ronni

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.

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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…..

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unsettled.

Morton Arboretum 2013

Monday was a weird day. I worked onsite at VSA, but there wasn’t a lot for me to do. I ripped a hole in my infinity scarf because it got caught in my coat zipper and I didn’t have the patience to try to work it out. I got some really sad news about a friend which shattered my heart. Spent some time talking to another friend and digging deep into some things in my past that I hadn’t allowed myself to explore for a long time. That shook things up even more. Then I came home and listened to music and studied my scene again. Watched some Divergent footage; promos are ramping up for it big time. Now I’m sitting here, my mind racing because for some reason I just can’t settle down and go to bed even though I’m tired.

My stomach’s been upset the past several days. Just a tummy ache that comes and goes. Nothing seems to be able to fix it.

Found new music that I love ONE DAY TOO LATE. I fell in love with the band Odesza Saturday. Darned if they weren’t in town Friday night. But, the good part is that I was looking all over so I could buy their music–and realized that had it all up for free on SoundCloud. So even though I got on the Odesza boat one day too late, I didn’t miss out on getting all the songs.

I have to be up early for a massage, which will be pleasant. I’m not sure how late I will be out, because Adam wants to get lunch or something, and I also have acting class. Last week, acting class went until almost midnight. This week, I hope it doesn’t go that late because it’s possible they will need me at VSA Wednesday and Thursday. Yay money and nice people and free snacks. I really am glad they call me in all the time. And I guess if it does go late, there is always Red Bull to keep me up the next day. The sell the blueberry one in the store at the building VSA is in, so there’s that.

But acting class. I’ve been studying my role. A LOT. I’ve pretty much got the lines down pat, but I’m counting on my partner to know his lines so I can respond to them like I want emotionally. He and I haven’t rehearsed together as much as I’d like to. Everyone’s busy. Our manual says we have to take responsibility for our own crap, so I’ve been doing a lot of work on my own. I know Ed’s gonna make us do the scene and he’s always really hard on my scene partner which means he’s going to be hard on me too by association. I’m going back and forth between being really excited to perform the scene to thinking “Wtf am I doing?” What if all the stuff I’ve been practicing on my own flies out the window and I get up there and look like a total idiot? What if I end up doing the whole scene sounding like Roz from Monsters, Inc. and I get kicked out subsequent workshops? Then I’ll be devastated because I’ll know for sure that I’m not special. That I’m just mediocre at a bunch of things but not great at any one thing, which is why I’m 39 years old and I don’t have an established career or own a home and my car doesn’t work and I live in a city that I hate half the time because I just have no clue where the hell I fit in this world and what I’m supposed to do to get there.

I feel like a bunch of stuff’s been stirring up inside me with no indication of settling down any time soon. I don’t feel comfortable in my own skin anymore. I want to scratch my skin off. I just found a bunch of old pictures from a few years ago that are disgusting me because I look so out of shape and gross in them. I just spent a bunch of money on makeup so I can feel pretty again because right now I feel so ugly and have for a long time. I’m missing my yoga community but I can’t drag myself to the studio. Maybe yoga would help me on more than one level. Except it keeps getting so super cold out. And my car is out of commission and also falling apart so I probably need to get rid of it even though I loathe to do so. I’m tired of making Adam drive me everywhere especially when I CAN FUCKING WALK to Moksha. And Mercury is going into retrograde this week which is ALL I need right now.

So yeah. That’s the state of me these days. A hot mess. But what else is new? I’ll probably be like this until summer. And I feel so shitty about all this because I personally know people who are dealing with much worse and I feel like my stupid depression is just… stupid and uncalled for.

*sigh*

OK, that’s enough out of me. I need to try to sleep but I doubt it’ll happen.

Peace.

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back and forth.

Fence in the Garden District

I don’t know about you, but I am not sad to see January go. The weather here has been a nightmare. I know it’s winter and all, but if you’ve been reading this for any amount of time, you know how winter affects me. This one is especially brutal, because the bitter cold keeps coming back. And it’s following me. Adam and I went to New Orleans to visit a friend, and also to escape the cold. Darned if it wasn’t cold there too.

I also know that February can be pretty brutal in terms of weather as well. I’m really ready for winter to be over.

But ANYWAY. Because everyone’s complaining about the weather and it’s so cliche….

Here’s what I’ve been up to the past few weeks:

Act III Scene 1

Yup. That is a script. I’m in acting class and have been for a few weeks now. It’s terrifying. Utterly terrifying. But I’ve become complacent and this is exactly what I need to get me the hell out of my comfort zone. Believe me, I resist it. There is so much work involved. It’s not just getting on stage and pretending to be a character. Oh no sireee bob. It’s so much more. Which I knew in a way. But it’s been so long since I’ve done this, so I am very, very rusty. Script analysis. Character studies. Roadmaps. Lots and lots of research. Trying to find those “moments.” Always coming down hard on myself for not nailing that “heightened sense of reality” that I so desperately want to obtain.

It’s a challenge. I feel like quitting every other day. I know I could and just eat the tuition. But I’d be letting myself down. And I’m tired of doing that.

Plus I kinda love it. Those moments when it clicks and I feel it. It’s rare for now, since I’m essentially starting over, but it’s happening more and more. It’s good when that happens. Makes all the work and angst worth it.

French Quarter

As I mentioned, I went to New Orleans. While I was there, I had my first po’boy sandwich and it was freaking frakking delicious. My second po’boy sandwich was OK, but that first one was so, so good. I also had delicious beignets, and yummy bread pudding, and greens, and creole chicken at a fancy place called Galatoire’s in the French Quarter. I got super drunk on a Monsoon that I shared with Adam, then proceeded to take a selfie in the bathroom.

Drunk at Snug Harbor

I saw beautiful architecture, bought some awesome things, and listened to good live jazz music. It was a fun trip!

New Orleans Mosaic
1. Beignets, 2. Galatoire’s, 3. French Quarter, 4. Lafayette Cemetary #1,
5. Rose, 6. First ever Po-boy, 7. House, 8. Chicken Creole, 9. Palm Trees

So now I have a travel bug. I want to go to a tropical island and lie in the sun and read all day. I want to go to Paris (but not until it’s warmer) and London (same) and just go around taking pictures and eating yummy things. But… all in good time.

On another note, I want to thank everyone who took the time to comment on my last post. I wrote it right before Christmas and sat on it for weeks because I was afraid to share. It means a lot that people read it and that it resonated.

That’s all for now. Short and sweet! Till next time…..

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