My six year old God-daughter sent me two birthday cards in the mail. It really is the little things, the unexpected things, that can make my day, warm my heart.
Best. Gift. Ever.
“George Clooney married Amal Alamuddin this year. Amal is a human rights lawyer who worked on the Enron case; was an adviser to Kofi Annan regarding Syria; and was selected for a three-person U.N. commission investigating rules of war violations in the Gaza Strip. So tonight… her husband is getting a lifetime achievement award.” —TINA FEY, at the Golden Globes #BRILLIANT! #GENIUS!
It’s 39 degrees in Beverly Hills this morning.
I just wrote on Twitter how freakishly cold it is for Los Angeles.
Maybe part of me is afraid that it’s going to be just like every other year. The earth has made one trip around the sun (or something like that, right?) and it’s starting to do it again – I’d like to think that next year I’d be able to say I’ve done something profound. Brilliant. Memorable. Magnificent. Profitable. Unique. Beautiful?
The one thing I am positive about – that I will no longer do – is visit Facebook so much. I finally took it completely off my phone (no easy task by the way). I’m not deleting it out of my life completely by any means, I do see the value in it, but SERIOUSLY – I found myself most times just reading and reacting to useless information. Being on Facebook didn’t enrich my life it made me feel worse most days because it just seems like everyone else’s lives are thriving and dazzling. Everyone seems to be skipping along in life having no problems at all. I admit, I’d become super jealous. It made me feel inadequate – like I haven’t been doing enough. I’m human. Shoot me. So, for the past few weeks I’ve only allowed myself to touch base once a day (if even). And actually, it’s been amazing! I’m shocked at how much more time I have throughout the day. And I’m not comparing my life to other people’s lives – I mean, in the past, I’d be perplexed by why I didn’t find my trip to Starbucks as amazing and inspirational as my Facebook friend did. I know! It sounds like a no brainer, even childish, but until I “unplugged” if you will, I had NO IDEA how much time I was wasting. Literally. And oh, how much better I feel! So, that’s one goal that’s a definite. Done actually.
My other goals are pretty much exactly the same. Every year. Bums me out to keep sharing them, to keep writing them. I wish I knew how to change the tide. Guest starring roles on major TV shows, powerful movie role with a prominent well acclaimed director, cover of Glamour Magazine and Runner’s World (yes, it has to be both – I dream big), move back to my beautiful neighborhood that I love, quit my “day” job, publish my book (and be a NY Times best seller), travel to Scotland, meet my best friend and partner in life… See? Same ‘ole, same ‘ole.
I have no idea how it’s going to happen, but that’s what I want. Still want. Will continue to pursue. Period.
I know how arrogant I sound. I have this solid belief – as I always have – that all this will happen. Can happen. Should have already happened actually. It’s a knowing. An “is-ness” if you will. I’ve known this my entire life. And ironically, on things I know, I’m never wrong. But goodness it’s taking a mighty long, long time to manifest! Clearly I’m doing something wrong. And my frustration is in figuring it out. And in trying to do the work. Over and over again. No matter how many times I fail, fall (same thing), I get back up and try again. Hopefully smarter or at least numb-er.
If I’m really honest, I know I’ve tried my heart out. I’ve attempted many things, and I find myself some days just asking God to take all these wants and desires out of my being. If my goal in life is to be a bookkeeper – than let me be the best mutherf’n bookkeeper there is! Let me love it, let me own it, let me enjoy it. But nope. Don’t get me wrong, I am the best mutherf’n bookkeeper there is, but I hate it, I don’t want to do it and I don’t own it at all. If I had money right now, any money at all, I’d quit all my hateful work and focus ONLY on my art. But everyone wants that, right? Everyone would do the same. So again – arrogance! I apologize!
The point is I have tried doing all the things I know how to do to get to where it is I want to be – I’ve even gone out on a limb and done some things that were just outright silly or stupid and still, nothing comes to fruition. I get disappointed more days than not. I get discouraged – and although I find it harder and harder to get myself back up, I always do. I shake it off and continue on the journey.
I keep thinking of this psychic woman I met many years ago when I first landed in Los Angeles. It was 1994. I was working as a receptionist at this hair salon and the woman across from me, who was getting her hair done, came over to me and told me she needed to tell me what she was “seeing in my aura” – she was a psychic after-all. I remember laughing just a bit – but kindly – and she proceeded to tell me that I had all the ingredients to bake the cake, but that I needed someone to show me how to put it all together. She mentioned that this person would be an older Black lady and that it would all happen much later on in life. She seemed sad to tell me this. Troubled even. I could see the tears well up in her eyes. She quickly changed subjects and said I would also have three kids. And her whole face seemed to light up. “And you will be happy. And it will all be worth it. You’ll see.”
To this day, I can see this woman’s face as clear as day in my memory. I think 99.9% of psychics and people who follow horoscopes, birth signs and all that jazz are pretty much charlatans. It may be fun and give you a sense of hope and good feeling, but I just don’t really believe any of it. But I’m also someone who knows I don’t completely understand how the universe works, so I’m open to the possibilities. This woman stuck with me all these years. She wasn’t selling anything, she didn’t charge me, she just felt the need to share something with me she was feeling. And in some way shape or form, that kinda made it more authentic. More telling. So did I accidentally or subconsciously follow this pattern? I mean, clearly I don’t have three kids – and anyone who knows me understands I love kids precisely because I don’t have them – no brainer there – but what about the rest of it? And goodness knows I could still end up with three kids – she said I would “have” three kids, not bare them – I’d adopt easily. So, is it possible she predicted my life correctly? I mean why has it taken me so long to get to where I’m going? Why haven’t I figured it all out yet? And where is this older Black lady already???? Hahahahaha!
Of all the things I truly hold onto from that reading is “…and it will all be worth it, you’ll see.”
The truth is I’m much happier today than I’ve ever been. I work part-time from home and make ends meet fairly easily. Surely I’ve cut back a lot, but goodness. I make an okay living and have the freedom to do whatever I want – well, mostly – and I’m not pained by anything in life but finding my way towards my goals. I worked really hard to get here and gave up a lot, but I know most people would kill to be in my position. I get that. So, in that sense, I’m grateful.
As far as my career goes, I’ve done some good stuff as an actor. I’m not just a good actor, I’m actually better than just good. I have the potential for greatness. And it took me being on stage night after night to realize that for myself. Validation. And I still love performing. I love everything that goes along with it – there’s no question about getting back there solidly. It’s a craving that just won’t end no matter what I feed it. So I’ll keep hustling for a better break, but in the meantime…I’ll do what I can to keep nurturing that hunger.
I wrote a book – a manuscript – and this past year – yes, in 2014, I had two publishers interested. One wanted to buy my story for $3K (what?). Uhm, I’m not saying my story is worth more than $3K, but you know what? Yeah it is! What the hell! And the second publisher – well, we were close to signing, but they are a start-up and at the end of the day it just didn’t feel right. Oh well. I don’t regret my decision but it was a bummer. My book, my piece of art, is like a baby to me – I’m happy to let it go and put it into someone else’s hands, but only under the right circumstances and only if they prove they are responsible enough to handle it (Ha! Maybe that’s one of the “children” the psychic was talking about? Clever!).
Being on the cover of Glamour and Runner’s World? Ha! Yeah, I just added those goals in for flavor. Can’t help it. In my perfect world the idea of a woman in her uhem, 40’s (yes, I admit it!), to be seen as beautiful – especially with my mug – and also seen as a runner would be pure goal to me! I do still run. It’s harder for sure, but it feels better than I remember. Weirdly, I feel prettier than I ever have – surely my boobs are a little less perky than I’d like, and the wrinkles on my face are a little more visible, but somehow, I still walk into the gym like I own that 20 year old ass! Ain’t no shame in it. And yeah, I still think I could grace the cover of Glamour and Runner’s World, no problem.
So, what the hell is all that about?
Denial? Naah, Wisdom!
It really is Wisdom.
I realize that for all my faults, all my disappointments, I am still in the best place I can be today. I wake every morning with purpose, with dreams, with goals and nothing seems to shake that. Not psychic predictions, not rejections, not disappointments, not sagging skin or a slower pace on the treadmill. I still got my eye on the prize. And that prize is all about being happy. Staying joyful. Yes, being a successful actor, a published author and maybe even some sort of cover girl, may be goals I’ve set for myself, but the truth is, the overall umbrella goal has already been achieved. The bigger picture is clear – the FOREST for the trees: and my forest is happiness. The trees are just individual possibilities along the way.
So, in 2015, I’ll keep looking for that right agent who might help me get that movie role or TV show. I’ll keep doing what theater comes my way or audition for student films if that’s all I get because at the end of the day, I do love the ART of it all and doing it any way I can nourishes my soul. And I’ll keep looking for the right publishing house to publish my book. And if not, then maybe I’ll consider something else for my beautiful book CANELA – Getting rid of my bookkeeping “job”, moving back to my old neighborhood – all technicalities. No big whoop. The great thing about living in these amazing times is that there are so many options! So many possibilities. And yes, I am so grateful!
Oh, and this elusive life partner perfect man I said I wanted…. Uhm, I can honestly say that I’m not looking for it at all. Again, I threw that in for flavor – like Glamour and Runner’s World. It’d be icing on the cake for sure! I love the idea of the perfect guy (perfect being relative of course). But I think it’s something that happens naturally and without force – or at least it should. And I’m not ready for it anyways, I’ve got too much more to do. Maybe in 2015 instead of a life partner, maybe I’ll revise and say, I’d like a travel partner instead? Yeah, that sounds so much better!!! Traveling to Scotland to film a movie, that he’s directing while doing a photo shoot for Glamour and then running off to my book signing… Why not? See…it’s all doable!
Now, if I could just find that older Black lady already we could get a move on…
Aah, I feel so much better. And I’m totally in love with 2015, I’m ready. Bring it!
Sweet day, Sweet year,
Guardians of Peace? Really?
The Guardians of “Peace” have now done a victory lap by releasing another letter to Sony basically telling them (paraphrasing here): Thanks, good job on not releasing the film. And as long as you don’t ever show this film including the trailer, we promise not to release all the sensitive information we still have on your company. (Read the Article in Variety here).
Oh hell no! Are you kidding me? A victory lap? Another threat? I am so pissed!
I had no intention of seeing this film. It looks ridiculous. It isn’t my kind of film and although I respect these actors, producers, etc., for their talents in other projects, I could have cared less on so many levels about this film. But now? Now, this is about something else. And it’s the only movie I want to see.
I believe we show who we really are, not when things are easy, but when things are tough (thank you Maya Angelou). When things are hard, scary and unknowing is when WHO WE ARE matters. The Guardians of “Peace” are messing with the one word the United States is known for: FREEDOM. And to that, I say FU!
I will see the movie the minute I can. Thank YOU Guardians of “Peace”.