I’ve built some things over the last few years: Interests, friendships, attachments.
My ideal life would consist of being with my friends and family, riding my bike everywhere, eating & shopping locally and being an active part of my community.
There are plenty of places in the world where this can be easily done. But there’s one part of my ideal life that can only be done in Los Angeles: Acting. At least on the level that I want to be doing it. Yes, community theater is everywhere. But community theater is not what I want.
So, I’m choosing to live in Los Angeles again.
Can those things that I want to be a part of my life be done there? Yep. Not as easily as in a small town, though.
One thing remains true, that I must hold to: Community must be sought after. You have to work at it. And I’m not always very good at that. I have a hard time reaching out to others-I prefer when they reach out to me. But if I want all of those things, I’ve got to learn to be good at being the initiator. My life(style) depends on it.
I worry about my flaws. Not the way I look or sound. But a certain subtle way that I come across.
I worry that the people that matter to me will think I don’t need them if I don’t live in the same city as they do. That they will think that they don’t matter. That somehow, I’ll make all new friends and discard the ones that came before. This is my fear. That people will withdraw from me, because they think I’ve let them go. But I haven’t.
People make assumptions about me. They do about everyone. My actions don’t always make sense to people. I tend to make big choices. My truth shifts frequently-so the message I give off one week seems different the next. I speak what I feel-which changes. Some people get confused by that, and trust me less because of it. I understand this.
My only fear about this is the distance that this misunderstanding creates.
I worry that I’ll be less a part of a community when I move. That somehow, I’ll lose everything I’ve gained and worked for. That I’ll be as lonely as I was a year ago.
But I won’t. I will not let myself. It will just require some effort to stay connected.
And when I move to Los Angeles, I’ll have a part-time job, and a neighborhood, and some friends. I’ll find a place to volunteer, and I’ll audition and be in dance class and I’ll have my farmer’s market, my favorite coffee shop and my favorite places to hike.
But I’ll also have those phone calls from my family. Those texts from my friends who don’t live in Los Angeles. Those texts from those who do. I will MAKE SURE of that.
I need those connections. And I need people to reach into me, too. But when they don’t, I need to reach out.
I am insecure about a lot of things. Mostly, I’m insecure about how lonely I’ve always felt. I’m insecure about that thing in me that seems to not need people. It’s just how I come across-it’s just a part of who I am. But I need people. NEED.
But that’s my greatest insecurity. That thing that everyone can see that isn’t really who I am. Some people are insecure about their nose, or their voice, or their ass, or their temper. I am insecure about that part of me that seems to be so good at being alone, that people feel distant and close to me at the same time. I’m untouchable.
I can’t change that.
But I can make an effort to be clear with those I care about that I need their affection, that I need their voices, and their phone calls and texts. I need their lunch dates, coffee dates, hike dates, their updates. I don’t need them all the time. But I need them.
I’m insecure about the part of me that comes across like I don’t. I’m afraid I’m going to be more lonely than I need to be.
But these are just fears. And I will make sure that those things don’t stop me from having a full life.
Just some musings.
1. I love espresso in the way other people feel about wine.
2. My guilty pleasure song is “This I Love” by Guns n Roses.
3. I love the movie Armageddon. And I’m proud of it.
Getting my “real world” shit together. I have things to do.
I’m gonna go figure out what they are.
I’ve temporarily deactivated my Facebook.
Twitter stays. I rarely use it anyway.
*after an awesome joseph campbell quote, that is
You can feel so much, it is like your body could rip at the seams.
Sometimes, it seems that our bodies cannot contain how much we are.
This brings up so many things.
First of all, the last year in Atlanta has been so incredibly wonderful, I can’t even begin to express how grateful for this time I am. It has provided me a chance to heal family relationships, slow down and collect myself, work on personal issues, and develop a relationship with my home city. I made some really meaningful friendships in the process.
I didn’t expect to get so attached.
But I did.
The strange thing about learning how to connect back with your emotions is that you open up yourself to all sorts of experiences. You get the happy AND you get the sad. Life is much more full, and so much more intense. The thing about meeting people you care about is that, when you leave, it hurts. It doesn’t mean it’s “so long” forever (I mean there’s the internet, phones, texting, etc), it just gives you that pang in your stomach that signifies, “I love them.”
I’m not leaving just yet, there are still some loose ends to tie. But knowing that fairly soon, I’ll be on the road again, makes me a little sad. Yes, acting is my passion, my only dream, and it is absolutely worth taking risks to go pursue it. But just because I have a home somewhere else, doesn’t mean that Atlanta isn’t my home, too. I have two homes, and many families.
I am looking forward to reuniting with my old friends, former coworkers, classmates, and mentors in Los Angeles. I’ve certainly missed them since living in Atlanta. And the same will go for the people that this time last year I didn’t know, but who have made a big impact in who I am today.
This year was important. It was the year I learned to live without my eating disorder, once and for all. No behaviors anymore. At all. And that happened because I had a job, made some friends, and learned from them. I learned so much. People who didn’t even know they were teaching me have taught me.
I’ll miss the trees in Atlanta. I’ll miss hiking on Kennesaw Mountain, perusing Marietta Square, dancing at the drum circle at Lake Claire, walking in Peidmont Park, Little Five’s eccentricity, The High Museum of Art, Midtown’s vibe, the patch of woods beside the Chattahoochee river right behind my neighborhood. I’ll miss the thunderstorms. I’ll miss the house I grew up in. I’ll miss the grand piano which has gotten me through my loneliness. I’ll miss my tree.
But most of all, I’ll miss the people.
I’ll miss the people I met at the coffee shop job I took over a year ago. The one that I took to supplement my income and give me something to do with my time while I figured out what I was doing with my life. I didn’t expect that I would meet people that I really, really care about. I won’t list specific names, but they know who they are (I hope)!
I’ll miss my parents. I tear up as I write this, because of the unexpected time we have gotten to share. I didn’t know if my dad would be alive this year, because of his cancer diagnosis, and I certainly didn’t expect that we would have the opportunity to reconcile our issues. He’s okay now, and I’m so thankful when I get to spend time with him. We have had many laughs, healing moments, and all around, I think we all know: we’re good. My mom and I are great, as well. Both of my parents are really hitting their stride, and it’s great to see. I know I’m loved and supported, and they know that I love them, and appreciate them, too. This year has been a gift that I can’t describe. I will miss seeing them every day.
I’ll miss seeing my brother so often. Casey is one of the few people in the world whom I feel is a part of my identity. I know something of who I am when we’re together. And I love getting the opportunity to be around him and listen to him talk, rant, joke, whatever. I’ve met some wonderful people through him, too. I will miss him very, very much. And it will hurt to be a country apart from him again. Part of me wants to convince him to move to LA as well, but ultimately, I want him to have his own adventures, and go where he needs to go.
I will do my best to make sure that the people I love know that I love them. That they know that even though I’m leaving, I’m not leaving because I don’t care about them. I’m leaving because I have this need in me to act. It’s my passion, and I can’t make it go away. It’s who I am; I’m an actress. It’s not a hobby for me. I have to honor my gift, my dream, and really see if I can do this. I’ll always be a little empty if I don’t.
I don’t know what makes us drawn to do certain things. Sometimes, I wish that I had a simpler dream. That I could just go to school for a certain job, and be satisfied with that. That would keep me close all the time to the people I love. But I’m not. It leaves me empty. So, I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do. I’m brave, but it doesn’t mean I don’t get afraid.
When I leave, I will not be replacing my life. I will not be replacing my friends, my home, or my feelings. I will be expanding them. There is only more room for love, humor, and friendship. I will be adding to the existing list of how many awesome people are in my life.
I am a deep feeler, though I try to tone it down with jokes, but when I care for someone, I will always care for them. Atlanta, you have been the biggest surprise to me. Even in my short time at cosmetology school, and even my few college courses, I met some really wonderful folks, that I will miss, and it hurts that I won’t get to go through the school year with them. I can’t seem to get through life without finding people to love.
But I have to follow my instinct, my…heart? Oh man, that’s cheesy. But really, I’ve got to see what can happen with this. So I’m moving again.
Part of trusting the strength of your relationships is allowing yourself to do what you need to do, and knowing that somehow it will all work out.
I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know that I’m one of the most fortunate people I’ve ever known, and that no matter what, I have friends and family. And my only hope is that I’m a good enough friend/daughter/sister back to them to let them know how wonderful it all is.
Here’s to 2012; may it bring unexpected joy, adventure, and an unwavering knowledge that you are loved.
Now, I know that was sappy, but I needed to get this load of my chest. I was feeling a little melancholy, and now it’s better.
Big day for me.
But I’m not telling any of you!
nothing a great bottle of beer and some gorgonzola cheese on sourdough bread w/ almonds and a pink lady apple can’t fix.
okay, so those things don’t fix the day, but they certainly add some pep!
Why, thank you!