Happy 2020!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! I love New Year’s. I love the idea of starting fresh and making resolutions and vision boards and setting goals for the next 365 days… clearly.

I’ve been prepping for this new year for the last month or so. I bought some great journals, made a couple of vision boards and set new goals for 2020.

One of my big goals (besides doing another dry year) is to be more open, vulnerable, and truthful. I wasn’t really great at any of those things last year. So, in the interest of vulnerability, openness, and honesty, I’m going to share what’s on my goal list and vision boards with you.

I’m using The New Hollywood’s “Manifesting Your Mission” journal this year to track all of my intentions for 2020. I LOVE this journal. I used it in 2019 and it was one of the few things that kept me (somewhat) sane during a hard year. I highly recommend getting yourself one. They’re available for purchase online through The New Hollywood’s website ($25).

One thing this journal talks about is setting goals vs. visualizations.

Goals are measurable things. Things you have control over. Some of my goals are:

-No alcohol for 365 days.

-Working out 4x a week.

-Starting my day with celery juice every morning.

-Hiking with my pup, Warner, on the weekends.

-Reading for an hour before bed every night.

-Daily meditation/journaling. (I’m using Commanding Life’s Daily Journal for all my journaling needs this year.)

-Spending less time on social media, specifically, spending less time internet stalking exes on social media.

-Finishing the 5th draft of my Vietnam script.

-Finishing the 1st draft of my rom-com.

-Finishing the 1st draft of my play.

-Shooting my short film by March 2020.

-Treating myself to a mani/pedi once a month because it makes me feel fancy.

-Spending more time with the amazing, smart, beautiful, creative, badass women in my life.

I have a few other goals, but these are the big ones, the ones that I think will not only help me have a healthier life physically, emotionally, and spiritually, but will also set me up for the success I want this year.

Which brings me to visualization. Visualization is for the things you want that may not be entirely in your control. Vision boards are like an ultimate wish list and I think that if you focus on these visualizations while simultaneously working towards your goals, it can be pretty magical.

Sharing my visions is scarier than sharing my goals. It makes me feel really vulnerable, knowing that people could read this list and roll their eyes while whispering “yeah right” under their breath. But, I’m gonna do it, so roll and scoff away if you feel so inclined…

-I want a contract on a soap opera. When I was 10 years old, a friend of my father’s, who was an actress on the east coast, told me that she really wanted to be on a soap opera. It’s stable, fun, creative work, and well, that sounded pretty good to 10 year old me and sounds really, really good to 32 year old me. I was lucky enough to do an episode of The Young and the Restless a couple of years ago and I LOVED that day on set. It was exciting and welcoming and I want more of that in 2020.

-I want to book a guest star on a prime time network show. And if I’m getting really specific with this one, I want to book a guest star on “This Is Us”. I really want to work with that cast and I think the writing on that show is beautiful. I’d love to say the words that those writers have written.

-I want one supporting role in a studio feature. I had a few close calls last year and some really amazing auditions for films I would’ve killed to be a part of. I really want to know what it feels like to call my mom and say “I booked it!”, after one of those auditions.

-I want to be in a holiday movie. One good, sappy, boy-meets-girl-and-they-fall-in-love-at-Christmastime, holiday movie. It’s been on my actor’s bucket list for a while now, so, let’s see that come into fruition in the next 365 days.

-I want to work with Hugh Jackman. Six years ago, I went to a taping of Inside the Actor’s Studio with Hugh Jackman and at the end of the conversation, Hugh took audience questions. I raised my hand and I asked Mr. Jackman, “Have you ever felt like quitting?” He said, “No. Not really.” And then he asked me, “How old are you?”, I said, “I’m 26.” And he said, “You have plenty of time and you’re going to be just fine. Don’t give up.” I’ve thought about that interaction a lot, especially in the last couple of years when I’ve really considered quitting. I’d love to work with Hugh and have that moment come full circle.

-I want to travel outside of the US. I’m 32 years old and I’ve never had a passport. I’ve never left the country. I made this a goal in 2016, but quickly realized that this belonged on my vision board, not my goal list because traveling is expensive and as a struggling artist, having extra income for travel isn’t as in my control as I wish it could be.

-And one more thing on my vision board, one that’s scariest to share… I want to fall in love. As you probably know by now, my heart hurt a lot this past year. It’s the biggest reason I’ve decided to do another dry year and take care of myself. I hope learning to love myself again will bring the other kind of love into my life. I mean, I’m not getting any younger, and Jim and Eva need some grand babies (yes, I’m deflecting with a bit of humor to make admitting this heartfelt desire a little easier).

So, there you have it. My hopes, dreams, and heart in writing. Maybe in 365 days I’ll look back at this and roll my eyes too, but maybe, maybe, I’ll look back and say, “I did it.” I really hope that’s the case.

2019

Sucked.
Big time.
At least for me.

And I guess that is what’s led me back here. This year sucked so bad, I thought to myself, “Surely, I can’t be the only one feeling this way.” So I’ve spent the better part of the last week perusing social media for the inevitable “Eff you, 2019” memes, but have yet to find any. I guess I was feeling a bit alone with my thoughts, but then figured that maybe there are people out there feeling the same way and I should start my own “2019 was the worst” meme, only make it a blog. So, like, a long-form meme.

I got the wind knocked out of me this year. A few high points, but mostly lows. My struggle with anxiety and depression has been almost constant, the work I love felt painful and pointless, I got another year older, which only perpetuated my anxiety because the older I get the more my career is starting to feel like an unrequited love story, and then I went through a break up. The mother of all break ups. One of those break ups that makes you question everything you ever thought you knew about love and everything you thought you knew about yourself. I stepped out of a one and a half year relationship, took a long look in the mirror and I didn’t recognize what I saw. I didn’t even recognize the sound of my own voice, and the thoughts that voice was preaching in my head weren’t very healthy.

You’d think coming out of that, I would pick myself up by the bootstraps and vow to do better, that’s what I would’ve done, two, five, even ten years ago. But, I didn’t do that this time. Instead, I started feeding the negativity I was feeling and using it as fuel to get through another day. I masked my emotions, deflected any and all concern from my friends and family, and I didn’t cry. Not once. If you know me, you know that’s a very strange, bright, red flag. I cry all the time. Or at least, I did.

When I left this blog a little over a year ago, I said it was because I was craving privacy. And that’s true, I was. For the most part, I still am. But, in true Amelia fashion, my need for introspective moments swung to the extreme side of the spectrum and my privacy turned into seclusion. I was hiding, not just from the public, but from myself. All of the awareness, and presence, and love I built when I started this blog almost five years ago seemed to vanish in a few short months due to a broken heart and an extreme feeling of “not-enough-ness”.

So, I’m back. I’m writing. That feels really good. And I’m considering another dry year, but for completely different reasons than the first time. The first time, back in 2015, it was because, well, I was drinking a lot and that was distracting me from all of my hopes and dreams. And if you’ve read this blog before, you know that during that first year, this crazy thing happened when I cut out those distractions… I found myself.

But then this year happened and I lost her. I’d really like to find her again.

I realize that some/most people reading this might think “Well, that’s a little extreme, maybe you should try something else. Like therapy.” And to that I say, you haven’t been paying attention. I’m full of extremes. I’m an all or nothing person. I fall in love after a first date and if I open a pint of Ben and Jerry’s I finish the entire thing in one sitting. When I cry, I do it with my entire body, and don’t even get me started on the noise that comes out when I laugh. That’s just how I operate. I’m either in or I’m out. I’ve been spending a lot of time “out” and I’d like to dive back “in”.

And that’s what I intend to do in the new year.
New year, 2015 me.

Just A Day

I know, I know, it’s been a while. You may have clicked on this new post to hear all about what I’ve been up to for the last four months or to read about how sobriety: round two is going or to delve into all my deep, dark personal secrets that are usually for my diary’s pages only. If you said yes to any of the above, you’re about to be severely disappointed. I’ve just popped by to say a quick farewell, at least for now.

That’s right folks, I’ve logged on momentarily only to log off indefinitely. I know, total tease.

Why, you ask? Okay, fine, I’ll explain… a little.

What I thought would be a year full of sober discovery and well-written overshares, has actually turned into quite the opposite. I’ve found myself in a really happy place, craving as much privacy as possible. Maybe it’s old age, I don’t know, but I just haven’t felt a need to put much of my life on social media as of late. Sure, the occasional career-related post on Instagram, or a short political rant on Facebook, but even those things don’t sound very appealing to me as of late.

And I think it’s because I’m just plain happy.

For the first time in my life, I have a sense of stability and confidence. And for the first time, I feel like a woman. So much so, I don’t even get mad when I get “ma’am”-ed at Target anymore.

I didn’t do it on purpose. I didn’t wake up one morning and swear off this blog or social media in general. I’ve actually tried doing that before, and it didn’t work. I just got bored with it all and started focusing on my normal day-to-day. I stopped seeking validation in likes and comments and stopped comparing my life to the general public’s highlight reels, and I did it without even realizing it. In fact, when I did realize it, which was about five weeks ago, I thought “You should really blog, it’s been a while”, but then life kept giving me better things to do and I did those things instead and I have no regrets about any of it.

So, there you have it. That’s why you haven’t heard from me in a while. It just kinda happened that way, and the way that it happened, I kinda like, so I’m going to keep it this way for a while.

Before I say adieu, maybe there are a few things you guys should know…

1) I’m not sober. This year’s sobriety lasted about four months. It was a really, really hard four months. I didn’t start drinking again because it got too hard. I started drinking again because I made it through those awful four months without alcohol, and when I came out on the other end, I felt safe and secure enough to introduce healthy drinking and social behaviors back into my life. I also started to realize that going in and out of sobriety at my leisure made me a little bit of an a-hole. Sobriety is a serious topic. Alcoholism is a serious disease. I am not an alcoholic, but I know people who struggle with the disease and have seen that struggle up close, and it’s not something a person suffering from can easily go in and out of depending on their mood. I think everyone should try a dry month or even a dry year, but that’s very different from sobriety.

2) I’m not smoking! That’s the best thing to come out of the new-failed attempt at a dry 2018. Yes, I have started drinking again, but I’m still not smoking! I’m not going to lie, I still have cravings, especially when I drink, but I’ve been surrounding myself with some solid, non-smokers lately, so it’s not even an option when I do decide to have a glass of wine (or two).

3) I’m still “enough”, and so are you. My OG readers may recall the moral of my 2015 story was that I finally felt like I was enough. That was a huge revelation and I carry that lesson with me every day, in everything I do. Of course, I still have an occasional bad day, we all do. But, in those moments when I feel like I’m too much or too little, I remember what my twenty-eight year old self whispered on top of Runyon Canyon while ugly-crying to an Adele song…. “you are enough”. And in case you’ve lost sight of that, I want you to know that you’re enough too. You’re the perfect amount of perfection. Please remember that.

That’s all for now. If you’re reading this for the first time or if you’ve read every post since Day 1, I am grateful for you. Thank you for listening to my rants and raves for three years. Thank you for caring. You’re awesome.

Presently: Signing Off.

 

 

Day Seventy-Eight

I discovered a new place in LA this weekend. It’s a place I heard about back in December, and a place I’ve put off going to ever since.

Initially I put it off because I was really happy. It was January 1st, I was on my second adventure into sobriety, I had a solid living situation, a new, promising guy in my life, a hopeful pilot season on the horizon, things were good.

When things got less good, I still didn’t go. I mean, things weren’t that bad. The guy left, pilot season wasn’t happening, my thoughts were a little darker, I was a little less hopeful, but I could handle it.

And then I couldn’t.

Slowly, but surely, what seemed not-so-good only got worse. I was spending more time alone in my apartment, not always by choice. I was feeling left out, depressed, anxious, abandoned. Those feelings, on top of sobriety, started to become more and more challenging to manage.

The thing I forgot about sobriety (probably as a way of protecting myself subconsciously), is that, in the first couple of months, a lot of stuff comes up.

Think about a time you’ve had a rough day or an exciting day or an overwhelming day. Think about what you did when you got home after that day full of all that stuff. I bet a lot of people reading this had a drink, right? It’s okay. It’s etched into our society. Happy hour is a thing and it’s called “happy hour” for a reason. It’s normal to want to unwind after one of those days and the way a lot of us do that is with alcohol. That’s what I’ve been doing, especially post-2015 year of sobriety. So, when I went sober again this year, not only was I relearning how to handle “those” days, but I was also facing all the stuff I drowned in bottles of wine over the last two years and probably even before that.

Cut to: Oscar Sunday 2018. My OG readers know that Oscar Sunday is my Super Bowl. Hollywood’s prom night is my favorite night of the year. Normally, I’m watching the show with a small group of friends and copious amounts of baked goods. That’s what I had planned to do this year. But, all my friends cancelled and I didn’t feel like leaving my house to grocery shop for baking supplies and I barely felt like lifting a finger to turn on the TV. Before Kimmel could start his monologue, I was on the phone with a close friend expressing thoughts and feelings I didn’t even know I had, and none of them were good. I unleashed years of things I had buried, and though my friend was an incredible and supportive sounding board that night, we both knew I needed someone else.

So, Saturday morning I drove to the Southern California Counseling Center for a new patient intake. (Yes, even after all of that, it still took me another two weeks to make the move). This was the place I had been avoiding for the past three months, and  once I got there, I realized I hadn’t been avoiding it because things were going right or because I didn’t have the time or because I thought I could handle everything on my own.

I was avoiding it because it was, by far, the scariest thing I have ever done in my adult life.

I saw therapists regularily from the time I was about six until I graduated high school, and even since being in LA, I’ve looked into therapy and tried a few things, but to sit across from a complete stranger and list all the reasons why I was reaching out for help, was something I’ve never done. I mean, I’ve never done that with my closest friends and family. Sure, the people who know me, know a lot of my story, but when you lump everything together in a 50-minute session, when thirty years of ups and downs come flooding out of your mouth at a rate of utterance so quick, my brain could barely keep up. I wasn’t ready for that. I was so nervous, I pinched the skin on the inside of my right arm the entire time, trying to self soothe, and didn’t even realize I had done that until I saw a tiny bruise a few hours later.

While I’m giving this very kind and loving stranger the rundown of my life, I just kept looking at her and wondering, “Do you even believe me?”

When you lump together everything that’s happened to you in your life, and then you start listing it off, it becomes kind of hard to believe. I even stopped halfway through to check in with myself. “Wait. You sure that really happened? You already talked about that other bad thing. How much more is there?”

There’s a lot. That’s what this session showed me. I have a lot of stuff.

Talking about this stuff doesn’t scare me. I’ve been pretty open on this blog about the cards I’ve been dealt; abuse, suicide, family tragedy, depression, anxiety. I can call my pain out and I can discuss it openly, it’s realizing how much of it there is…. that’s where I start to buckle.

It’s like I’ve packed this giant suitcase full of ugly clothes, worn out shoes, and socks with holes in them, and I put the suitcase in storage a really long time ago, but I always held onto the key, just in case. On Saturday, I made a copy of the key and I gave that to someone I don’t know, but she promises to take really good care of it, and pretty soon, she’s going to help me lift that suitcase out of storage and set it down someplace safe, and then we’ll start to unpack it. It sounds like a daunting task, I know, no one likes unpacking, but I’m looking forward to it.

It’s true what they say, reaching out is hard. It’s really, really hard, but if you’re reading this and if anything I wrote resonated with you, please do it.

Your suitcase may seem really heavy, but I promise it’ll be easier to lift with a little help.

Day Seventy

It’s been a weird couple of weeks, guys. A lot of highs and a ton of lows that have left me longing for some mundane middle ground, where nothing is necessarily going right or wrong, it’s just… going.

When I was a kid, I used to imagine that God had a giant TV and every channel on the TV was a different person’s life. If a lot of stuff seemed to be happening to me all at once, I said it was because God was watching my channel. Now, as an adult, I realize this probably isn’t the case and I am hopefully serving a bigger purpose than just being mere entertainment for an all-powerful entity. I also realize this is basically the plot to the Truman Show and there’s a slight chance Hollywood stole my idea.

There’s a lot of unknown mixed in with these extreme cards I’m being dealt. It makes it difficult to figure out what my next move is because if I’m being honest, I’m terrified.

I think it goes back to wanting to control things that are completely out of my control. I blogged about that recently, and I guess the Universe, or God, or what-who-whomever is in charge around here is making me practice what I preach.

I know I’m being vague. I’m sure you’d like to know the specifics of these highs and lows I’m referring too, but those are F.D.O., For Diary Only, at least for now.

It’s also not the point of this blog post. Because it’s never about what happens to us guys, it’s about how we handle it, right?

A year ago, I would be halfway through a bottle of Petit Syrah and probably on my fourth cigarette by now. I’d be sitting outside, in the rain, scrolling through my ex-boyfriend’s Instragram, and completely ignoring my own life. I wouldn’t be thinking about everything that’s happened this week, I would be actively numbing all of it because that’s the easiest thing to do.

Unhealthy distractions only provide temporary relief. They are just another way we try to control the uncontrollable. If I pretend it’s not there, it will eventually go away. Nope. Wrong. If you throw an invisibility cloak over anything that doesn’t appeal to you, the unappealing will eventually maneuver it’s way out from under the wine stains and cloud of smoke and will pop up somewhere else. There aren’t enough invisibility cloaks in the universe for everything we face on a daily basis. There are actually no invisibility cloaks in the universe, soooo….

It’s time to face it. It’s time to be afraid and keep moving anyways. It’s time to reach out for help when I need it and love as much as possible. It’s time to welcome the uncontrollable, the good and the bad, and take heart knowing that I got this. So do you. We got this.

Maybe God is sitting in front of His TV, tuned into my channel, or your channel. Maybe it does feel like it’s all just too much right now. But, I’m pretty sure everything is going to be okay because I’m pretty sure we all get happily-ever-afters.

 

 

Day Sixty-One

I’m in a real funk today.

I feel like I have a bunch of stuff I want to say and write about. But, I can’t really find the words, and for a writer, that’s really frustrating.

It’s not writer’s block though. It’s more like writer’s overwhelming thoughts, is that a thing? Mixed with a little writer’s hesitation.

I want to tell you guys about a terrible audition experience I had, but I’m still afraid to talk about. I want to write about the dates I went on, but I’m nervous about getting that personal. I want to talk about what’s next for my career, but it all seems so uncertain.

This is new territory for me. I’m usually pretty good at finding the words I want and need.

I think… I just can’t find the words to do this funk justice.

So, instead of searching for words or trying to organize the overwhelming amount of thoughts I have right now, I’m going to rest. I’m learning to rest my heart, so I might as well learn to rest my brain too, right?

It’s Friday, and it’s raining, so I think resting is a good place to start.

See you guys, next week.

-A

 

 

Day Forty-Five

Bah humbug. It’s Valentine’s Day.

I got up this morning and went to yoga. I’ve been doing that more and more lately because it just feels good to start my day doing something healthy and positive. I knew it’d feel especially good to have some healthy/positive me time on this particular morning. So, while most of you were in bed, rolling over to a significant other, kissing good morning; I was in a hot, dark room unrolling my yoga mat and bracing myself for the inevitable “love yourself” speech that I was certain my instructor would give before class started.

Instructor: Good morning, yogis. Since it’s Valentine’s Day, I’m sure you guys were expecting some kind of “love yourself” talk before class…
My Inner Monologue: Yup. Called it.
Instructor: …But I’m not going to do that, because I think it’s bullshit.
My Inner Monologue: Hold up. What now?
Instructor: Because sometimes, loving yourself is hard.
My Inner Monologue: Yup.
Instructor: Especially on days like today.
My Inner Monologue: Preach.
Instructor: So, let your heart rest today if you need it to.
My Inner Monologue: *sobbing*

Why are we so quick to jump to “love yourself” or “I don’t need a man” and “all the single ladies” on days like today and other days when we’re feeling lonely or left out or just a little shitty?

Can it be okay to feel those not-so-positive things and maybe even sit with those feelings for a little bit?

I say yes.

If you’re feeling lonely or sad or excluded today, feel it. It may be a little uncomfortable, but get to know yourself in that discomfort.

Give your heart a rest.

Because life is super weird. One minute you’re walking around with a lovestruck smile on your face, and the next you’re crying into a jar of store bought frosting.

And both ends of that spectrum are okay.

That’s my two cents today, take it or leave it, but I gotta go buy more frosting.