Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Loss


My biggest fear.

It’s not lack of acceptance. It’s not losing faith in myself. My biggest fear isn’t of bugs or spiders, snakes or any other creepy crawly thing.  My biggest fear has nothing to do with clowns, masked figures or hairy legs, even though I hate all of the above.

It’s not even failure, although that runs across my mind every day. I worry constantly about where I’m going, disregarding how far I’ve come. But that still allows me to sleep at night.

No. My biggest fear is loss. I’m afraid of losing things. People. Myself.

I’m afraid that I’ll misplace something. I’ll lose it in a time of need and hinder others or myself. I don’t like displacing other people, so this for me is tough. I know that it sounds silly. I’ve been told my entire life that everything is replaceable, but is it?

When I was around 9 years old I would go back and forth to my father’s house every other weekend. Sometimes I would only make it down once a month depending on his mood, and whether or not my step mom was around. She would make him take me on his weekends, and looking back I wonder if he ever would have done it on his own. (Our relationship is much better now. I have her to thank.)

I sat at his house one Summer in his 3 foot blow up swimming pool around the side of the house. My sister had gone out with some of her friends and I was there alone with my dad. He was inside the house working on whatever my dad worked on at home and I sat underneath the trees basking in the sunlight that slipped through them.

All in all it was beautiful day, but I missed my mom. I wasn’t the kind of kid to go away from home a lot. She was only forty-five minutes away, but for some reason I was having a really hard time being away from her. As I sat in the pool, surrounded in the lukewarm water, my blood ran ice cold. What if she wasn’t less than an hour away? What if she left me?

Better yet, what if something happened and she was forced to leave? What if she got sick or something happened and passed away? I’m not sure what child at that age has those thoughts, or what made them come to me, but what I do know is that it was the first time I had ever been overwhelmed with emotion. That was the day that I realized two things.

One: I was terrified of loss. I didn’t know what to do with it. I had never felt it. I couldn’t grasp it, but I knew it was there and could be lurking around every corner.

Two: I realized that I wasn’t like most children.  I felt emotion. Fear. Love. Passion. I felt them more strongly than most people my age could even imagine, much less comprehend.  I just didn’t know what to do with them yet. I cried for hours in that pool, and couldn’t stop until I heard my mother’s voice over the phone.

It took me years to figure out what any of it meant. I hated my emotions from the 6th grade until Senior year of college. It was then that I started to appreciate that level of passion. I had loved few times by then, but I loved hard. Maybe three girls I had loved, and only two had I been in love with. It’s interesting looking back because I spent so many hours looking back, thinking, “I want that again.” I had lost it.

That’s where my fear comes from.

Around a month after graduation from college I moved to California. I got my dream job, met celebrities, and lived in an incredible place.  This was long before my move in September. I’m actually on my second go around.

I thought that the job was everything I ever wanted. I thought I was pushing myself where I wanted to be. The truth was, I was changing who I was to be something I wasn’t. I was trying to make bread out of a brick, and it wasn’t going to happen. Instead I slowly began to hate myself. Instead of softening, I crumbled. I had no idea who I was turning into, or who I had been.

I was changing… and I didn’t like it.

I sat down one night, and I prayed. It was the first time in years. I didn’t rush to read the bible. I didn’t seek advice from a preacher, or involve religion in any way. Instead I simply asked for internal guidance by a greater power. I asked if anyone was out there in the shape of God, that they help me to where I needed to be. If I was supposed to stay, then I would stay. If I was supposed to go, then I would go. I wasn’t sure yet where, but I knew I would do whatever was best for myself. After thinking over it long and hard, I wound up leaving the job and moving home. I decided to start again. To do it differently this time. To not lose myself. To not forget who I was. I didn’t want to change. I wanted to grow. I loved who I had been, I just wanted to be the better version.

I wanted to be kind, and free. I wanted to love and be loved. I wanted to find myself in the eyes of another and not question what their intentions were. I wanted to feel the wind in my face on a Friday because I slipped out onto a back road. I wanted to feel like I wasn’t failing anymore. I wanted to not be lost.

I spent a month in shambles at my sisters. Not sure of who I was or what I was capable of. I didn’t know if I wanted to be in film. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to stay in the South. I didn’t know. I had the post-graduation melt down, and I needed to grow up. I needed to take care of myself. To be self-sufficient.

It was time to win.

So that’s it. That’s my biggest fear. I struggle with it every day. I can’t give up, because I can’t lose. It’s so hard being away from my mother. Being away from the twins. I call home everyday, and I know that eventually a day will come when my mother won’t answer the phone, but I quickly think of something else. I know I can’t handle that thought right now.

I wonder. Will I be that strong?

I knew a girl. She lost her mother at an early age. When we met I couldn’t understand what she could possibly have felt. What she went through. I also couldn’t understand why she wasn’t as open as me. Why she couldn’t feel life the way I felt it. I think looking back, it’s because I never lost it to begin with. Recently her Gram, who she’s been living with since passed away as well. I tried to be supportive, but …

“I have never lost someone that close to me, I can’t tell you what you’re feeling is right or wrong. What I can tell you is that you are one of the most incredibly strong people I have ever met. You are everything that I wish I was. You… have faced my biggest fear, and won. I tip my hat to you, and if I could I would wrap you in a hug. I know that you feel like every time you lose, a part of your love gets cut out. You feel that you can’t get close because of what has happened, but the truth is… I think that it’s the incredible people like you who are out here to help the weaker survive. You’re the one who will hold the hand of someone like me, and help them exist. You’re the one.”

I hope that it helps. If not her, then someone else. Know that you are doing the best that you can do, and we’re all thankful for the way you deal. Good or bad. You’re fine. You’re more than fine. You’re incredible.

I hope that everyone has a good week. Just remember. We all have bad days. That’s fine, but if you’re positive, even the bad things can’t keep you down.

In fact, I was in a small wreck today. It reminded me that when the inevitable happens, you roll with it. You can’t stop things like that. You can’t change them once they’ve happened… And really you’re not losing. You’re just redirecting yourself to win in another place. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Good Morning


“Good Morning.” She woke me with a smile and a kiss on my cheek.

“Mmmm. Good morning.” I laid in the morning’s light, still wrapped in the blankets of the night before. She brought me hot tea, and we lay there preparing ourselves to get up. I had to call my boss to determine whether or not she needed me for the day, but in the meantime I was told that I needed breakfast. She prepared me scrambled eggs, buttered toast, and sliced avocado. I stumbled, sleepily to my chair and sat down. Another kiss on top of my head, and I devoured the “breakfast of champions” as she calls it

One phone call later revealed that I was free for the day.

“What should we do?” I asked.

She smiled at me sweetly, listing off options ranging from kayaking to the zoo. I burst out:

“Disneyland.”

She laughed, and nodded her head. We jumped up, getting ready. When I was finished, I sat in front of the door waiting impatiently like a small child.

“Are you ready yet?” I said, doubling the syllables in each word forcing them out with a whine. We stopped at the grocery store along the way, and she came walking out with roses and a balloon. I’m sure a few of you are thinking about now, “this has to be fake. Women like this don’t exist.”

That’s what I thought, too.

See I’ve been the one to give it my all before. I’ve been the one to go above and beyond without receiving anything in return, but what I love… Is that she’s willing to give it all back. Not even just willing, but that she does. Voluntarily. I never have to ask.

It’s an incredible selfless love. One that I have never felt before, but that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

We spent the day walking around the park, laughing and holding hands. Waiting an hour in line for a ride that lasted three minutes, but it was worth it every time, because I spent that hour with her. 

We talked about everything, from what we saw ourselves doing in 5 years, to where we wanted to get married. What our wedding dresses would look like, and where we would vacation on our Honeymoon. We talked about how many kids we wanted, and whether or not we would adopt. We talked about our parents, and their influence on our children. For the first time, I wasn’t scared of these conversations. Instead, I relish in them.

This morning I woke up in her arms. She kissed me gently on the cheek again, and asked “tea”? I stumbled behind her to the kitchen, and she made me the “breakfast of champions” all over again. Not for my Valentine’s present. Not for any special occasion, but because she loves me. Not long from now we will head out to gather my passport. She’s asked me to go to England with her. Not to live, just to visit.

I spoke to her mother this morning for the first time. It’s funny to hear so many English accents around me all the time. She’s brought an entirely new light to my life, and every day is different. Even now as they sit across the room on Skype, talking about the day… I can’t help but smile. Even the simplest things seem beautiful coming from her.

We sat on top of cliff the other day, looking out over the ocean. We read aloud a story by Tennessee Williams, but couldn’t even get past the intro. He spoke about the life of fame and fortune. How depriving it is of our humanity. He was a firm believer (post The Glass Menagerie) that if we can do for ourselves, then we must. To let others do for us is repulsive and shameful. Valets, maids, butlers and such, are all enabling to the demise of our vital need for independence.

It’s sad that we created this unnecessary hierarchy anyway.

Busy week this week. Love you all. Stay strong.

Tennessee

Friday, February 8, 2013

So Much


So much. Where do I even begin?

To begin, as some of you already know, last weekend I worked on a little show called “The Voice”. It was open casting calls in Los Angeles, and I stood on my feet for twelve hours, two days in a row shuffling 3.000 scared/excited individuals to their destiny.

I met so many incredible people, from the ones behind the scenes, exhausted as we worked side by side, to the ones in the hallways who were literally beside themselves with nerves. More than once, people would ask me… “Do you think I’ve got a shot?” Now as a production assistant, I couldn’t really offer them advice, so instead I responded with “Do you?” It wasn’t about whether or not I believed in them. It was always about whether or not they believed in themselves.

I couldn’t help but smile though when someone that chatted with me before going inside would come out holding a pass to the next round. Fingers crossed I’ll be able to follow a few of them through to the live auditions. That weekend was such an eye-opener for me. I am probably the luckiest person I know. This is what a weekend looks like for me…

I don’t even mind anymore that I work 7 days a week, because it doesn’t feel like work. When I’m doing my job, I feel happy, thrilled to be a part of such a creative and wonderful environment.

Last Friday I had lunch with Loni Anderson and Bob Flick from The Brothers Four. They’re friends of my boss, Dawn Wells. You probably know her as Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Island. They told me their love story of how they met in Wisconsin when she was 17. He was 24, and just out of college. She pretended to be a senior in college, and he was a huge young adult heart-throb singer. They talked for a few years and drifted apart. She went on to be an actress, and married Burt Reynolds. They stopped talking and almost forty years later she saw Bob on a talk show. She picked up the phone and called his office leaving a message. He picked up in the middle of the message, but remained silent. “Bob, is that you?” she asked. “I’m trying to think up something clever to say about Wisconsin.” He replied. They’ve been married now for five years I believe. Seeing them together, is like watching love struck teenagers.

This week I watched my beautiful girlfriend perform at The House of Blues, and right now… Well, right now she’s setting on an amp across the room typing up her latest press release. It takes everything I have not to rush across the room and wrap my arms around her begging for the attention she can’t afford to give. Instead I sit patiently, typing away on my laptop.

Ok. So I did run over there to steal one kiss.

Lying in bed last night she said to me “ I want to get something for us both for Valentine’s Day. We can keep it here.”

“What is it?” my natural response.
“It’s silly really.”

“IS IT A PUPPY?!”

“No babe.” She laughed.

I can’t really have a puppy right now anyway. I’m far to busy… but I can’t have a baby either, so a puppy is more realistic.

“Tell me.”

She lay against me, with her head against mine.

“I think we should pick out a rocking chair.”

Can I just add that she could have said  “toilet paper” with that English accent, and I would have agreed.

“A rocking chair?”

“Something that can watch our love grow over the years.”

I melted. I can’t wait for our rocking chair. I can’t wait to write love poem, after love poem in that chair. Listen to her play her guitar, and sing me thousands of beautiful songs from that chair. In fact, I don’t think that anyone has ever been so sweet, and so thoughtful towards me.

I love her.

I know without a doubt in my mind that I love her. I don’t want to sound na├»ve… I won’t say that I think she’ll be forever… But I will say that I wouldn’t mind a bit if she was. We’re still in the “Honeymoon” phase. I still get butterflies when I see her. Even now, she’s out with her cousin at a concert, and I’m going stir crazy trying to think of something to write that isn’t about her.

I can’t.

Actually, I’ll take that back. I’m fine with writing about her. This is the most inspired I’ve felt in months. She makes me push. I sit still when I’m alone. Resting. Waiting. She’s the kind of girl that had rather do anything than wait. She likes to live.

A musician with a law degree, and an English accent. Did I mention I was lucky? It’s interesting, because I can think back over the last year or two. I met some really lovely people. I even thought that I was in love. Maybe I was, but she didn’t love me. When I look into my girlfriends eyes, I see a burning fiery passion welling inside of her. I know that every touch will melt me, and I cling to her. I hope for more.

I would drive ten hours to spend ten minutes with her, but she would never let me. She would meet me in the middle. And then we could spend 5 hours and ten minutes in the arms of one another. God… this is what this feels like.

“Marry Me” by Train is playing on Pandora. I’m certain that it can read my mind. She actually said to me last night “I don’t want to scare you, but I’m going to marry you one day.”

I believe her.

I am sitting in her house now, waiting for her to get home. I’ve spent the majority of the evening talking to her dad. He told me that he could remember the night that we met. The look on her face when she said “I’ve met someone.” It’s so interesting to hear about our love from someone else’s perspective. See, I knew that I adored her, and she said that she’s loved me since the moment we met… but he laughed when he said “I hope that you stay with Rosie.” As if he knows something that I don’t.

 I think I’ll wind down this post with one final bit of advice…

Don’t run from it. If love is there, right in front of you, waiting to be felt… cling to it and never let go. Now, let’s hope that I’m smart enough to take my own advice.

Remember me…

Tennessee