Stopdreaming

Adulthood... one year in!

As my first year of being 30 comes to an end, I thought I'd reflect upon my first step into real adulthood. Was it any different? Did I grow? Progress? Learn anything? Does my future look bright? Is it orange?

You could say this has been an interesting year. I spent the first few months in LA, truly living in a bit of a bubble. The experience was the best of my life and it changed me incessantly. I came back, changed my job (well got a real job sort of), not before spending two weeks working in a hair salon with the most camp, most flamboyant Evisu jean wearing, receptionist, who told me the salon was not a 'top knot' friendly salon and then proceeded to do impressions of willy hungry men he had met at old school garage raves.

That particular job nearly sucked my soul and starved me of my top knot love, so I began working in a bar that consisted of two customers a day and a pair of the most small minded, ignorant men that said such eye opening statements... 'what's the point of chasing your dream, get a job, buy a house and do what we all do' followed by the other insightful mentions that 'the media is not to blame for (women's) insecurities with their body image, but we ourselves (women) are in fact our own worst enemies, we are a conniving,  competitive species hell bent on being the brightest flower with the brightest petals so we can win the muscle, to procreate, thus causing our own demise into eating disorders and the like'

Luckily the place went into liquidation before I bread crumbed someone's penis and dipped it into a boiling pot of old, dirty oil.

By this point half the year had gone by. I was half way through my first year of "the year that was going to be my year" I'd told my agent not to put me up for any acting jobs because truly, I didn't know what I wanted any more. I didn't know who I was without acting and I didn't know if I could survive without the possibility that life could just change dramatically, or if I'd survive without thinking I was on the path I'd always thought I was meant to be on.

When you come back from the land of opportunity you feel full of hope and enthusiasm. You then spend two months with irrational 'top knot phobe' men or guys with no more than one brain cell between them and the enthusiastic, excitement dies down and you coast for a little while figuring what next.

What next?

I'm a good coaster. I've been good at waiting for life to happen, for something to change without me doing much to steer it in another direction. Hence the trip to LA to try and shock me out of my comfort zone. But it's not long before your patterns catch up with you and you're at home tired from a days work watching an episode of First Dates, scrolling through Instagram replaying those words that shook things up in the first place.

Stop dreaming, start doing.

None of the above sounds very exciting. It's not the stuff IG filtered squares are made of. It's not the life I imagined when I balled my eyes out to my mum aged 24 telling her that I just knew, I was going to be a successful actress, I just knew it in my bones.

It's not that I stopped believing it, I just feel like I stopped wanting it. Or was that a figment is my imagination protecting me from the real thought, that maybe I didn't believe it was possible at all?

People talk about having a mid life crises. That you get to middle age and you start questioning what it was all about, the decisions you made, were they the right ones and should you have done it differently? Maybe our generation have these moments earlier. Because we are adorned with option after option. We see lives that look appealing to live, daily, and we heart it, comment on it, repost it, tag it... the whole world has been made 'obtainable' our dreams have been made acheivable, because our thumb brushes over it scrolling through what our lives could be like if we just... sort of... cropped and filtered it slightly.

I've been contemplating buying a Red Ferrari or starting flamenco classes and then you get reminded of what a horrendous state the world is in, and how humanity can burst your egotistical bubble and you ask yourself the question.

Am I living the life I want to? Am I doing all of the things I want to be doing? Would I be happy if this was all I ever did or all I ever was? Was who I was enough? And what does success really mean?I have a beautifully, lovely life, with lovely friends and a wonderful family. I am grateful beyond belief. What I do for a living, isn't who I am and I can accept that I can live in the moment and stop wanting or needing more (sun/money/plans/gap in between my thighs)

What is it that we are all chasing and wanting and needing? What is success and happiness and do they interconnect?

The Metro did an article on "Where are they now?" (Stars of Harry potter) and they had taken from my blog, that I had given up acting and become a personal trainer. My ego went into over drive. Hearing someone say out loud that I had given up on my dream, hit a nerve so deep that I felt numb. I didnt want to be that person. Even if I wasn't sure if it was my dream or not, I didnt want to be the one that had given up on her dreams. Its those people that never make it. All you have to do is just hang on in there.

Right?

A few months ago, prior to the article, I had gotten myself a new agent. One that I liked, one that was good, one that I wasn't scared to call and a new chapter begun. All the whilst gaining a growing client base of PT clients and finding my feet with what I really want to do with my life, in my life, for my life.

Some people may say I have too many fingers in too many pies (as a client liked to point out) "Oooo you want to do a lot don't you?" And for a slight moment I felt ashamed. How dare I. How silly of me to be so obnoxious to want to do more than one thing, or to attempt to try more than what is to be considered the norm. How ridiculous to think that I would try and take on all of the things I want to tackle.

What an obscene, absurd idea.

Turns out, after a realisation face plants you out of nowhere and old age (alright I'm not that old) makes you reassess what it is you really want, you come to the conclusion that perhaps you want it all. That maybe you want to be your own boss, you want to write a book, you want to facilitate young women workshops on self love and confidence, you want to train clients, and share the journey with other people and hopefully relate to their own, you want to help encourage healthier choices and write a fitness programme that will help get them their fitness goals, and more than anything I want it to be OK that I don't know how the hell I'm going to get there, that I am shit scared, cacking my pants; that it might not all turn out, in anyway that I may hope. Sometimes I have bad days and question my journey and other days I feel like Beyonce. I am fearful and vulnerable and we ask ourselves the question, are we progressing? At the right speed in the right direction? Can I trust the process, the path, the journey Im on. Will I survive it? Embrace it? Be, all, in it. Because what if I fail and suck at all the things I want to try. What if I try and none of them amount to 'success' whatever that success looks like on paper? And if not apparent in bright bold ink... what if I don't end up just plain and simply, happy? What if I don't doubletap a huge bright red heart on my own life feed, because I was too busy double tapping other peoples.

So as I reflect upon my adulthood as if I have all the time in the world and yet none at all, I take a deep breath and swallow the same fears I always had, accept now I'm not afraid to say them out loud, I'm not ashamed to say, I'm not sure if I will get all of the things I would like, but I am very, very up for trying.

30 days until I am over 31... lets go.

Reflecting in LA...

So I've been in LA for over two weeks now and I have felt days where I have been completely overwhelmed.

I can't tell whether this is positive or negative. I guess they are both. 

People are doers here. They do. They do not procrastinate, they do not talk about doing it, they do not dream about it... they do, they just get on with it. Today that intimidates me. Yesterday it inspired me. I guess that's because I'm human.

The biggest comparison to home is the fact that people praise hard work here. People like to have lists of things to do and try and people here give a massive high five to that. It's not embarrassing or too try hard or too needy to want something so bad that you give your all to it. It's not shameful to try and fail and try again to fail ten more times, to try again. Californians seem to love that. People here do not seem intimidated by your dreams or threatened by your desire for more. For more money, for more ambition, for more drive, for more shit to do...whatever more it is you want, people will encourage it and praise it and push you to do it.

Back home I've found that people, on a general basis, do not have this same mentality. Working hard does not seem as encouraged or championed as say the accidental success story. At home we love an underdog. The guy that won the lottery the first time he played it, or the middle aged woman that wrote a blog and it just so happened that the CEO of penguin publications read it loved it and commissioned her for a three book deal. We all love the story that JK Rowlings Harry P sat on her book shelf for years and then just one day out of the blue her friend says to her after taking a glimpse that she should get it published. And oh low and behold just like that an assistant read it and forced her boss to take notice. And the rest is history.... No one cares or wants to think about how much actual work and pushing she really went through to get Harry P noticed. It's cringey to think how hard some people try. I know it is because I cringe. I cringe at myself. It always brings me to that same old question...'What am I trying for, sacrificing for, working hard for?' And the scariest question, 'Does it pay off?' Back home I think a lot of people might say no, in LA without a doubt the answer is 'yes, yes of course it does.' 

I guess I used to believe that the magic was toworkhard, but not need an end result so bad that you might die if you don't achieve it. Work hard but pretend you don't want to reep the rewards. Work hard but don't be disappointed when nothing comes of it? Or is the magic in wanting it, seeing it, believing it and then working for it and not stopping till you get it because why the hell would I stop? 

I get same old question time and time again... 'When will you give up?' Which makes you want scream in saids persons face for a multiple of reasons... a) You are never going to give up... When are you going to give up your boring 9-5 job that you hate so much because the boss is a douch and he overworks you? B) its frustrating that people think it is just a hobbie C) because it niggles away at a spot of fear where sometimes, just sometimes you think, maybe you should become a yoga teacher, knit owls or move to Thailand (refer to 2 blogs back) Because along the way you might realise what you thought you wanted isn't what you really want and what you thought you were working for ends up leading you to something else entirely. But at least if you try and you work hard, your chances of achieving great things are far hire than if you just bought a lottery ticket and sat watching reruns of Friends every night. 

The one thing I know for sure, when people add that other really insightful joyful question, whats your dream? Your goal? Eastenders? I know for sure the one thing I am looking for is time. Christian Bale was once asked what he was grateful for now he had all of the monies, and he replied time. Money can buy you time. Time to take a year out, time to learn another language, time to reflect, time to just 'be' and I know for a fact that's the aim, that's the end goal. Yes I like to act, and yes I like to play different people and tell stories and get on stage and get the buzz, and watch the end production and say 'Yehhhh we did that' but I am not shy to admit that I want to reep the benefits of that. The ability to not have to work 8 hours a day to just pay the rent, leaving me no time to do said story telling, production watching, or buzzing on stage. Having to earn money slogging away to just 'survive' does not tickle my fancies, and yes, some people may say 'Who do you think you are? We have to go to work and do a job we don't like that much, to retire at 65 if we are lucky and then go forth and experience LIFE'  once we have retired, but the point I think is, you don't have to. We do not have to stay molly coddled by the 'THIS IS WHAT WE ARE MEANT TO DO' The thought process that that, is the only option we have. And of course some people are more than content with that choice, and life and are fully content with that, but if your not, if there is something you want to pursue so you can have more time, early retirement, better quality of life (because noone 'wants' to shop in Iceland) Then it's OK to work hard to get it. Here in LA, that is welcomed, and at home, I feel that is shunned. 

It's not as easy as saying 'Wahoo I want to be a Spice girl' you can't just give up your job and start your pop career the next day. Rent has to be paid somehow, but this is stuff we can be doing, progressing, working on, in between the hours of hell on earth temping. That 30 minutes I am on the bus scrolling through Instagram I could be writing to casting directors; organising my show reel edit; choosing head shots;  writing a scene. There is ways to utilise dead time, and it isn't with pinning loads of brides dresses onto a board, for a wedding that I am not planning yet. (Obviously I so don't do that) -_-

Here is a clip that literally changed my life that I watched a few months a go. A good friend sent it to me and the very next day I booked my flight to LA. Shonda Rhimes is my WCW... she Is smart and funny and wise and a little intimidating, and I love her. This whole speech rings true to what I have just been saying and what I feel differs in LA to home...

Stop dreaming, start doing!