Hey, blog people. Boy, oh boy has it been a minute.
We had this whole pandemic thing, I don’t know if you heard about it. And my entire life turned upside down. Maybe yours did too? And I have to say, here I am three years later, and absolute nothing is the same.
Let’s go through the boxes:
First, my career. I had so much inertia. I was booking like crazy. I was confident AF. Then, the work disappeared. It just *poof* went away. And I spent most of my time stressed out about the whole “our democracy is falling into the hands of extremists and duped people en masse led by an insane modern day orange Caligula” and doing everything I could to stop that. In between, I took gummies and went for long, serene walks breathing fresh air. No work.
My soul was lost.
The good? I started doing some directing, and found I not only love it, but I’m pretty good at it, actually. I did my first Hollywood Fringe show, although it was virtual, but that had been on my bucket list for a while. I dedicated myself to a year of meditating daily and blogging about my experience every single day (myyearofmeditation.com if you’re interested) and it was nice to get into the habit of writing.
Ok, next? My mental health. I had a looooot of time on my hands, so I started doing that deep inner healing work that we never have (make) time for in real life. I went no contact with my mother, whom I realized likely has Borderline Personality Disorder, and learned an awful lot about BPD and the effects it can have on the children who are raised with it. That was hard. Super hard. The hardest part was the confirmation that, if I stopped existing to validate my mom and fawn over her and actually set boundaries and called out any abusive behavior, she really had no use for me anymore. She was happy to end our contact. Sucks to realize you don’t have the relationship you kept willing to be there, pretending you had. But going NC felt like a huge weight and responsibility lifted.
Parenting your own parents isn’t the way things are supposed to go.
I stepped back from a lot of familial relationships I had allowed to become dysfunctional. I was really people pleasing and acting as a bit of a dumping ground for some people I loved who were really angry at the truly abusive people in their lives but wanted to project it onto me. I thought it was my job to take it for them. Guess what? It wasn’t.
I set boundaries with a lot of friends and stopped being the person always smoothing everything over and making them feel better about their bad behavior (ah, childhood trauma). I stopped thinking my job was to make everyone happy and feel good no matter what, because I knew what it was to be around people who constantly tried to make you feel terrible about yourself. I realized my needs and feelings had to be my first priority, that it was my job to tend to those first and foremost and then I could be there for others in appropriate ways.
This left a bit of a lonely hole in my life, but it’s slowly filling back in with relationships that are more meaningful to me, that are reciprocal and healthy and kind. If you are going through this, don’t give up. Keep vibrating on those self-love frequencies. You will attract the right circumstances and people and start to thrive in new ways you never felt were possible for you before.
Oh, I went back to school! Through the actor’s union, I was able to apply for a program to get my political science degree 100% paid for, and I’m doing that now. All online, all at my own pace. I plan to go to law school, start some type of practice that can truly help people, run for office, maybe work with the ACLU or even sit on the Supreme Court someday. I want to be part of the solution, someone who can make life truly better for people, on whatever scale I’m able to do so. I’m excited for that.
Next up- my marriage. Speaking of deep work! We did it. He did it. I could not be more proud of my husband. He dove into therapy and support groups for the things he’s been through. He has finally been able to acknowledge the depths of the abuse the suffered in his first marriage and has been healing from it, which has led to him being a much more present, strong, loving, intentional husband and father. He let go of a lot of divorce guilt that was causing him to parent less and “friend” more, realizing that taking our three beautiful kids out of that situation even a large part of the time and showing them what real love and a healthy relationship looks like was the best thing he could have done for them.
We have never been closer, or stronger. I’m so grateful that my best friend and partner has stepped up in ways that I know were extremely difficult for him. Growing together in a marriage is a real gift, and we do push each other but we also support each other like crazy. We are also growing a foundation of knowledge, tools, and vocabulary to help our kids as they transition into adulthood and will inevitably have to deal with the trauma he and I both understand well. That is something I am extremely proud of.
Other updates- Steve started his own business after leaving his last toxic corporate job behind once and for all, and he’s thriving. He’s even doing on air hosting! Check out NewsNet to see his automotive reviews if you like! After a year of doing a lot of event work to make money and get back on track, I am finally 100% focused on my career for the first time in three years. I went back to UCB and am finding my improv legs again, and it’s bringing me unbelievable joy. I’m auditioning regularly and setting up the business side of my work that lapsed. After three years, you need new reps, a new reel, new headshots- the whole thing. But it’s coming, and my confidence is coming back.
So why this update? Why this brain dump to maybe no one, considering I haven’t written in a long time? Or to maybe a few strangers on the internet?
I miss writing. And since I stopped writing constantly, my brain feels cluttered and overwhelmed. I started journaling and meditating and doing yoga daily again, but nothing clears out the brain like writing does for me. I still have this site, so I’m going to use it. I’m not going to worry about writing perfectly, I just need to write. I need to organize my thoughts sometimes. I need to say what I need to say, and the point isn’t to force anyone to listen to it.
I need to write for writing’s sake.
I need to say things out loud in some form, things like:
Even if you love someone so much your heart could burst, you don’t owe it to them to be a repository for their unhealed pain and suffering.
It’s okay to be a little lonely for a while, because that’s your chance to get to know yourself deeply, and start vibing in the right places, so life can blossom before you in the space you created for it.
Your abuse and trauma and mental health issues are not your fault, but it’s absolutely unacceptable to not take responsibility for your own healing. Also, if we don’t start making that accessible and possible financially for people, we will continue to stay in trauma and abuse cycles generation after generation.
Knowing yourself and setting boundaries in a loving way may be the single most powerful thing you can do.
You are not a “nice” person if you aren’t being kind to yourself- you’re a people pleaser who is scared of being rejected. Stop romanticizing this.
I’ve had some ideas in my head for a while now… an instagram page called The Crazy Actor where we talk about trauma and mental health and healing and life in general and where I can use everything I’ve been through and learned to help others. I have a few books in mind. I have ideas for shows, stage and screen. Inside and outside of these topics. Scripted and non-scripted. I have ideas for columns I could write, essays I could share.
To start any of these meaningful projects, I need to just get back into the habit of writing my thoughts out. I knew I held onto this site for a reason. I knew I needed it, but I wasn’t sure why.
Already, after one small post, my brain feels less hectic, like I’ve started purging an overstuffed closet. This is good. This is the start of something new. Yep. This is right.