life

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.

Any progress?

Since my trip to LA I have been asked how the acting is going. Did I have any progress whilst I was there? What next? Did anything life changing happen? And I completely get it. I understand that friends and family are intrigued.  It's a curious business. It's full of unanswerable questions and untangible results. It takes fearless determination and whole hearted acceptance of NOT being in the right place at the right time more often than not. You are going against the grain, the expected, the thing you are meant to do. Sometimes you feel existentially powerful in making the choice to fight for this career and sometimes you feel discernibly weak and insecure for staying in a business that can so easily hurt your soul. If you let it. 

It's hard when people ask you questions that you can only half answer. Or that you cannot answer at all or you fear the answers will be terribly disappointing to the one asking, or worse still, disappointing to yourself.  You could answer with answers that may offend people, that may have people disagreeing with you or answers people find shamefully too honest or too long winded. Answers that sound like justifications or excuses. You want to make sure you don't sound bitter or deluded or disillusioned or mad. Not to yourself, but to the people wanting to know... have you made it yet? Did you get what you have always wanted? Will you never have to work on reception again? Can you buy a house in the hills or fly first class? Are you in a show and have you met Ryan Gosling? Will you still be chasing something? Will you ever not be? Will you give up? When will you give up? What are you willing to sacrifice? Are you happy?

People may not ask these things directly, but they are questions that are hidden in an indirect curiosity that I myself have when I meet people in the industry.  Gosh, often it is all we talk about. We mull over it, discuss it, debate it, digest it. Ask each other a lot of the same questions we ask ourselves. We talk of the disappointing answers we sometimes have to give and we all camp together, one big group of us against the world, sort of in it together in a huddle of madness. Are we happy?

Any progress? Did I have progress in LA? In my career? It's hard to explain to someone that just getting through a day as an actor, can be tough. Not in a 'I'm saving the world' sort of tough. We are not that narcissistic (I swear)... But progress is made just by getting through a day where we may not have acted, we may not have earned money to pay the bills doing the profession we proclaim to be doing. Our day can sometimes just be submitting yourself to castings or finding a class you like or avoiding watching reality TV. The progress I make is sometimes just that of not quitting. Sticking with it. Sometimes progress is just learning to wait and trust and 'be'. Progress is knowing the process and learning to live in it and grow in it and learn from it. Acting is a profession in which you do not have an end goal. There may not be that one big job that changes your life forever. I could go fifty years just working on my craft. Being a jobbing actor. And that would be, should be good enough. To pay the bills with acting money, now wouldn't that be a joy. 

Or would it? 

I want to tell my family and the people that ask and care and want this acting lark for me (possibly more than I do) that tangible, feesable, seeable progress was made. I want to reassure them that the trip was worth while. That I have proof that this was life changing and a step forward. For them. I want to let them know it's OK. Tell them I booked a job, starred alongside Morgan Freeman and that girl from that show. (You know the one? The popular one with those cute freckles) I want so much to tell my mum that it's paying off. So I can see the excitement in her eyes for me, that all this time, and sacrifice and effort has been worth it. I don't want my mum to think I have just been having a jolly. Just eating and hiking for two months. I want her to know that the belief she has had in me for the last thirty years, is not wasted. It is in fact about to pay off. I can take her on that trip to Bali and I can pay her back all the money I owe her. I want to hug her so tight for all the times she ever felt sad when I heard a no. To see the worry disappear from her face because she knows she doesn't have to worry about me calling her up balling because I don't know what I am doing with my life. 

I want to book that job, so I don't have to be a thirty year old working in a hair dresser reception when I don't want to be. So I don't have to ask my boyfriend to cover the rent this month. So I can buy that Zara top. So I can take three months out and write a book, So I can say that all my dreams came true. So I can say, 'See, staying with it, working hard for it, it pays off.' So I can prove to myself that all those times I nearly turned away from it, I can say 'Ahh, see, imagine if you had' 

But the answer (I wish I had booked a job so I could play a great character and do some great acting, for a great director and an amazing production.) It comes far down on my list. Because I spent the last two years getting to act and play and tell stories. I don't have to wait for the phone to ring, or WME to take me on, or Seth Rogan to write me a part, or Shonda Rhymes to put me in her TV show. I don't have to be better, or prettier or skinnier or taller or funnier or more charismatic. More talented, more open, more connected, more wealthy, more free, more 'up someones bum'... I don't have to be more anything. I can be me, right now, with no signed contract in my hand to prove that I have made progress. Not for the people asking. Not for myself. 

I currently feel OK at accepting that I am angry at the industry, the system. I have no answers. Except knowing finally, that what makes me happy, isn't necessarily what I have been chasing this whole time. TBC









To be honest...

I pride myself on being an open person. Not necessarily honest at all times, but very rarely do I

not

wear my heart on my sleeve. Well, I try to always be open with others. I like sharing, mainly because I like people sharing back. I despise small talk and pointless convo, and even if I am not the smartest cookie (because cookies are so smart -_-) I like to debate and talk about things that matter. Sometimes I like to talk about Scarlett Johanssons body in that film where her body looked amazing, and sometimes I like to talk about crap, like if Kim K really did break the internet. I say sometimes, probably

a lot

. But if I have an opinion on it, I'll talk about it for days. That beats small talk. About the weather and what your doing for work at the moment. Shoot me in the head if you hear me say 'Gosh it's so sunny today'

Which out here, I have said a lot. In LA, there is more small talk than I am used to. And I have been swept in. Because when someone here asks you how your day is, you don't really want to respond with '

Well, I had this audition and it didn't go great, well, it didn't go bad, but I just wasn't feeling it, and they didn't seem to feel it and so now I feel a bit bummed and what is the point in all of this, maybe I should just do something else, maybe acting isn't for me... wait, I am giving the universe bad signals, I do want this, I do want to act, I just don't NEED it, right universe? That's what I am meant to say? If I want it but pretend not to want it too much, all will be well... so yeah, the audition went OK, who knows you win some you loose some, it's in the universes hands

' and you look up to said universe and give it a sly little wink like you're both in on the same inside joke and you pray the universe doesn't clock that little pinch of (I really do want to book this job) because, well you know, the universe repels neediness like a boy you're  dating who you have just asked to see three nights in a row... so you look across at the semi stranger, (someone you just met last week for coffee because that's what you do here) and you say 'Yes, my days been great, I mean how could it not, look at the weather, it's so sunny here' and they reply, 'Gosh yes it rains a lot in England doesn't it?' and your in, your off on the small talk train and it's hard to jump off.

Sometimes I want to give all of me. Most of the time I want to give all of me. Then there are times when that is not appropriate. All of me can be annoying, over whelming, boring, too much. But...When your not being yourself, there's a strange sense of misjustice. I feel like I'm cheating myself. Like I'm wasting time in life conning myself and the people around me. But sometimes, I feel the people around me do not help me be myself. I feel suffocated by their intentions or their own ego or their own life issues. And in dealing with their own drama, I feel myself and my ego reacting to it. Not consciously. But subconsciously I feel my soul drain second by second and feel weak with thought process malfunction. And whilst they are dealing with their own issues, I am out here dealing with mine.

All I ever want to be is myself really. I want to be so self assured, so accepting of my own flaws and traits, that I am comfortable to just be 'all of me' at any one time with any person that I meet. And there will always be someone that doesn't like some of you or all of you and still, at the ripe old age of 30, I still find that hard to process. I want to be liked. And I really do feel that most people do. When I hear people say they don't care if

Julie

likes them, I firstly feel envious of such liberation and then I secondly feel sceptical because often I think that's a protection barrier. Because why would you not want

Julie

to like you? You don't meet

Julie

and hope that she doesn't like you. Yes wasting time trying to convince

Julie

that you're a good person or a funny person or an interesting person or how utterly great you are, is pointless. Probably because if she was to get to know you, the good the bad and the ugly, she might think those things anyways.

I always remember asking a good friend of mine... 'don't you worry if people don't like you', and she replied 'Naahh, if they got to know me they would.' and I never got it. I never understood how someone could be so free spirited about that. So sure that people would like her if they knew her. Which is silly, because I know she was right. If they knew her the way I did, they would love her the way I did. But having that reassurance about your own self... seemed unfathomable. If people got to know me they might see that I don't like sharing food, and that I am selfish at times. They would see that I am over the top and loud and opinionated. That I like talking... a lot. They would hear me be mean sometimes, or that I get defensive or grumpy or bossy. Worst still, they may not approve of my poo jokes. There are a lot of poo jokes. But as I have gotten a bit more self assured, I have started to sort of get what she means. When I meet people, if they are genuine, sincere and openly themselves, I often by pass the flaws, and end up liking them when I get to know them. That same courtesy comes back to you too. When you know someone, and you see why their behaviour is the way it is, often you end up relating to their behaviour, you see why someone might make that inappropriate joke, or come across as arrogant or barely even smile at you. You can empathise with most character traits because we all have them. And often, more often than not, the judgement I make of someone is a reflection of me and my own issues and not the other person. I recognise when I walk away from a person and I feel there was insincerity, It makes me feel like, they didn't trust me enough to be themselves. I sometimes walk away and think 'gosh they were an arrogant cock bucket' and inside I don't like it because it unnerves something in me, that someone doesn't sensor themselves the way I think appropriate. Sometimes people make us feel aways about ourselves or more to the point, we let people affect us and we feel aways. More often than not, If I don't like someone on first meeting it will be because I sensed they don't like me. (Unless they were racist or misogynistic or just dam right rude) But even then, people are who they are because of shit they have going around in their head. And most of the time, its stuff that we have going around in our heads too. We all just deal with it differently.

I worked with some people who I really did not jell with. I found them to be insincere and hurtful. Arrogant and so unsympathetic, that I thought they may be on the verge of psychopathic. I could not relate to them. Everything they did, every bad feeling they made me feel, I took to heart. I took it so personally, I would go home and cry because it felt apparent they didn't like me, and yet they would sort of pretend to and there was this mist of nastiness that resided over me daily. Once I stepped back, it became obvious that they hadn't liked me. It was hard to deal with (I am not one of those, ahhh who cares if they don't like me, I don't like them) sort of people. (Because I am just not one of those people.) Looking back though, I see that It made sense why they didn't like me. I did not appease them. I did not fit into the expectation they had of me and in return they didn't accommodate my needs. My need for them to be genuine and sincere. I was angry a lot, frustrated a lot and not giving the best version of me. Probably, I was the worst version of me. They felt that I didn't like them, I didn't listen to them, I didn't agree with them, so therefore they didn't really like me, and vice verser. We all played this game of pretend, because it's work. That's what you do. And it took me a long time to understand why they despised me so much. And when I realised why, it all felt so trivial. They didn't really know the real me. Because they were never genuine enough to warrant getting the real me on a daily basis. I didn't feel comfortable being me, wholeheartedly because I didn't trust them not to take the bad traits in me and use them against me. But what ended up happening was my ego would get all defensive. I was defending myself against other egos and we were in a full on ego war.

Deep down, I don't believe they are bad people as neither am I.(most of the time) We all want to be liked. We all want to fulfil an ego based expectation, whether it be to be the best one, the powerful one, the funny one, the kind one, the trust worthy one, the knowledgeable one, the interesting one... and if you meet people who have the same wants, you battle. But under all of that, don't we just want the person we meet to

get us

. To empathise with us, relate to us, connect with us. I am OK to meet someone I don't do those things with, hence I only have a handful of people who I trust with ALL of me, warts and all. But in every meet up I have, I want to find something in common, something we can laugh at together, something real to talk about. When I meet someone, it's not like I am praying 'Dear universe, I hope we talk about the weather today' I want to meet people I can be honest with, and who I can trust with all of me. Those people do not come around often, but the more honest I am, the more you realise who to talk to about that shit audition and who maybe to just discuss the weather forecast with.

Honestly... 

I don't like sharing food.

Julie is not a real person. 

I have never watched 'Back to the Furture'

I wasn't into Michael Jackson 

I wish I had tried harder at school

I wish I had been less obnoxious at school

I hate washing up cutlery

I cannot stand men in cuban heels

I can't stand football

I have a hairy belly button ( I take care of it) 

I sometimes don't shave for more than two months

I think about food vs getting fat way more than I should

I like Millionaire Matchmaker 

Spice Girls will always be my jam 

I say things like 'be my jam'