Day 47-54

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I love art in all forms. I love creating it, I love admiring it, I love debating it. I love that whether it be a movie, a photograph, a sculpture; artistic forms have the ability to strike both good and bad chords on our heart strings. I love hearing how others interpret and receive specific pieces. My take on art has always been, everyone has a voice and a right to use that voice in whatever way possible to express passion and inspire others. Having this mentality has allowed me to stay outwardly neutral on social platforms. I’m not one to jump on Facebook and tear someone or something down or tweet criticism for all the world to see. Of course, I have my opinions, but everyone does, and I just never thought my opinion was so different or special that I had to share it with as many people as possible, until now.

The image above shows a piece of art created by Plastic Jesus, who is known for his in-your-face, artistic critiques of Hollywood’s elite. This piece was placed in front of the Dolby Theater (where the Academy Awards are held) a few days before the award ceremony and left there for five hours before it was removed. Five hours was plenty of time for my social media feeds to be flooded with pictures of this statement.

The people who popped up in my newsfeed as posting this picture, captioned it with something like “HAHA!” or “This is awesome!”. I even had one non-industry friend make a comment on how this really spoke to what the industry is like and how damaging Hollywood truly is. I stared at my iPad, re-reading these comments over and over again, and all I could think was, REALLY?!

When I saw the statue, I was offended. And seeing people, both industry and non-industry, virtually high-five-ing this artist for being so “truthful” or “funny” made me feel like maybe I missed the punch-line or was interpreting this all wrong.

Because to me, this statue is a giant slap in the face.

I’m not dumb and I’m certianly not naive. I’ve seen first-hand what Hollywood can be like on a bad night. It’s dangerous. There’s temptation and addiction and poor choices just waiting to drop down the throat or up the nose of a fresh-faced, 21 year-old girl trying to “make it”.

But Hollywood on a good day? For a young adult who, as a child, used to force her family to sit through living room renditions of the “Sound of Music”, there’s nothing like Hollywood on a good day.

Getting stuck in traffic on the way to an audition, calling your parents to say “I got the part!”, having a breakthrough in acting class, seeing your friend nail his guest spot on a TV show, crying over your favorite actor’s latest performance, that’s the stuff Hollywood is really made of. That stuff is what The Academy Awards celebrate.

These award ceremonies aren’t just for the nominees. They’re for people who strive for more. They’re for people who believe in magic. They’re for all of us because they remind us that human beings are capable of doing great things for one another. These people win these awards because they struck an unforgettable chord on our heartstrings. They affected us.

Last night celebrated films that affected us. Films like “Boyhood”, which reminded us how wonderfully, painful growing up is. “Selma”, which gave new voice and meaning to an ever-present injustice in our country. “The Theory of Everything”, which showed us how powerful love can be. “Birdman”, which gave us hope for our own dreams. “Whiplash”, which made us feel less alone in our struggles to be better.

Last night was not about publicity stunts and celebrity rehab, though Plastic Jesus seems to think it was.

I found this artist’s attempt to over-shadow the big night with a blanket statement on Hollywood’s “secret drug use” offensive and was equally insulted by some reactions to it. But, on a positive note, Plastic Jesus started this internal disuccsion and inspired me to share my voice on the matter. That’s probably the most beautiful thing about art, even when you hate it, it can inspire you.

Day 34-47

At this point, I’m going to stop addressing the fact that these posts are becoming fewer and farther between. If you’ve been reading along, you should know by now that I do not have the discpline to update this little blog of mine daily, which is probably why I majored in journalism for only a semester before switching to theater. They say the first step is admittance, so I will now begin to work on this flaw of mine, but I make no guarantees.

In other news, February has been a rough, yet oddly wonderful month. Things that normally would be really, really bad, have turned out to be a bunch of mini-miracles and I couldn’t be happier/more sure of God’s work in my life.

For example, I got a call from my mom early last week letting me know Grampy needed surgery, and well, it was one of those “maybe you should come, just in case” type phone calls.

Now would be a good time to let you all know my Grampy is a badass. He appears to be the classic Mid-western, country bumpkin, war veteran, but the things this man has survived, just in my lifetime, are so incredible, a lot of people don’t believe me. Like, when I was in high school and Grampy got kidnapped and driven around in the trunk of his own car for six hours before the kidnapper called the police on himself¬†stating he was Billy Bob Thorton and wanted to have a shoot out. Yes, that really happened, and yes, most people think our family is sick because we all laugh every time we tell that story.

So, when my mom calls and says “this might be it”, we take that seriously. My sister and I drove up to Sacramento that same day.

We spent the next day in the hospital with Grampy, who was high as a kite on painkillers, which brought some much needed comedic relief to a not-so-funny situation. At one point, he called Megan, “Allen”, and when my mom tried to tell him he wasn’t in Missouri, but in Sacramento, he repeatedly stated “you’re nuts” (though we think that may have been one of his more lucid moments). If my family is good at one thing, it’s finding some humor in every situation.

The next day, the day of the surgery, wasn’t so funny. Grampy was miserable and the doctors were really concerned about doing the surgery because he was considered so high-risk. ¬†Not doing the surgery would have been inhumane considering the amount of pain Grampy was in, so we prayed, and we said goodbye, and we gave it to God.

As you may have already predicted, Grampy made it out of the surgery and is recovering. In hindsight, I should’ve known it was all going to be okay. At one point, before the surgery, Grampy said “I’m not giving up”, and when this man makes a statment like that, he means it. Even Jesus was probably like, “Whoa, okay, man, that’s cool. I’ll check back with you in a few years and see where you’re at”.

So, what does this have to do with my sobriety? Well, nothing really. I thought one of the greatest men I’ve ever known was going to die. I wasn’t really wondering if BevMo was having their 5 cent wine sale.

I guess, if I start focusing my writing on all aspects and events of my life, it’ll be easier to write more frequently…. maybe. Because, let’s be honest, if I have to blog about sobriety every time, most posts are going to be:

“Woke up. Coffee. Went for a run. Coffee. Watched six episdoes of Scandal, while trying to figure out how California’s unemployment system works. Bed.”

Sobreity plus unemployment is pretty boring. But, I must admit, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Days 23-34

I know. It’s been a while. I had every intention to post something yesterday.

I actually had a very funny story ready to go about how the lady running the self check-out at a Ralph’s on Super Bowl Sunday yelled at me for trying to buy booze at the self check-out, but really, it was just fancy root beer. (How’s that for irony, Alanis Morissette?) I was then going to talk about how proud I was of myself for making it through a Patriots’ Super Bowl Sunday and a night of dancing, without a drink. I planned to write this very witty, funny post after work yesterday.

Then, I got laid off.

Yeah.

Want to test your will power in the first few weeks of sobriety? Lose your job.

As I was driving out of the employee parking garage, I thought, “If you’re going to drink or smoke, now’s the time to do it”. It sounds cliche, but I craved that temporary fix. I didn’t want to talk about it or come up with a game plan. I wanted a wine-scented band aid in the shape of an American Spirit.

I didn’t give in though. Instead, I talked about it and I came up with a game plan.

I’m not going to say it didn’t suck because it did. Having to face my new reality and be present in it and feel it as it was happening was really, really uncomfortable. I was embarrassed. I felt like a complete loser, a failure, all of those nasty detsructive words.

Thing is, I’m not any of those things, and I can say that with full confidence now, 24 hours after getting the boot.

If this had happened to me 35 days ago, I would have gotten drunk, smoked a bunch of cigarettes, and woken up the next day feeling even worse about myself. I woke up today, on Day 34, feeling like I was on top of the world. I have no idea if I’m going to get another day job. And if I do, I have no idea what it’s going to be, and I think that’s really exciting. As my sister said, while passing me a tissue yesterday, the world is my oyster.

When I started this blog, I said I was ready for change. I meant it.