Monday, November 2, 2015

Glorious November

Ah, November… you’re here.  In all your November glory.

It’s finally acceptable for me to listen to Christmas records, watch the Hallmark channel for hours on end to fill my brain with cheesy, horrible Christmas movies and drink out of a Santa mug. 

I can decorate my apartment with cheery decorations and put my Christmas tree up way earlier than I probably should!

November is all about giving thanks and being grateful and prepping for the holidays and it’s also my half birthday and OMG I’M TURNING 30 IN SIX MONTHS.  

Holy shit.  What?!  When did that happen?

30.  Well, ok. 

It’s not that I’m afraid of turning 30. In fact, I’m kind of excited.  But it’s a milestone birthday for sure and I feel like I need to do something about it.  Like travel internationally… since I’ve never done that.  Or adopt a dog.  Or figure out what the hell I want to do with my life. 

I feel like life is a constant struggle and I never have enough money and I’m really bad at making decisions, or taking risks, and well – I don’t know if I will have that all figured out by May 18, 2016 but damn, I sure do hope I’m on the right track. 

Ah, November.  You’re here!  Christmas is soon!  And oh my god, I'm getting old. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

On Being Creative With No Purpose

Creativity has always been the only thing I really liked about myself.  Or at least it was the fact that I never really brushed aside like everything else.  When someone says I'm pretty, I come up with a hundred reasons why that person is a dumb liar, but when I'm complimented on something that has to do with my creative brain, I actually feel comfortable thanking them. 

And yet, I grew up dancing from the age of three and piled on every single style of dance that I could take, from tap and jazz to gymnastics and pointe and eventually when I realized that I didn’t need to do it and it wasn’t going to be what I did forever, I just quit. There was a whole lot of teenage angst and awkward issues that had a lot to do with that, but I also just realized that I wasn’t going to be a dancer… so what was the point? 

While looking for colleges, I really wanted to study musical theater.  I wanted to go to Emerson. but I never thought it’d be an actual career path I would be able to go down.  Instead, I went the safe route and went to Suffolk (literally across the park from Emerson) and studied something safe and boring that I haven’t touched since.

While at Suffolk, I briefly considered switching to NYU and studying magazine writing and becoming a magazine writer but all I heard was that it was a really difficult field to break into – and it was also slowly dying at the same time.  So I decided to stay where I was and keep taking improv classes.

While improv classes worked out for me and blossomed into something much bigger, for which I'm extremely happy and grateful, there was always a part of me that felt like it wasn't real and that there was no way I could do improv comedy forever.  I mean, technically that's sort of true - at least not as a career

Eventually, I moved to Los Angeles to pursue comedy in a grander sense, which is funny considering I never gave any other creative career option a chance but thought, “Yeah! Comedy is going to be easy peasy!”

That being said, now that I’m in L.A., I feel myself falling back into the old mentality that I used to.  What’s the point of doing something creative AT ALL if it’s not a viable career option?  I’ve become a bit more practical since moving here and that probably has a lot to do with being smacked in the face with becoming an adult.  All of a sudden, I had to deal with my credit score and it’s ability to fuck up everything from renting an apartment to leasing a car.  Suddenly I realized that living my dream wasn’t going to help me get out of debt just yet.  

Luckily I found a place to work that allows me to be creative, but my role isn't the most creative in the world.  I’m literally left scrounging for creative outlets. I try to make people laugh at work, I write funny emails or put some personality into a presentation for work and that’s all fun and great.  

But when I go home and watch television or do yoga and think, “Ugh, what am I doing?”  Doing nothing is just as useless as doing something for “no reason.”  So, I'm going to try to write more with no intention of publishing or posting any of it (although it'd be nice if that actually happens.)  I'm going to try to take dance classes just for the hell of it.  Maybe I'll even take up painting. 

Just kidding.  I'm really bad at painting. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Pressures of Adulting

Being an adult is ROUGH. 

At this moment in time, I have a bi-weekly therapy appointment in addition to anti-anxiety medication that I take every day.  I'm also doing yoga 5-6 times a week to reduce stress and I even have a guided meditation app on my phone.  As I age and the pressure builds, I'm feeling more and more anxious and it's difficult to get a hold on.  

When I was 16 and in high school, I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety.  And when I think of the way I feel now versus the way I felt then, I find it difficult to understand.  What on EARTH did I have to feel depressed about then?  What pressure was I facing every day?  

If I could go back and tell my depressed 16-year-old self anything, I’d say “Hey girl, boys don’t like you because you wear oversized Gap sweatshirts and sweatpants every single day.  Also, you don’t give them the chance to like you because you hate yourself and stay in on the weekends to discuss Harry Potter at length and watch Miss Congeniality again.  You’re really smart and you do really well in school and it’s not that hard for you.  People think you’re funny!  You live at home and your parents pay for everything, including your cell phone bill even though you probably don’t even need a cell phone.  Girl, who are you calling?   But hey, good for you for watching Cheers so much and thinking it’s the best show that is no longer on television.”

These days, life is a lot more difficult.  On Friday evening, I had to pay $300 to renew my car registration and then another $300 to get a sample of my cat’s urine checked out.  I didn’t know that I had to renew my registration every year because my parents did all of that for me the one year that I had a car before my dad had it re-painted and sold it.  That’s how bad at being an adult I am. 

Life is also harder now because we live in a society where there’s a lot of pressure.  Since this is the era of following dreams and doing what you love, it’s really hard to live up to that.  It’s a time where choosing different career paths, or not immediately succeeding at what you want to do means you’re a complete failure.  Every time I go home, I feel weird about what to say.  I have a solid job with a great salary, a career path and awesome opportunities and I feel hesitant to admit that.  Sometimes it feels like I should just say, “I can barely pay my rent and I’m struggling, but I’m working on my screenplay every day and a friend of a friend’s uncle is a big wig at Paramount so I think it’s going to be real good in like a year.”

The worst part is that I’m putting all this pressure on myself.  And I’m sure a lot of people do the same thing.  It feels as though we all have to be on the same map, hitting the same milestones by certain points in our lives and for what??  It's so discouraging and disappointing.  

In high school, I was nailing life if I got a 90 on my Art History test and had a great group of friends to spend time with every weekend.  Nowadays, the definition of nailing it is incredibly varied.  It's really hard to see how you're actually doing when you're comparing your accomplishments to everyone else's. Comparison is the thief of joy, everyone!  

More often than not, we're in the way of ourselves and our happiness. And then other times, it's legitimately overwhelming to just LIVE.  Car payments, rent, student loan, credit cards... all these payments are the devil and ruining our lives.  

I'm getting stressed out just thinking about it.  

But you know what?  Let's give ourselves some credit for all the things we have achieved, and let's buy ourselves a nice gourmet pizza when we have the extra cash.  And, if you're into it, download the Calm app and sit still for like five minutes while a soothing voice takes you through a quick guided meditation. 

If I've succeeded at anything... it's at being a real Los Angeles loser. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Great Balancing Act

For the past three or so weeks, I've been trying to be healthy.  I've been very conscious of what I'm eating and working out nearly every day.  And oh my God, it's so fucking hard.  Yes, I used "God" and "fucking" in the same sentence and YES I FEEL GUILTY.  Catholicism always wins.

I thought it would be easy because I have a pretty consistent schedule.  I'm at work for the same amount of hours pretty much every day and that should make it easy to maintain an easy schedule of healthy eating.  I also really love cooking and do it every night, so it's much easier to plan healthy meals when you're the one making them.  I was really naive.

At work, there are TREATS.  Birthday treats.  Amazing cakes made by your friend Doug who combines red wine and dark chocolate into a cake. Awesome freshly baked rosemary bread.  JalapeƱo marinated steaks delivered to us for lunch.  There are food trucks selling pesto fries next to the juice truck selling beet juice for $10 where I'm basically the only person standing in line.

At home, there's a boyfriend who loves chips and goldfish and half pound burgers made with 80/20 meat while I snack on granny smith apples, natural peanut butter and frozen Trader Joe's turkey burgers on whole wheat english muffins.

And then, there's finding the time to work out when your schedule is so awful and the last thing I want to do in the morning and after a long day of work is pilates, or any other kind of working out, but I do it... because I have to... and it makes me feel happier and shit.

Then there's drinking. Which I gave up... for the most part.  I say as I'm drinking a mimosa (made of diet orange juice and a splash of champagne.)


There are times when I'm out with friends and just decide to give in to the crowd and enjoy a beer and maybe a mozzarella stick or a basket of fries.  And then I go home and I feel like absolute dog shit for being a loser who can't stick to a consistent schedule of being a healthy human being.

But that's not exactly true.  I really have to - and we as a SOCIETY have to - stop beating ourselves up for being humans and making mistakes or giving into temptations every now and then.  If we go through our lives avoiding all things that are horrible for us, we're not going to be happy.  90% of the week, I'm being healthy and good and if the other 10% I'm having fun with my friends and getting a little tipsy while eating a couple bites of horrible fried food, then that's okay.

I mean, that's where the phrase "A for Effort" comes from, right?  Effort is good!  It's OK to let your guard down every now and then and shovel baskets upon baskets of fries into your mouth!  No, that's not true... but a few really tall Coors Lites from T.G.I.Friday's isn't the worst thing in the world.

Balance.  I'm going to start working on balance.  And giving myself less shit for being a human being.  And eating more mozz sticks on my yoga mat.


Friday, October 9, 2015

Personality Tests

So, this week I have been obsessed with personality tests.  It makes sense considering analyzing is a huge component in the result of almost every test that I’ve taken.  But seriously, they’re the best.  They creep me out because my results are so similar for every single test. 

It helps that mine continuously tell me that I’m “rare” and “unique” and “deeply complex.”  What can I say?  I’m a wonderful artistic human being.  Just kidding, I’m the worst!

At the end of the day, they're probably a bunch of witch bullshit.  But I think it's valuable to get a little bit of insight into yourself.  It helps me feel a little less crazy and more like, "Oh, there's a reason for all that craziness."  Even if it's all made up.  Which is another component of my personality, I live in a fantasy world! 

Here are the ones I’ve taken: (I’m INFJ)

Other famous INFJ’s include Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa… so that makes me feel really good about where I’m at in my life.

Strengths: creative, insightful, inspiring and convincing.
Weaknesses: sensitive, extremely private, perfectionist and can burn out easily.

EnneagramTest (I’m Type 4)

Fours are emotionally complex and highly sensitive. They long to be understood and appreciated for their authentic selves, but easily feel misunderstood and unappreciated. They have a tendency to withdraw in the face of a world that seems harsh or crude, and are often somewhat moody or temperamental. They are emotionally centered and spend much of their lives immersed in their internal mental landscapes, where they feel free to cultivate and analyze their feelings. A desire to manifest this internal world often leads Fours to an interest in the arts, and some do become actual artists. Whether artistic or not, however, most Fours are aesthetically sensitive and concerned with self-expression and self-revelation, whether it be in the clothes they wear or in the overall nature of their often idiosyncratic lifestyles.”

The Color Code (I’m Blue) (I don't have a link because it was a physical test at work) 

“Life is a sequence of commitments for blues.  They thrive on relationships and willingly sacrifice personal gain. Blues are highly demanding perfectionists. They can be distrusting and worry prone. They are complex and intuitive and can be very opinionated. Blues can also be emotional or moody. Blues can be self-righteous and insecure and can also be very self-disciplined and sincere.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Fall in LA is Bullshit

I knew what I was getting into when I came to LA and I thought that I was totally ready to live a season-free life.  I moved here during a cold January after a particularly snowy December, so I was more than happy to live in the warm weather that winter. 

Last fall, during Thanksgiving, I was pretty sad about not going back east.  I decided to get all the ingredients to make a big Thanksgiving dinner.  When I woke up in the morning, it was already in the high 70’s and only got worse throughout the day.  I turned my oven on regardless, so I could binge eat the sadness away, and my apartment reached a whopping 95 degrees.  I was livid and actually spent most of the day depressed.  Tears may have been shed and Harry Potter movies were definitely watched.

Then, once winter came and Christmas was spent in Boston, I got over it and was excited for warm weather.  Until, of course, I saw all these nice pictures of spring and I was all of a sudden PISSED about having a beach day in March.  March is for attempting to go tights-free during one unseasonably warm day that really only hits 50 degrees, not for sipping wine spritzers on the sand!

Things perked back up during the summer, even though I’m the type of girl who wears a leather jacket 365 days a year.  I was happy to be in warm weather and not sweating through the humidity that I dealt with back on the east coast.

But then… of course, that shit got old.  Come September, I’m done with the heat and I’m ready for watching football while wearing a sweater and/or sweatshirt under covers.  But guess what?  That’s just not possible here.  

Maybe it’s because I was back home during fall for two weddings and got to experience the crisp air and cooler temps, but I’m feeling pretty fucking bummed out this fall and it has a lot to do with L.A.’s consistent need to be WARM AND GREAT AND DRY.

Last weekend, there was rain in the forecast for Sunday and I woke up like a god damn kid at Christmas only to be severely disappointed.  It didn’t rain!  At least not while I was awake, but what good is overnight rain? Actually, it’s a pretty good thing for California regardless, BUT WHAT ABOUT ME?  I looked at the weather forecast every hour on the hour and the rain kept getting pushed and pushed until eventually it was non-existent. 

Now, here I sit, with 97 degrees in the forecast for Friday (and the rest of the weekend.)  I want to be wearing boots, tights, coats and cuddling under 1,000 blankets while I go to sleep.  Fuck you, fall in LA.  Get some seasons, you asshole!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Advice From An Old Lady

Dear younger me / young women who are now an age that I once was, 

Congratulations on being in your lower twenties! And for graduating college, or choosing not to go to college in favor of pursuing goals that don’t put you in debt and for whatever it is that you're doing right now. You’re growing up and growing up is awesome. Challenging, for sure, but awesome nonetheless.

I know that your twenties are a time for making mistakes and learning from those mistakes.  If I were to do it all over again, I’d most likely make the same mistakes because I didn’t know any better. Sure, people always tried to tell me what I should and shouldn’t do, but I never listened to them. It’s not that I didn’t trust or appreciate their advice, it’s that I was stubborn and in the words of Tommy Pickles, “A baby’s gotta do what a baby’s gotta do.”  

But, if I could give myself advice… this is what I would say:

Stop polling your friends. You know the answer no matter the situation. Don’t ask your friends if you should hook up with that one guy, because they’re going to have an opinion on it and you already have your answer, so what’s the point? Don’t ask your friends if you should go to New York for the weekend with someone you met only once to wait in line for tickets for SNL, because OF COURSE you’re going to do it. Yes, it sounds crazy, but you should do it because you want to and your friends are going to think you’re weird if you ask them about it. Everyone is going to have an opinion about everything and there’s no point in hearing it when you already know the answer. Their opinion is only going to make you feel guilty, embarrassed, stupid, etc. So buy stupid outfits… make stupid decisions… deal with the consequences. The truth is neither you or your friends know anything about anything… so just do it.

Stop oversharing. Don’t tell everyone what’s going on all the time. Nobody cares and if they do care, all they can do is pity you, empathize with you or lecture you. I was once in a really rough situation and made the mistake of telling basically everyone. A lot of people felt bad for me (which I felt extremely awkward about) and others didn’t care, didn’t know what to say, felt awkward or changed their opinions about me. At the end of the day, nothing about it felt good. It was nice to have support, for sure, but everything else was awful. I'm not sure why I did it, maybe I wanted people to feel bad for me, maybe I wanted attention, maybe I was just sad and it was the only thing I could talk about. Either way, now I tell my problems to french fries. They're great listeners. 

Be yourself. I spent a lot of time pretending to be someone I wasn’t. I pretended to be “cool” with things I wasn’t cool with (like, say, casual relationships that weren’t so casual to me). I pretended to be hip and into things I didn’t give a shit about (like obscure bands, indie films and scary movies.) When I break myself down and think of the person I am consistently, I am basically a very nostalgic nerd, an old soul and an introvert who prefers deep connections with a few people instead of having a thousand friends to fill up my spare time with. This is an okay person to be.      

And finally, don't get blunt bangs. They take a lot of upkeep and you will be too lazy to handle that. Also, they look terrible. 


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