The melancholy creeps…

It’s finally beginning to be real.

I’m losing my job.

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Giving the commencement speech at my graduation.

Yesterday we interviewed 4 applicants, all qualified, although there’s already someone in place to take the job from within. Today I’ll have my very last program meeting, where the students and faculty get together and talk about news and auditions and departmental happenings. I have gone to these monthly since August 2007.

Before the final program meeting in high school.

Before the final program meeting in high school.

I’ve been recording a lot for these audiobooks I’m working on, and the ones that pay the best give me about $100 per finished hour (plus royalties to come), some more than that. It’s not bad. But I’m realizing that if I were to “rely” on my audiobooks, I’d have to be doing at LEAST two full-length books per month to get up to the pittance I’m currently making. It’s not really feasible.

And also, I no longer have a safe space. I don’t have a computer not in my home. I don’t have somewhere quiet to escape to. I don’t have the comfort of a door I can close and a chair that’s mine and a printer I can use and the people who I have surrounded myself with for the last 7 years. SEVEN YEARS.

Closing celebration for the last show of my first year in college.

Closing celebration for the last show of my first year in college.

I think that’s the hardest part. It’s sort of like graduating all over again, and it hurts. It’s scary, but it’s more sad. It’s more like leaving my therapist or graduating from school or having a show close than it is money anxiety or anything like that.

My senior prom (and my 18th birthday) in high school.

My senior prom (and my 18th birthday) in high school.

I don’t know how I’m going to make money, but even more, I don’t know where to focus my energy. I’m not sure where my “home base” will be. That’s very scary.

So many endings. So much uncertainty. Starting from zero again.

And not knowing exactly what the next step is.

My first "Banquet."

My first “Banquet.”

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My final “Banquet.”

One hand in my pocket, and the other one is giving a peace sign.

When my best friend, L, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic lymphoma and leukemia a couple of years ago, we left her second appointment at Beth Israel (before we decided to go to Sloan Kettering) and she mentioned that she couldn’t keep Alanis Morrissette’s song “Hand in my Pocket” out of her head.

Many of the lyrics were poignantly related to what she was going through— ‘I’m sick but I’m pretty, I’m brave but I’m chickenshit.” I fell in love with the song, partly because it has great meaning for me (L finished her over two year treatment in December 2013) but partly because it speaks to what it is to feel like “you haven’t really got it figured out just yet.”

Also, I’m learning to play the guitar. I’m not good, but instead of being chickenshit I’m going to be brave and post.

Love to all.

HOW?

How? HOW?! (so many hows)

HOW #1: How do I balance busy and not busy?

I’m not happy when I’m not busy, but when I’m busy, I feel run down. Balance? What’s that?

A and I fought last night because I was irritable and needed space and probably other things I couldn’t articulate. All day today I felt overwhelmed by all the things I haven’t completed (learning lines, cleaning the apartment, literally my entire job at school) but when I sit down at my desk, I can’t focus on doing them. It’s terrible. Why can’t I complete tasks like a normal person?HOW #2: How to I figure out what I need?

Do I need more space? Probably. A’s not working right now, except from home, which somehow really irks me. I run to work at 11am, then to rehearsal at 5pm, then home at 8pm, and then he’s there and wants to talk… so YES, I need space.

But even when I have it, I’m not happy. I need MORE. Or I need something else. I need him to make choices? I need to relax more? I need to work harder? I seriously don’t know what I need. It would be so much easier if I could answer the question A asked me today: “Is there anything I can do, or say, or is there a food, or an object, or an activity that would make you feel better?” How the fuck do I know? I WISH there was.

HOW #3: How can I stay focused?

The second I get busy I lose my drive. I simply can’t fathom picking up my script and memorizing lines, so I wander around and submit audiobook auditions. What IS that? I know I need to clean the apartment, but instead I take a bath. WHY? I know A’s coming home so I should enjoy my me-time but instead I lock myself in the closet to do voiceovers, which I could do to get space when he IS around. WHY?

HOW #4: I don’t even know how to cohesively write a post right now, so how on earth am I going to accomplish anything else today? HOW????

 

What goes up…

And here’s the problem with not hearing from my agent and not auditioning as much as I want to be.

When I do finally get a call from my agent, it’s a video audition for a recurring role on a new series for AMC (and yes, the same casting directors as Mad Men).

Naturally, I REALLY WANT THIS PART.

But the second I want it is the second I’ll fail to get it and feel heartbroken.

So.

It would be cool to get, yeah!
It’s even cooler to have gotten the appointment. Right? Of course right!!

Cross your fingers for me, though, secretly, because holy shit.

****UPDATE*****

Andddddd. Here is me letting go. After a day of excitement, then a day of so much nervous energy I could have powered NYC… And the video audition is taped, looks just fine, and was sent off to my agent. Now. I can feel good about this. I just need to stop fantasizing about it.

What’s next to get me excited?! Anyone?

Mom and dad are coming for thanksgiving in two weeks! Artie and I have two movie dates next week! I have a play audition on Monday! I have amazing supportive friends!

Life is good, y’all.

And that’s the end of this chapter. Page turn, cover close, on the shelf, as high as it can go. 🙂

In which I cry on the uptown 3 and wallow in my loneliness

I wanted tonight to be a celebration– a farewell of sorts and a send off. I scheduled it, which I don’t really do, I spent over an hour in their kitchen, I made the night happen.

But instead, it felt like a goodbye. It felt like the end of a friendship, the last strands of love and care fading slowly into nothingness.

They had made me feel special. They had embraced my imperfection and celebrated my weirdness. And now? Now it just feels like the end– my final attempts to stoke the embers of a dying friendship.

I went from being special– selected, featured, important– to being a side friend, a blur on the periphery. What happened? What did I do? What did they?

I’m scared because I’ve lost R before. I’ve lost her in the summer melee of options and boys and popularity. Perhaps I never really had her in the first place. Perhaps I never really ha anything, but I was there, an I filled a space, and now they no longer need the odd, difficult, sensitive, passionate, place I once inhabited.

Do they not see how they hurt me? Do they not care? I don’t expect anyone to read my mind… But somehow I expect the group of people I considered my closest friends, my collaborators, my secret-keepers, to understand how I need care, that I only want consistency and friendship and the stability of a peer group that genuinely cares about me.

Or even worse. That they know and are just beyond caring.

And I’m scared. I know, I know, I know I’ll be fine. But I’m scared. And I want them to know but I don’t know where to begin in telling them. The last thing I want is to make everything about me (that surely doesn’t attract friends), but I need support. I need a hug. I need someone to say, “I’ll come when you need me. I am here for you. No matter what.”

And I don’t have that. Somehow, in the last four months, I lost my confidantes.

And the confidante I just was finding got cancer and needed more support than I did.

Perhaps we’re all only capable of so much compassion. Perhaps we become exhausted by our own struggles and our own transitional moments. Perhaps the strength of spirit and willingness to sacrifice for another’s well being all got used up by L and her struggle. Cancer is more life threatening than neurosis.

I have days where I feel like the luckiest college graduate– where I can see my life and appreciate the lengths I’ve come. But when I sit, and feel, and cry like a child on the uptown 3 after what was supposed to be my party and no one cared… A part of me feels like a selfish bitch for wanting more… And a part of me feels like a little girl who suddenly feels like a piece out of place in a puzzle that has intimidated her from the start of the game.

How do you heal from loneliness? How do you rebuild from a loss that only YOU felt, and that you are alone in feeling? How do you find, and nourish, and cultivate a small bud of self-worth when suddenly you find yourself on the edge of what you once knew and on the precipice of something that is dangerous and scary? How do I feel that inner B that my therapist talks about grow and fill my body– not be hurt, not withdraw, but accept and smile and continue walking forward? When the people who I thought gave me the freedom to flail and flop and fall and fall are gone, who can I turn to? I have gotten so used to being loved, to falling back on this group of confidantes as proof that I’m loveable… How else can I rise up out of myself and experience the world genuinely, not through the dim fog of my own brain, my own struggles, and realize I’m worth something?

I’m so scared (I mean, of everything, but also) that I will relive my Williamstown summer . And a fucked up part of me is like, PLEASE stop eating again because you’re far and worthless and nobody loves you, and that little scared passionate determined part has lost her perspective and feels all summer as though she’s totally alone and spinning her wheels to be good, to be great, to be loved, and she only ended up spinning herself deep into the ground.