapist. 
3. Cut out the negative. Surround yourself with likeminded people that you trust. 
4. Intentionally make time for things that make you happy. Go out on a Friday. Stay in on Saturday. Brunch on Sunday. Doing chores, visiting friends, cooking. Whatever your "thing" is, schedule a time for you to do it. Your brain knows that you enjoy those things and it releases endorphins and those cheer you up. (I learned that from Legally Blonde. Thanks, Elle Woods/Reese Witherspoon)
5. Love yourself for exactly who you are. Tell yourself your Truths in the mirror. You are strong. You are beautiful/handsome. You are unique. Write them down. Repeat. 

Some of these might be helpful. Some of them might not be helpful. These are very simply based on my experience the last year of my life. I want to share them with you, in hopes that I can get back to being authentic through my writing. 

It's been a long year, y'all, but I have a lot of faith. There's a lot of work to be done, that I'll write about later, but I know we're gonna be alright. After all, we have each other. 

Shine Bright. 

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