The easiest, simplest way to tell all of you who are still reading this blog and care about where I've been (and bless you if you are and you still do) is to say that I've been in the Land of Gathering.
You know how sometimes you put off getting your life together for months, even years? And sometimes it takes such a concentrated effort of energy, such laser-like focus, that you need to shut out everything else for a while. Sometimes it makes explaining what you're doing while you're in the middle of doing it difficult, and tedious, and distracting. Sometimes, especially when you're a perfectionist, like I am, you don't want to talk about it, you just want to do it, and you want to get it done correctly. There's flow, there's meraki, there's a vision and a plan and steps and to-do lists and buckets of things that you yearn to do with all your being that have been put off for so long they have slipped back into the cracks of the walls that hold you up, but you still feel them knocking into your bones when you try to sleep at night when the winds come around.
Life sometimes feels like a spool of tangled thread or cords, and I keep thinking that all I need to do is get back to the source where it's plugged into the wall or connected to that huge ball of yarn and then I can start to really put things back on track from where they continuously slid off while I wasn't looking. But a fresh start isn't merely difficult; it is impossible. So I did the next best thing, which was run away from home, both metaphorically and literally.
In June, I boarded a plane to Boston with my husband Benni and my two brothers for our cousin-only family reunion, where I met all of my second cousins for the very first time, had actual conversations with my first cousins for the very first time (I hadn't seen most of them since I was nine years old), and waded into the murky family history that needed a little bit of cleaning and clearing between the twenty or so of us. I'll be blunt - I have a very manipulative family, and anything and everything that I post on this blog can (and has in the past) been used against me. And it's tough to know what to say while treading on thin ice so I'll just say this: my brothers and I put in a lot of prep work to make sure this was a safe space for everyone, free from the influence and machinations of others, and it worked beautifully, and the vulnerability and honesty and kindness and genuineness of this family reunion is something I will never forget, and something that can never be taken away from any of us.
Below is the only picture I'll show from the reunion: my brother Jeff and Benni showing two little cousins of ours how to fly wooden airplanes for the first time. It's memories like this that move me to tears and have me fall on my knees in gratitude daily. For the first time in a very long time, I was able to gather my family back into my arms and back into my heart.
Then in August I quit my job, which was lovely, considering that by the time I left it was what could safely be deemed a "hostile environment," and I can say in good conscience that I did my best as an employee while I worked there, that I left on my own terms, with integrity, and that by the time I left my employer had changed his mind and decided to appreciate me after five years of nothing but passive aggression. I gathered my pride, and gathered my things, and walked out the door.
Two days later I boarded a plane with my husband and then touched down in London.
Benni and I spent three days in London; three days in Paris; and four days in Barcelona. I'd forgotten how much I loved traveling, how it seeps into my heart and winds its delicate fingers around my veins and takes my pulse. I'd forgotten how much I missed it, missed exploring new places and speaking in broken second (or third) languages and trying new foods and making new friends. And I gathered my sense of adventure, and my fearlessness, and my go-with-the-flow attitude that I thought I'd lost because I was too busy taking things too seriously. (For honeymoon pictures, refer to my Instagram account up and to the right, but I'll post some next week too.)
Back home in September, I gathered my focus, and I drop-kicked my fear of failure in the face, and started working my ass off at making my acting career my first priority. Postcards, business cards, mailing lists, resumes, reels, press releases, social media blitzes, networking lunches, work sessions with friends, modeling shoots, reading scripts, auditions... I went balls to the wall. And I have not stopped. Nor will I, until I get what I want, because I finally got my eye back on the prize. Now all I gotta do is get better about sharing where I'm coming from with my friends (you guys). This post is a good start, hopefully.
So...yes. I've been busy. Gathering myself into the many channels of life that I love, focusing, sharpening, and getting clearer and stronger. And I gotta say... the view is pretty nice.
Maybe since we're gone and all is through
I've got such a view, I've got such a view
- The Ceremonies, "Land of Gathering"