Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Land of Gathering

It's been almost six months since I last blogged, and so often I've come to this page, staring at a blank screen, and wondered where the hell do I even start?

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"


Anonymous said...

This is an Awesome catch up post. many thanks.

Rosaria Williams said...

So good to see you.

Robin said...

And she's back!!!

Wow. I can so relate to trying to get back to that place where everything slid off the rails. You described it perfectly. It feels like you should be able to follow the thread until you get to the core and then do the work THERE. But there are too many threads and the core is so far away.

And you quit your job!!! Sometimes that safe place isn't actually so safe. It's the obstacle that is holding you back from getting what you truly want.

That family reunion sounds like it was the balm for your weary soul. You managed to weed out of the garden all of the things (and people) that kept you from being real with one another. In doing so, you got your family back. Such a gift!!!

And I can't wait to see the pics from your traveling.

I am overflowing with happiness for you:)

kj said...

i have missed you. i'm glad you're back. i'm glad for the update. i'm glad your family reunion was healthy and happy and i'm glad you quit your job.

and i'm glad for your trip.

and i'm glad to be. here. now.


Snowbrush said...

I had missed you and appreciate your catch-up.

Red Shoes said...

Hey you... what everyone else has said... Welcome back!!!

Europe... how much fun would THAT be?!?!?! I am jealous.

It's so good to "see" you!


JJ said...

I certainly missed you, and I am thrilled to hear you are doing so well. I love traveling, as you know, and sometimes we just have to take the time to see the world. It enhances our lives. Best to you!

monster said...

Welcome back. Your gathering process is so special -- and the fact that you've shared it makes me very lucky.

Anthony Duce said...

You express the time experienced while away so well.. Thank you for sharing. I’m even inspired☺

Barbara said...

I was so glad to hear from you and read about everything that's been happening in your life. You've accomplished so much in the past 6 months! Pleased to read about the success of the family reunion, the fab trip to Europe and your new outlook on everything. I just know without a doubt you will land a job in your chosen field! Determination!

drollgirl said...

dang, girl! you know how to pack it in and GET THINGS DONE! you are bound and determined! very impressive! and it sounds like your life is moving in the right direction. this is good. real good.

p.s. suddenly i feel like such a slacker. lol!

Unknown said...

Thank you for this article. Id personally also like to convey that it can possibly be hard when youre in school and starting out to create a long credit rating. There are many college students who are simply trying to endure and have long or positive credit history can occasionally be a difficult matter to have.

Cardsharing Server

Lira Kellerman said...

GET IT, girl. <3

Okie said...

Thanks for the recap. Nice to see a new post from you.

What an amazingly adventurous past few months. Great opportunities for growth and wonderful memories.

Sounds like some great (albeit perhaps different at first) things have happened in your life lately. Here's hoping it just keeps being great. :)

JJ said...

Have a terrific holiday season!!

Maggie May said...

This was so invigorating to read. Siphoning from your words. xo

ed pilolla said...

happy new year and wishing you all good things in 2014:) i'm envious of your travels:)

Eric W. Trant said...

I'm catching up, too, and hope the rest of your December and your Christmas and New Years were wonderful. Mine were.

Keep your eye on that prize and don't let up. I did much the same as you in 2013, namely quit my job and strike out on my own and hell with the consequences. There are consequences, I've found. There are also rewards. I found both. They're like different colored M&Ms only one of them tastes really good and the other tastes like shit. Best to grab them a handful at a time and hope for the best.

Be fearless. There is no other way. I don't know if there is ever a true success in the arts, but King's saying about writers is that if you write something and they pay you for it and the check clears and you pay your light bill, you are a success.

The rest are just degrees of that success, see.

As for the marriage and the family, unadulterated successes, it sounds like, especially if you can tread on the old bones and not crack up.

We are due any day now for our next addition, a baby boy, Finn will be his name. We are the ABC family, because our names begin with A, B, C, D, E, and now F. I can't wait.

Success. Degrees of it, and a handful of mixed M&Ms.

- Eric

Along These Lines ... said...

As someone said, be yourself, everyone else is taken.

Snowbrush said...

I hope you're continuing to enjoy life.

D.G. Hudson said...

Gathering is something we all need to do at some point. Gathering the threads of your life into something you can manage. Good luck. I'm visiting via Robin at Daily Dose, nice to meet you.

Sometimes we need to make a clean start.

mail4rosey said...

I'm just waving hello from Robin's place (Daily Dose). She's saying good things about ya over there. :) I was rolling reading your writing, that's good stuff.

JJ said...

Okay. We are ready already. Bring us up to date. Hope all is well.

JJ said...

I dropped by to say hello! I have been absent from blogging for a while, and I did miss your posts. It’s good to be back. However, when will you re-surface? Hope all is well.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin