I Have Been Changed For Good

This post may get a little sentimental, I’m just warning y’all from the beginning. There’s nothing I hate more than sitting down to read an article or a blog post expecting to guffaw my socks off and I end up in a huddled mass of tears.

Lately, I’ve been a little stressed. Honestly, that’s an understatement. I’ve been really freaking stressed out and I think it’s because of  working ludicrous hours with tiny little people screaming at me all day. Fortunately, it hasn’t reached the level of completely losing my sh*t like I did back here, if you guys will recall.

But, it did get bad enough for me to spend an entire morning in bed on Saturday and get more than a little introspective. I really hate it when my inner monologue decides to get philosophical. I just picture my Conscience sitting across the table from my Consciousness at a hipster coffee shop shooting barbs back and forth at one another over steaming cups of chai latte.

Conscience: But what really, is there, in terms of consequences for using the aerosol spray we used this morning.

Consciousness: Is your chai latte not sweet enough? because mine is DEFINITELY not sweet enough.

Conscience: Maybe we should start in on that script we want to write–we don’t know how much time we really have left to dwell upon the Earth and we want our time to be meaningful.

Consciousness: I want a third chocolate croissant.

Conscience and Consciousness just chillin’ because they’re currently unemployed and giving in to their artistic selves.

Don’t ask me why they’re depicted as bearded white men–they just are.

This post has already taken a decided turn away from where I wanted to go. So where was I?

Ahhh, yes, INTROSPECTION.

I recently dusted off my “Wicked” album–it’s a really incredible show with an amazing soundtrack. One of my favorite songs, that I also sang with one of my favorite sisters during sorority recruitment, was this one:

Take a listen if you’re unfamiliar with it–the two women singing are the Wicked Witch of the West and Galinda/Glinda the “Good” Witch as they go their separate ways in life.

One of the most poignant set of lyrics for me is this one:

I’ve heard it said,
That people come into our lives
For a reason
Bringing something we must learn.
And we are lead to those
Who help us most to grow if we let them.
And we help them in return.
Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true
But I know I’m who I am today
Because I knew you.

One of my favorite mentors is moving to New York City tomorrow.

I don’t know how to feel about it at all–in this day and age, technology keeps us more connected to our loved ones around the world than ever before. But there’s something I really don’t like about having a person who has helped me learn SO MUCH over the last year and a half move 3,000+ miles away. She taught me how to “Lean In”. She helped me tap into, not only my potential, but also a spirituality that had been sitting dormant inside of me for what felt like decades. She unknowingly helped connect the dots to the crippling anxiety I sometimes experience and gave me a new outlook that helped me to realize that everything is not urgent and is not dependent upon immediate action on my part. That my future must be built brick by brick over time and not by hurriedly slapping together random planks of wood and calling it “done”. She helped me learn that I need not endlessly stream the thought that “I AM CERTAINLY GOING TO DIE” inside my brain whenever I experience a panic attack––which is huge.

Thinking of her leaving induced me to think of the other people over time that have entered and exited my life. I feel like there are several categories of people.

  • Some people were just acquaintances that you may share a good memory or two with–or maybe the memories aren’t particularly pleasant, but they didn’t shake you to your core. It was casual.
  • Then there are people who you’ve just lost touch with because of distance and time and change of life. People who you may make an effort to see when you travel back to your hometown, or that you wouldn’t mind bumping into on the street and making plans for a “catch-up coffee date” that reminds you why they were in your life in the first place.
  • And then there is a group of people with whom you’ve cut/severed/decimated ties and really can’t reopen them because everyone involved has received some sort of closure. To step back into contact with these people would just open old wounds and erase every effort you made to move past their existence in your life. In fact, for a brief period, you probably wished that they’d stop existing altogether.

And for whatever reason, when I’m in my most philosophically emo state, it’s this last group that can embed its claws so deeply into my brain that I’m beyond redirection. At these times, I’m faced with two choices: I can either recall every painful detail of our friendship, or I can refer to the quote I listed above.

That people come into our lives for a reason/bringing something we must learn.

So I sit and think about how I started each relationship and what I looked like coming out of it. Because even if I feel like I “regressed” as a person for the majority of that time we spent together, there absolutely has to be at leastone positive point–even if that point is realizing that that connection wasn’t good for me and I moved on.

Now lemme at those chocolate croissants.

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Finding Motivation

Taps mic–“Ahem–IS THIS THING ON?!”

It’s been a while, you guys, I know, but I figured as the holiday season nears, why not dust off the old blog?

Where to begin?

Actually, where did I leave off? Oh yeah–I was exiled in NYC, working on the Upper West Side commuting from the Lower East Side, wallowing in self-pity (and daily torrential downpours).

I’ve been back in LA for months, working hard for the money, and making the futile effort to get my life together. Once I reasoned that that takes time, I allotted some leeway for this thing called “having fun and being social”. I’ll catch you up on all of those things I’ve been up to as time goes on, but I wanted to write this blog (aptly titled) about how I’ve recently been finding ways to kick myself in the pants and actually DO SOMETHING besides day dream about when I’ll be a filthy rich housewife.

Here are some of my rituals to get the old Think Tank chugging along:

First things first. Breathe. So easy–anyone alive can do it. Literally, if you’re alive, you’re doing it.

You’re on your way to greatness, Champ.

If you’re not breathing, you probably aren’t alive which means you’re probably not reading this. If you ARE alive and you AREN’T breathing but you ARE reading this–seek medical help.

Second. Make lists. Lots of them.

  • Make lists of things you need to do;
  • Make lists of financial goals;
  • Make lists of goals you want to accomplish by the end of the week:
    • the month,
    • the year,
    • two years,
    • go CRAZY and get that 5 year plan going;
  • Make lists of whatever it is you enjoy making lists out of–just do it, because it feels pretty darn productive and gives you a visual THING to hold yourself accountable.

Third. Budget your time. Look at all of those lists and decide when and where in your free time you can squeeze in each individual assignment. The key, here, is to try and be as realistic as possible.

Lastly, and this is honestly my MOST FAVORITE motivator: try and look at your life from the viewpoint of YOURSELF, but 5 years ago. For me, it’s thinking back to 2009 Short and Feisty:

I was a first semester college senior dealing with a new diagnosis for my anxiety & panic issues while navigating the dissolution of several friendships, struggling through some precarious housing struggles, gaining newer (read: healthier) friendships, and JUST TRYING TO MAKE IT TO MAY AND GRADUATION-CAN-YOU-PLEASE-CUT-ME-SOME-SLACK-UNIVERSE?!

I knew that the following year, I wanted to become a live-in nanny in DC to pay off my student loans (which I did end up doing and I did end up paying off a large chunk in those 1.5 years) while doing acting on the side (which I did not get to do). I already had my sights set on NYC or LA, though I had no clue how I would get there with no money, a 20 year old car I’d purchased from my neighbor for $300, and not a connection to my name (I took out a loan, which I paid back almost as soon as I got to LA, I bought a new car from the money I made nannying in DC, and I’m now in LA with both friends, friends that feel like family, and a few genuinely good connections to the industry which I hope to make work for me sooner rather than later). I’d started writing a blog during this time (one that I’ve now abandoned for this shinier, newer model) that eventually helped spark my love of writing (that’s just plain ironic since I was already an English major–you’d think writing as a career would’ve crossed my mind once or twice by then).

In short: I wasn’t in a good place, but my sights were set on the future. THAT’S what kept me struggling through papers, that’s what helped me side-line the drama, that’s what made me actually want to wake up the next day and toil through what had become a monotonous cycle of school, sleep, clubs, school, sleep, clubs, etc.


I like to think that if 2009 Me were able to catch a glimpse of what 2014 Me was doing, she’d probably end up sobbing uncontrollably.

You know, “the ugly cry” kind of cry.

I just think she’d be so incredibly relieved to find out that:

“Hey! We’re doing ok! More than that, we’re still moving forward. We’re still chasing that dream, we haven’t thrown in the towel. We’re still working our butt off and not making excuses. We’re holding down a stable job and supporting ourself, we’re blazing a path to living debt-free, and best of all WE ARE NOT HOMELESS LIVING IN A CARDBOARD BOX ON THE STREETS OF NYC/LA!”

Albert-Einstein-Quote-Happy-Life

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