Friday, December 23, 2016

Making a Diamond


When I was a little girl, I was quite the introvert.  I would tremble from head to toe when I had to meet someone new and was expected and urged to speak to that person.  I have memories of hiding behind my father's leg, burying my face from view, because if I couldn't see them, they couldn't see me...at least that was how it felt and I felt more at ease when I couldn't be seen...or thought I wasn't seen.  I never liked being the center of attention.

I've always had at least one friend who didn't know the meaning of shy and knew no stranger.  They were that person who always stood out in a crowd and always seemed to have a spotlight on them.  They were loud, obnoxious, flamboyant, the life of the party.  I was always embarrassed to be around them and be seen with them when they drew attention our way.  I never understood why they would want to be seen so much.  On the other hand, I admired them, their strength and confidence and wanted desperately to be like that...to be that strong and confident.

Being seen and having to talk to people...to me...meant risking that person knowing things about me that I didn't really want them knowing.  Maybe it meant they would know me better and I would like them and with that risk came being hurt, physically and/or emotionally.

It wasn't until I was an adult, after 2 kids and 3 divorces, that I would learn that the obnoxious friend was never concerned about what others thought of them.  They weren't intentionally trying to draw attention to themselves.  They simply were themselves...free and confident in who they were.  I didn't know what that was like.  I was too busy trying to please other people and be what they wanted me to be.  I wasn't encouraged to be myself and pursue dreams.  Dreaming wasn't being realistic and you couldn't cash a dream.

I was raised somewhat sheltered.  I was never told how difficult life could be.  I was never taught how to deal with conflict and struggle.  I was raised in a "broken" home.  My mother always struggled financially and in her romantic relationships.  She is a poor manager of money.  She knows it.  She was never taught how to manage money and just accepted that as fact and the way things would always be.  She never tried to change it.  She came to accept that she isn't good at being in a relationship and accepted that and chose to be alone.  There is nothing wrong with that at all.  She is her best when she is alone because she doesn't know how to be herself while she is in a relationship.  She taught me that being in a relationship meant giving all of yourself to that person and only that person and that no one else mattered, least of all self.

My father has always been the protector.  He did his best to protect us from any harm.  He sheltered us from knowing any struggle he endured by simply not discussing it.  To this day, he won't discuss any personal struggles.  He does offer advice, though, and his advice is sound.  He was always good at managing money and he and my step-mother did teach us some values in that regard.  It helped me to a large degree.  He taught me how to keep to myself and that being an adult meant going the same job every day for the next 50 years of my life, raising kids, and being a dutiful wife.  That was all there would ever be to life.  However, he also taught me that your limitations exist only in your mind.  If you believe you are limited, then you are limited.  My father is a great mechanic.  He can fix anything.  He can build buildings and engines from the ground up and most of it by himself.  He does it all with only 3 limbs.  Can you tie your shoe with one hand?  I've seen him do it countless times in my life.  I've only ever known my father with one arm.  I wouldn't learn the valuable lesson my father's life offered until I was in my mid-30's.

Growing up, I don't remember a time when I can say I was happy...in that I had a happy childhood.  it wasn't a horrible childhood but I was never really content.  The bad times really weighed on me kept me in the darkness.  I do have a few good memories that I cling to and share with my kids today.  I never really had conscious thoughts of "is there more to life," but I did feel that way.  I've been restless and want more in life, more than punching a clock day in and day out.

You hear interviews with Hollywood movie stars or entrepreneur rockstars and how great life is for them now.  They touch on how much of a struggle life was before they reached the top of their mountain but unless you live that struggle, and achieve the subsequent success, it is really impossible to relate to them.  For most of us, we live the struggle and never experience the success because we give up.  After enduring one struggle after another, we resolve that success just isn't in the cards for us.  That is something only people like "them" get to have...after all they MUST have something the rest of us don't, right?

I've been there with the rest of the negative Nellies.  I'm living that struggle right now.  I'm drowning in debt.  I hold my breath every week, praying we can pay the bills due that week and that nothing breaks.  This has been the life I have come to know.  I've known so much adversity and struggle.  I've known more of it than I have success.  The success I've known I had to fight like hell for.

After my last divorce, I finally began to focus on finding myself and learning who I am and what I want in life, instead of being what others wanted me to be and doing what they believed I should do.  It is then that I found acting and motivating others in health.  It is then that I learned that there IS more to life than punching a clock and that life is what I make of it.  I am in control of my own destiny.  Does that mean I won't still struggle?  Of course not!  All it means is I now know exactly where I am going.  I don't really know how to get there but I will figure it out and endure whatever hardships I must along the way.

I firmly believe that I am meant for more in this life and I will pursue it with all the ambition I can muster.  I will endure the heartaches, struggles, setbacks, and doubters because I believe I am a force to be reckoned with.  I will practice the law of attraction and attract to me that which I believe I meant to be.  I will not focus on the negative balance in my bank account or the lack of auditions coming in.  I will believe that the career-making role I'm meant to have is on its way to me and my finances will work themselves out while I practice good money management.

I am 2 months from turning 40 years old.  Most people would let this stop them from ever pursuing a dream or major change in their life because they are "too old."  I refuse to limit myself like that, not anymore.

I will use this blog, point-forward, as a gratitude and law of attraction journal and update on my progress in all my goals...weight loss, acting career advancement, and health motivation.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Changes



This year has been wrought full of changes.  With changes, come new struggles and challenges.  I started a new full-time job outside the home again.  While the steady income is much needed, I'm finding I struggle with not having the freedom in my day that working at home afforded me.  Two months after I began this job my boyfriend lost his.  His income was rather substantial and now he makes half what he once did.  We are struggling to manage our finances.  We both are struggling with weight gain and loss and being consistent to be our healthiest.

We lived in a travel trailer for 3 months.  The intent was to live in it until we saved enough to build our own home.  The estimated time frame was 2 years.  We needed the travel trailer anyway for the line of work he does.  It seemed like a solid idea in theory.  However, living with 4 shedding animals in less than 500 square feet takes its toll on humans and animals alike!  I found myself making excuses to not be in that trailer for as long as possible.  That meant eating out a lot.  Needless to say, we had to make a change before someone got hurt!

We are very fortunate to have some incredible friends.  My best friend is letting us live in the house they recently moved out of while they remodel it.  She is charging me next to nothing.  It has allowed us to save money over what we were spending in lot rent and storage facility rent.

The building of our own home has been put on hold indefinitely.  We need to recover from job loss and greatly reduce the debt we incurred to buy the trailer and to survive while we were living on a quarter of the income.

"What doesn't kill us makes us stronger."  We are definitely being tried in these times.  We will survive, though.  We firmly believe that.  This is an opportunity for me to practice the law of attraction and see our goals to fruition, in spite of temporary set backs.

I have 2 immediate goals for myself. I will be working on them simultaneously.  First, I must lose the 40 lbs I've gained in the last 2 years.  I've struggled with using "quick fix" methods because I'm desperate.  I want my lean, fit, strong body back.  I am also enduring a lot of joint pain due to the excess weight.  However, I know that those quick fixes are just that.  They don't last.  I also want to prove that consistency and good choices to work and are the best, long-term method.  It requires patience...something I know I have in short supply.  I will not deprive myself of foods I love.  I will simply log them and include them in my day, staying within in my calorie range and sticking to my macros as closely as possible.  This is what works for me at this point in time.

The next thing I will be working on is being a better actor.  I haven't been giving that skill nearly enough time and attention. In addition to working on material and practicing scene study and character development, I will be reading books recommended by casting director.  The one that is on my table right now is How to Avoid the Cutting Room Floor: An editor's advice for on-camera actors. I believe one cannot grow without continual learning.  Developing myself as a woman and as an actor is non-negotiable if I am to succeed.

That said, I will also be reading personal development books to grow my own character.  I'm starting with The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth: Live Them and Reach Your Potential by Maxwell, John C.. I've read it before, a couple of time.  Each time I read it something new stands out to me and I learn more about myself and more about other people.  Personal development has helped me become more comfortable in my own skin and to be more forgiving of myself.

I am looking forward to the coming year.  All the changes that have happened this year are leading to great things, in spite of the challenges they have also brought.