finding my way.

Ocean Love

Still here. Still trying to figure out dharma–my purpose for living. When I was a little girl, people constantly asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. My answers changed all the time. I couldn’t think of something I’d want to do forever that actually paid me well. And when I started figuring things out, reality came along with a big fat NOPE and I made myself focus on more “realistic” things.

And it’s worked out OK for me. I’ve been a secretary, a copy editor, a proofreader. I’ve worked as a receptionist, a day care provider, an editorial assistant. And besides the copy editing, there’s nothing else that’s really held my interest or passion for very long. I get these really obsessive spurts and I get soooo deeply interested in things… and then that interest kind of fizzles out.

But certain themes keep popping up in my life and I realize that I find myself going back to them over and over:

- yoga
- writing
- books
- acting
- taking photos (for fun)
- creating
- sunshine
- disney
- copy editing
- words
- literacy
- dance
- travel

Is there some way I can consolidate some or all of these things into a viable career for myself? And if so, HOW?

I operate under this belief that I am OK at a lot of things, but not spectacular at any ONE thing. I flounder because I can be hard on myself mentally. What right do I have to feel like I should be able to do work that is not only fulfilling, but that also pays me well? Why I can’t be “normal” and be OK with the commute and the office job and just working for a living like regular people. With the economy being the way it is, I should be grateful for whatever comes my way right? Even if it kills me inside…right?

But it’s so hard for me to live like that, and I don’t have to so I don’t.

I’m taking a break from acting right now for a couple of reasons. One is that Aidan is in town and I want to spend time with him. The other is that I’m really trying to think about if this is something I want to do, and if so, what am I willing to do so that I’m making a living doing so. The thing is, as much as I love acting, I don’t know if I love it enough to do all the hustling required to “make it.” Because it’s a LOT of hustle, a lot of competition, a lot of rejection, a lot of heartbreak. And I don’t know if I am equipped to handle it for something that seems so… futile. For something I’m not sure I love that much.

But writing? I’m finally comfortable in my writing skin again and it feels amazing. Not only do I get to live in my dreams, but I get to put them on paper. My dream is still to be published someday, and wildly successful. I’m glad I am finally in the space where I can chase that particular dream again.

And yet, I browse the gossip sites (guilty pleasure) and I see the paparazzi photos and I wonder what it would be like to have people wonder about me so much that these fools will hide in bushes to take photos of me. I wonder what it would be like to land a movie role and make a few million doing something that is so fulfilling. Then I wonder if what I’d have to give up for that to happen would be worth it.

I don’t know if I fit in Chicago anymore. No, that’s not true. I KNOW I don’t fit here anymore, at least not January through March/April. Especially if we get any more winters as horrible as the one we’re apparently still having. But I know that once the weather warms up, I’ll be more at home here. If only the weather would actually warm up…. HIGHER than the 50s I mean…..

And then there is this food crisis going on with me. I’ve had a complicated relationship with food and eating for at least ten years now, so it’s kind of nothing new. But it kind of is. I’m rethinking the things I am putting in my body, and I sit around feeling guilty about almost everything I ingest (unless its water or fruit).

It hasn’t completely stopped me from eating junk food or meat or processed things, mind you. But I know it’s coming… because I hate how I feel emotionally after it’s done. :(

{sigh}

Aren’t I too old to still be on this journey of self-discovery? But it’s here and I am living it. And now I’m wondering if my strong sense of wanderlust this year isn’t really some sort of tactic I’m employing to try to find myself.

I let myself get talked into another 10 week acting workshop. I start up again on May 6. I am simultaneously dreading it and looking forward to it. I don’t even know what that means. I just know this: now that my car is fixed and the weather is warming up, I have no more excuses not to audit the Monday night class and the advanced class. Then I will make decisions from there–to continue to chase this dream, or to hang it up and look elsewhere to fulfill my dharma.

Seems like I should have done this when I was a in my 20s.

I just need some direction…. some sign. Something.

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currently.

Just a random me.

eating.

Not much, to be honest. I’ll tell you what I’ve been craving though: sushi. Lots and lots of sushi. And avocado. I am so tempted to instate a “Sushi Friday” policy in my apartment. Because I can’t stop thinking about it. I even went in the “sushi” tag on tumblr to torment myself.

reading.

Just went on a binge with a lot of YA novels. But now I’m rereading HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF BLOOD PRINCE. I need to go to the library soon to return a bunch of books and also to get new ones!

listening to.

The soundtrack and score for Divergent. Odesza.

wearing.

Yoga pants and tank tops for the win. Does anyone even say “for the win” anymore?

watching.

Nothing. Seriously, there is nothing on TV I’m interested in watching. I have a bunch of stuff saved in Netflix but I haven’t taken the time to watch any of it except for Superstar.

thinking about.

Money. Taxes. Traveling. Wanderlust. Yoga. Finding my dharma. How I need to take more photos. Weather. Bathing. Fi. Writing.

looking forward to.

Aidan arriving for Spring Break next week. Houseguests. Iowa. Family. Eventual warm weather. Travel. Sushi.

everywhere and nowhere.

Ronni

Well, it’s been a busy 12 days. I’ve had two acting classes since I last wrote, had a cold and gotten over it, and traveled to Los Angeles.

Acting is going well. My scene partner and I were really in the flow and we got some really nice compliments on our last two performances. And then, last Tuesday, the teacher said he’d want to do a One Act of the play and use me and Gabe. That, my friends, is super high praise, and almost brought me to tears. The best part is that I had so much fun working on the scene. I loved my character, I loved the situation, I loved working with Gabe. I am finally learning, slowly but surely, to let go. To take big risks. To go BALLS OUT. It’s paying off and reminding me why I went back into acting.

I’ve been assigned a new scene and a new partner. This one is super challenging and I’m really going to have to dig to figure out what the heck. But you know what? Bring it. Bring it all the way on. I’m learning how to work and research and analyze. This can’t do anything but help me. So… God help me.

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Earlier this week, I did something crazy! I flew all the way to Los Angeles to attend a special screening of the movie Divergent. The screening was through All It Takes, a charity started by Shailene Woodley and her mom that helps train children to become leaders. I wish I’d have had camps like that when I was younger!

I figured if I was going all the way out there, I was going big, so I sprung for the VIP package so I could meet some of the actors from the movie! I was so excited I could barely sleep! I got a new outfit and everything.

I was absolutely heartbroken that the main actor I wanted to see–Theo James–did NOT attend the after party, and I’m still not over it. I really, really, really wanted to meet him. You guys have no idea. Maybe you do. Whatever. But honestly, the number of near misses I have with him is getting out of hand. I’d like to just MEET HIM ALREADY OK Universe???

I did see him introduce the movie which… meh. I wanted to actually talk to him. Maybe someday. *sigh* I mean seriously, Universe. Get on that please and thank you.

Anyway, I did get to meet many other actors from the movie, including Shailene Woodley, who is the star. She is a total sweetheart. She seemed so excited that I’d traveled from Chicago for the event. Gave me tons of hugs. It was so cute when she introduced herself to me, as if I didn’t know who she was.

Me and Shailene Woodley
me and shailene woodley
she’s a sister on that priestess path

I met Christian Madsen, Ben Lloyd-Hughes, Amy Newbold, and the author of the series, Veronica Roth. I had the most fun talking to Christian, Amy, and Shai. I also met Shai’s mom, Lori, who is just as huggy and sweet as her daughter is.

(I apologize in advance for the picture quality. The lighting was dim and I was using my phone. Sometimes the iPhone 5 takes lovely photos. Unfortunately, this was not one of those times.)

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me and christian madsen, who plays al in the movie
really awesome guy, fun and super easy to talk to

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me and ben lloyd-hughes, who plays will in the movie
we are fuzzy

Me and Amy Newbold
me and amy newbold, who plays molly in the movie
absolute doll
(and jai courtney, who plays eric, in the background!)

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me and veronica roth, author of the divergent series

While I was in Los Angeles, I spent time with some friends and family. I got to see Amy, who I hadn’t seen since 2009. I always have such a good time hanging out with Amy. We’ve known each other for nearly 14 years, a fact which blows my mind.

Me and Amy
me and amy

I also got to see my brother- and sister-in-law, and we ate lunch at a really yummy place called Stacked. Basically, you order everything custom, you do it in an iPad from your table. It’s amazing. I could get exactly what I wanted. I got pulled pork with pickles and fries, and IT WAS DELICIOUS. I didn’t take a picture of my food, but I did get a picture with Eli and Melissa. I look like I’m in pain. It’s just me not being used to all that lovely sunshine.

Melissa, Eli, and Me

Let me tell you something. The second I stepped out of the airport into that mild, sunny weather, I felt like myself again. I felt like and free and happy. I knew the winter was hard on me, but I had no idea how hard. The weather was a lovely 87F and I soaked it all up like a dry plant needing water. The hot sun felt so good on my skin, and the light breeze was perfect. The sky was a deep blue, and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. It was absolutely beautiful. I even spent some time by the pool at my hotel, just letting the sun warm me all over. I loved it.

Ronni

I miss the heat.

Shine

And the views.

Malibu

And the overall beauty out there. Mountains, beaches, the sky. I kept telling Amy how lucky she is to have all those pretty mountains to look at, although driving on them would be scary as hell! All the twists and turns and cliffs? DUDE. I also miss the cool people I met out there. It was a great night of connecting… I hope we all meet again someday.

la agrees with me!!

LA obviously agrees with me. I wish I could afford to live out there. Not even necessarily to pursue acting or anything. Just to be in all that lovely sunshine, to have that beach, the Pacific ocean, the bright blue sky all the time. Not to mention, being so close to Disneyland. La la la, maybe someday.

Ocean Love

I’m ready to go somewhere else now. I don’t think Adam understands the extent of my wanderlust. He’s like “We’re going to Jekyll this summer,” and I’m all like “I CAN’T WAIT UNTIL THIS SUMMER TO GO SOMEWHERE ELSE I WANT TO TRAVEL NOW!” I’ve been looking at the Living Social Escapes and being so tempted to book one of those packages that includes flights and everything. I really want to travel out of the country.

Someday, I will.

Till next time…..

baby steps.

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I’m using this lovely photo from last summer, just to remind me of the warmer, prettier days to come. Hopefully soon. We did get a touch of nice weather today–it was in the 50s and sunny. The sun hurt my eyes because I’m just not used to seeing much of it these days. It was nice. So… the official start of Spring is in 11 days or so? Baby steps getting there. Trying to be patient… I’ll need a lot of that over the next several weeks.

Acting is a series of baby steps and huge leaps, and many steps back. All in the same class sometimes. When Adam isn’t here, I look up and practice random monologues. If the neighbors can hear me, sorry I’m not sorry. Not after what I hear coming from up there all the time.

Yesterday I had a pretty good day! I know a lot of people were upset because of the time change–Spring Forward is never easy–but I’m glad for the later sunsets. Longer days mean warmer days (soon) and warmer, longer days means more yoga! And speaking of yoga, I went to Ashley Turner’s Urban Priestess workshop on Saturday and as usual, it was lovely. And inspiring. She is actually going to host an Urban Priestess training beginning in October. I have some months to think about it, but I might do it. Ha, I feel like the kid who has no idea what she wants to be when she grows up. Yeah, that is what I am, isn’t it? I’m lucky I’m in a position where I can explore.

Anyway, I was talking about yesterday and why it was good. The first thing is that I was downloaded my digital copy of CATCHING FIRE, and wondering why I didn’t have THE HUNGER GAMES downloaded. Then I realized I’d never opened the DVD. When I did, there was an expired digital download in there. That annoyed me. Why should I even buy the Blu-ray discs with the digital download if the downloads can expire? But then I reread the wording. It said the download “may” not be available. So I tried it. And it worked. I got my movie. So I decided to pull out a bunch of other “expired” digital downloads to see if they’d work. They TOTALLY WORKED. One had an expiration date of 2011 and it still worked. I was so excited. Now I have a bunch of movies on my computer, I don’t have to schlep the DVDs around or worry about an internet connection for them to work. I can just watch them. This will come in handy when I am traveling. Something I plan to do a lot more of this year. So, the moral of the story is… if you bought those three-disc sets with a Blu-ray, digital copy, and a DVD, and you never got around to getting your digital copy before the expiration date, try it out. It might work. I’m glad mine did.

Another good thing is that my favorite pair of jeans? My 7 for All Mankind jeans that I got back in 2006? Well, in 2008 or 2009, I outgrew them. :( I could still get them on, but they were not comfortable to keep buttoned for very long. But I held onto them because I was determined to fit them again. I tried them on yesterday and THEY TOTALLY FIT. I am soooo thrilled about this you have no idea. Those are my most comfortable jeans ever and I just love them. It’s taken me years to be able to fit them again comfortably and honestly, I’m still worried that it was a fluke…but as of last night, they were super comfortable and looked amazing. Yay.

The bad thing that happened was when I went to get my external hard drive to back up the movies, and I couldn’t get it to connect. I was worried that it had died, but it turned out to be something weird with the cable housing. I had to wiggle it just so. I managed to get everything off of THAT drive and on to a new one, and I have another back up one for my most precious things. I was scared I’d lost a lot of great stuff! But nope. It was all good.

Now, I am off to read. Just wanted to shoot a quick, pointless update. Till next time….

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