My Year in Numbers

1     friend I lost

1     job I lost

2     jobs I got

3    plays I did

6    friends of mine who got engaged

10     places I visited

Idaho, Connecticut, Philadelphia, Waynesboro, PA, London, Scotland, Amsterdam, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine

25    days it took to find an apartment in NYC

26    plays I saw (in NYC and London only)

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Mothers and Sons, Richard III, Big Fish, Murder for Two, The Oldest Boy, Our Lady of Kibeho, A Delicate Balance, Lips Together Teeth Apart, Sex with Strangers, The Village Bike, Hand to God, Your Mother’s Copy of the Kama Sutra, The Happiest Song Plays Last, Under My Skin, Sweeney Todd (NY Philharmonic), Fast Company, The Substance of Fire, The Killer, Cinderella, Mala Hierba, American Hero, Hotel, Bring up the Bodies, Showboat (NY Philharmonic), You Got Older

34    blogs I posted

Better than I thought, actually.

73    books I read

My favorites: The Invisible Front, The Circle, NOS4A2, A Tale for the Time Being, Into the Darkest Corner, Dept of Speculation, Tenth of December

365   days I got up in the morning and went to bed and night and existed on this earth.

Apartment Hunting, boom boom

We found out we’d have to move after sending our landlord a kind, intelligent message about the raise in rent and the change to a month to month lease on September 23.

I was still away doing a show. I did some legwork and he saw a handful of apartments. This was three days or so worth of agony (this is NY real estate after all). We put in an application on a place I didn’t even see on September 28. We felt sure.

We waited. And waited.

Two weeks of waiting, I had had enough. I scheduled a number of viewings on October 10. We saw four units that were fine and then… the one. We still hadn’t heard from apartment #1, but this one was so clearly “it” that we didn’t even care. We got our application in that day.

October 13. Find out the first application for the first apartment was rejected. Unclear reasons. We’re not married, our income is too low, our guarantors are out of state… the bottom line is that they’re obviously assholes so who cares. We found a better place anyway.

October 14. Today.

We find out we lost the second apartment. A hair’s breadth too late. I am heartbroken. I am exhausted.

I spend hours staring at a screen, sending emails, making appointments, completely unsure that I’ll find anything at all, alone and crying and frustrated because it’s NOT FAIR. It’s NOT FAIR that we are good people with a great rental history and good credit and amazing tenants and now it’s no no no no no no no.

And I am binging.

I can feel myself hurting myself because this is too hard. It’s too much. I can’t handle my own feelings of anxiety AND A’s, because his are strong too. I can’t do this much longer.

We’re living in an apartment that is completely packed up. I haven’t unpacked from my two months away. We don’t have fall or winter coats.

I am so tired of this. I am so scared we won’t find another place we love. I am scared we will be down to the wire with this move. I am scared that I won’t be able to get back on track… this month feels like it’s running away from me. So does this year.

Why did I get to have such joy to come “home” to such awfulness?

The things that make me happy are not making me happy because all that’s in my head is 1 bedrooms west of broadway pullman kitchen dishwasher laundromat across the street .5 miles from the A train sunny Hudson Heights steps from transportation roomy comfy converted uptown rent stabilized walkup low fee broker fee st nicholas eat in kitchen

My eyes are crossing and my heart is hurting and I’m hurting myself because I don’t know what to do.

Sadie Sadie Workin’ Lady

Today has been quite something at work. Usually it’s pretty relaxed– at most, one crisis per day. Today? Not so much. My brain hurts.

It also got me thinking about how hard I work. An actor I did the most recent show with posted today on Facebook about how he is stuck in Puerto Rico, where he’s been on vacation. Lots of whining. And I’m thinking: a) I couldn’t possibly afford to go to Puerto Rico! and b) I don’t have the TIME to go to Puerto Rico! and C) if I WERE in Puerto Rico, I would not be complaining about having to be there for a bit longer. And CERTAINLY not on Facebook.

Which got me thinking about the number of hours I dedicate to work. So. Calculations:

20hrs/week at my office job.
I do about 3 hours of VO session stuff maybe 6 days a week. So, 18hr/week.
I take an on-camera class for 3 hours each week.
I audition usually once or twice a week. On average, with getting ready, transit, waiting, prep, that’s about 8hrs/week.
My daily commute is at least 45min each way, and that’s if I’m going to work and then going home, which I do about twice a week. Other times, I commute much more. But as far as basic commute, 40 min each way 5 days a week, that’s about 7hrs/week.
I see a lot of shows, which can count as work. Show, plus commute, about three times a week is about 12hrs/week.
There are 168 hours in one week, minus about 48 hours of sleeping (I get about 7hrs/night). How do I spend my days?

So. Here’s the breakdown:

Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 4.47.54 PM

With 120 possible hours per week to do as I please, 68 of those are NON-NEGOTIABLE job requirements. That gives me 52 hours/week of free time. Which I guess isn’t bad, except I’m counting all 7 days of the week. Eek.

I always tell my mentees that in order to truly recover, you have to give yourself lots of free time. I did that when I was deep in my recovery, but it’s an important reminder to really look at when I can cut myself slack and take a BREAK. I deserve that. Since, y’know, I don’t get holidays…

xoxo to all, and be KIND to yourselves!!

Clogged

A’s gone again– in PA to see a friend’s star turn in a community theatre production of SPELLING BEE. I’m missing it because of rehearsal.

I came home after the show tonight (I saw the show A’s working, a new musical) solo to discover the bathtub full of cold, silty water.

What.

The.

Fuck.

The drain cover was slightly displaced. I peed, flushed, no problem.

I tried to plunge the drain, assuming it was a clog of some kind. No change. I plunged a LOT. My hands hurt.

I played with the drain lever, and while it still made that “moving” sound, literally NO change in the water level or any release of water whatsoever.

I went in with a coat hanger to try and see if I could snake it. I got a little hair out, but no movement in the water whatsoever.

I think the water must have come UP from the drain into the bathtub, and somehow clogged there. Perhaps there’s a clog deeper in, and the water won’t drain because there’s some obstruction that got pushed up with the silty (possibly shit-filled) water.

I have no fucking idea. I’m just pissed off about it.

I HATE this shit. So incredibly much. I want to be able to fix things myself. I don’t want to ask for help, especially from my super. I want the whole thing to GO AWAY.

And OF COURSE this happens when A’s not here. I fucking hate it. I moved in with someone so that I wouldn’t have to do this shit anymore. UGGGHHHHH.

I texted him, then he called me from the road. I missed his call (phone still on silent from the show), and called him back. Cried, like a small child. He hates this as much as I do. Still, he agreed to call the super tomorrow morning. I said I’d stay in the apartment and wait for her. I know he’s upset he has to deal with this for me. But I NEED him to take care of me. I need him to do more than say “I love you” a hundred times a day and come see weird plays with me. I need him to do the dirty work and pay the check and make the choices.

I mean, no, I don’t NEED that, but I do find that I want it.

And of course after I got off the phone I binged on a piece of cold pizza (leftovers from dinner) and at least two bowls of cereal. Un. Necessary. I am the worst.

Is this over yet?

Transitions and Tears

Today, as A and I were walking from Cosi back to the car to bring a box of clothes to the Goodwill, I mentioned how much I appreciated being able to share my life with him in real life, rather than just take my feelings, go home, cry, feel them, and journal– working it all out on my own. He asked if I still journaled.

“I do,” I told him, “In my small hard-copy journal. I write about feelings and thoughts but also have notes and quotes I like and stuff. I also have a journal on my computer [I didn’t say blog] which was mostly for sorting out my feelings and emotions in a more structured way.” At this point I looked at him. “I noticed that I’m writing much less there since you came into my life.”

“Is that a good thing?” he asked.

“Yeah,” I said, “I think it is. I think it means I’m able to release my feelings with you– that I can open up to you in real life, not just in the safety of a journal.”

And it’s true. I haven’t been on here in a while. Part of that is that I’ve been busy and spend most of my free time with A (now, living with him). But part, I think, is that on some level I have a person close enough to me to be able to release a lot of what I write about in real time. I don’t talk specifically about my ED (I’ll reserve that for the journals) or my depression/mood swings/etc, but I can tell him when I’m feeling self-conscious, when I have a bad day, when I’m not at my best, how I feel. What a privilege. To have a person like that.

Today was meant to be a big move– my bed to be delivered by car to a friend in NJ, then bring boxes of clothes and books to Goodwill, Buffalo Exchange, Strand, and linens to an animal shelter. A rented a car and we got up at 5:45 to begin.

The day was pretty miserable. The bed didn’t fit in the car, so we brought down two pieces for nothing and I STILL have a bed in my old apartment that I don’t need. We had an extra hour or two to kill because we didn’t go to NJ. There were lines at the Strand, Buffalo Exchange AND Animal Haven, and the Goodwill didn’t open on time. A got a ticket on his way home because he had his phone in his hand for a SECOND to talk to me. $130 fine. No joke. Don’t touch your phone in NYC, drivers.

I cried probably four times over the course of the day. I was already anxious going into the day, and all of these things that went SO wrong just put me over the edge. It was the first time that this move has really gotten under my skin. I don’t think I was blogging actively during the time of my last move 2 years ago, but it was traumatic. The move into a temporary sublet came during my senior year, when I was trying to balance school, a show, work, a stupid relationship, and the worst bouts of depression and ED behavior I had faced for a while. After a month, the sublettor kicked me out, saying I was “dirty” (perhaps I was a little messy (ED does that) but, REALLY). She stole my second month’s rent of $800. I had a week to find a new apartment. It was horrific.

So I think some of that fear is creeping into this move… the desire to not trust anyone with any part of it. The desire for it to all be over and to erase what was before and just have my new life immediately.
In fact, even my first move in NYC was traumatic– I moved just before I studied abroad in Russia, also at the height of my ED. My mom helped me move, but I had to spend Christmas in NY and CT with my family instead of going home so I could fly to Moscow on the 26th. My first night in my apartment was when I returned from Moscow to a letter my mother had sent to my therapist behind my back (something I have written about). I have never been so angry at my parents and I don’t think I’ll ever forgive them. I didn’t speak to them for weeks. The year I lived in that apartment, I was actively struggling with the beginnings of ED recovery and enormous depression. My roommate, although I told her, was actively unsympathetic. It was terrible.

So moving is traumatic. For everyone, but really for me. And although I couldn’t be more excited for this transition, I know that transitions are hard for me. And needing help and needing support and not being able to hide… that’s hard.

There is no one better than A.

But it’s a journey. We’re on a ride. And this is just the first drop.

Thanks, y’all, for sticking around with me, too. I know I’ve been MIA. I still read, and I’m still here. And happy. Just trying to get through the day. Love to all corners of the earth.

“Hopes were wallflowers. Hopes hugged the perimeter of a dance floor in your brain, tugging at their party lace, all perfume and hems and doomed expectation. They fanned their dance cards, these guests that pressed against the walls of your heart.”
Karen Russell, Swamplandia!