Archive for bloom

Moving along

Posted in family, lunch with tags on May 27, 2011 by ana

At times, when I’m at work, I feel like an empty jar with a scream trapped inside.  I’m done being a waitress. It’s time to move on. I never want to tell anyone the specials ever again. I never want to be nice to someone who is not because I have to.  I never want to ask someone if they want something to drink and have them look at me like I have three heads. When you work in a restaurant you see all sorts of people often they are incredibly nice, often they are appalling. Diners often behave as if you weren’t standing right there witnessing them act like it’s the first time they’ve ever stepped out of the barn and sat in a restaurant.  No more I’m done. Well, not really. I still have to stick it out a little longer but I feel like at long last change is in the air. How can it not be?

I was talking to Carolina on the phone two weeks ago and I said to her- give or take a month by the end of the year things will be different. I will know what the next big step is. Then yesterday I had lunch with my dapper cousin, and he asked me if I had a deadline for my endeavors. He has asked me this before over the years. Essentially- when do you decide you are done chasing your dream and go out and get a job with benefits and growth potential. I get it. I know he is concerned. “Because you could keep writing and acting and who knows when any of that can pan out,” he said. I see his point of view, and how his career, background, and life shape it that way. I know what he says comes from a place of love and a wish that I be safe, comfortable, and happy. I know he is a sobering voice of reason BUT I believe that I will find the right thing or that it will find me, and I’m not giving up or resting until I do. This is huge for me because I have always felt that way but for the first time in a long time, maybe ever, I believe it.  I know this because when he asked what my plans were I said I’m working on it and for the first time in my whole entire life I felt a new feeling of complete confidence in myself and not one drop of anxiety or panic.

Aha!

Posted in friends with tags , on May 25, 2011 by ana

Monday afternoon I met my friend Vee for coffee near my apartment. After a long conversation filled with mini moments of excitement and insecurity about the future I felt invigorated and like myself again. Sometimes I just get too in my head! I drove to Hollywood where I met up with Stevie and her man to check out wedding invites at my friend’s press.  And then we went to Hungry Cat for drinks and snacks. On the drive to the restaurant I felt something I hadn’t in awhile- the energy of Los Angeles as a city, which often feels to escape me. I felt happy and excited in general and for Stevie. I simply can not wait for her wedding. Not only because it’s going to be the party of the year (even if it is still over a year away) but because she’s marrying someone I adore almost, almost as much as her. As she was discussing the invites for a brief moment I thought- will this moment come for me? Not so much because I doubt that I will meet someone suited for me but because a wedding at this moment seems like such an abstract concept. A wedding, marriage has often seemed somewhat conceptual and intangible to me. But as I was there with Steves I realized that I just feel that way because I’ve probably in my heart of hearts have never met someone I could truly embark in that adventure with.

I was telling my mom the other day that my good friend is having a baby. I was telling her that Steves was getting married. And she said, “I guess you will always be a late bloomer in everything.”
I know she’s right but lately I’ve come to realize that this has its advantages. Which doesn’t mean that it isn’t a struggle and that it doesn’t suck at times. I am elated that my friends are having babies and getting married and getting dream jobs. Slowly I am starting to see that everything that I have done and the pace at which it has happened has led me to this moment. And though my heart still aches a little (or a lot every once in awhile), I feel grounded and I can’t say that is something that I have always been familiar.

Here, now, writing this post with the birds chirping outside and the cool air holding the promise of a warm afternoon this late blooming thing makes perfect sense. Yes, sometimes it seems like nothing is happening. Often I want to scream with my head buried in my pillow out of frustration. But when Alicia asked me last night how my workshop went over the weekend I realized just how different things are. For so long I had let the things I deemed failures (because in hindsight I could have done more or done them different) hold me back.  Now something had shifted, and I feel a sense of pride and kindness towards my life.  I realized that my struggles to be clearly seen and heard, the battles with my body and with food, and the dance that I had always done to be true to myself and still feel accepted by my family had led me to a deeper understanding of myself and my place in the world. It sounds so dramatic to type it out but so often I have felt left out or like I didn’t fit in. It is earth shattering to finally see that none of it is a measure of worth. And the current, that runs through everything now, the kernel of truth that I’ve slowly come to know in my bones is how often writing save us.

Time moves fast but change is slow

Posted in 37 with tags , on May 23, 2011 by ana

Ever since January I have been doing a Jungian workshop. To say that it has been intense is an understatement. This past weekend we ended the shadow part of the workshop and today I’m feeling a bit delirious, scared, neglected, and sad. This kind of work is supposed to stir up a lot of things. Right now I’m so exhausted, which is where the delirious part comes in. I suppose I should take a nap but in doing the work I needed to do to prepare for this past weekend I neglected a lot of little things, and I feel a little guilty not jumping right back into the things I’m trying to solidify as routines, namely making time to write and read and exercise and meditate. The morning just got a way from me and now the afternoon is slipping. All I want to do is watch movies or go to the movies but I can’t seem to relax either. I’m feeling anxious because summer is almost here and that means that my workshop will be over, that I will go on my trip to Italy, and that I need to buckle down and really try to figure out what my next step is. The workshop ending makes me sad but I’m also excited to see what comes once it is done. Italy I am beyond thrilled about. Figuring out the next step not so much. The truth is sometimes I feel confident and excited, and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my life is changing. That I am changing and that surely I am at long last finding a voice stronger than all the hobbies, curiosities, and interests that I never can quite fully grasp but intrigue me.  Other times I am still racked with doubt because I see no concrete external change. I am still essentially where I was last year. I am still trying to become, trying to make something of my life. There are moments where I feel sure that this is part of a process and that one day it will make sense. There are also many times where I feel overwhelmed, and I find myself ruminating over the same old questions- Did I do enough? Am I enough? Will I ever truly move forward? Time moves fast but change is slow, and I’m scared because this year is flying.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on April 5, 2011 by ana

From the second floor balcony of the apartment where I’m staying I can see just above the roofs of all the houses in the area. Yesterday as I was driving I thought this is the cleanest neighborhood I’ve ever lived in. It has this pristine, 1950s, small town feel to it. On the corner of the main road and my street there is a small playhouse, a little snack shack type place, and a Bob’s Big Boy where people bring their vintage cars a few times a week and hang out. It is the Bob’s Big Boy where David Lynch drank a chocolate shake everyday at the same time for years.

It gets really quiet here at night but not in a creepy kind of way. I live four blocks away from two huge movie studios with sound stages, back lots that look like New York and the wild west, and warehouses chuck-full of cameras, costumes, lights, and props. A little further east is Griffith Park. I love that dichotomy. LA is nothing if not the constant clash of concrete and nature. Coyotes, deer, bobcats and foxes live in Griffith park. There is also a zoo with gorillas, tigers, and elephants only a few miles from my apartment.

Today I spent the whole day writing and reading in the kitchen and I feel great. When I don’t feel restless, and I fill up my day with things that feed me I feel really grounded. It is a feeling that I worry about loosing if I move to New York or when I’m in a relationship again. I think about this a lot. How can I find a balance between the space of being single and the one in union. Can one stay singular and yet be plural? This is also one of my biggest fears about having a child.

One thing I’ve noticed in a non-planning planning sort of way is that there are several things that have to happen every single day, like having caffeine in the morning, to make me feel at peace. If everyday includes some reading, some writing, some sort of movement like dance class or hiking and some meditation, even if it is a five minute meditation, I will have a fulfilling day no matter what. The rest is icing on the cake because I’ve taken care of myself. I used to feel guilty about the time I spent reading on my couch during the day but now I realize that it’s not like I’m laying on my back eating bonbons I’m actually actively contributing to my creativity. And in doing so I’m no longer at the whim of my creative spirit but rather courting it daily.

I have never in my life really worried about finding love. I know that when the time is right I will fall in love again. I may get antsy about meeting someone but I never doubt I will. It has always been that way. On the other hand I have always panicked about finding a true calling. I worry that I will never be fully realized in that department. Above anything else that is what led me to write this blog. The hope that somehow it would help me discover that confidence, that trust in my ability to create a satisfying, sustainable career for myself.

I woke up this morning with the fear that I wont be able to pounding in my heart. It is still with me as I write. I hate that anxiety keeps me from trusting that life will fall into place. During the first months of disintegration with Leo, when the conversations where heart-wrenching but still full of hope, when we both would say that we wanted to make it work but sank deeper into the abyss, when I didn’t on the surface know for sure that we would breakup, but a whisper, almost inaudible but constant and unavoidable knew, I would call my mom sobbing out of despair with a mix of confusion over the breakup and confusion over my life in general. I had attached so much of my future success to Leo. I had imagined us always collaborating. I’d smacked my forehead against that fantasy so hard I was spinning. My identity felt so linked to who we were as a couple. My mom from a different time zone and with an ocean between us often said, “it is not about where you end up but how you get there. The trick is to find joy in the process.” Well, she didn’t say it quite like that. She said it in Spanish and I was so distraught at the time I only remember the gist of it.

Today I am as far away from rock-bottom as I’ve been in the past year and anxious or not I’m excited about my life. I just can’t forget that it is a process and that I have to show up everyday in ways that encourage me to be more present and inspired. It may no longer be rock bottom but I’m still crossing a threshold. And for the first time ever, after much search and much disappointment, I am willing to really entertain the idea that if I do the work necessary, if I create a daily ritual that strengthens me then the right things for me will come along when they are meant to be.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on March 21, 2011 by ana

Ever since I went off the pill a few months back my periods have been mood-swing city. I’m crabby. I’m restless. I’m annoyed. The restlessness I can’t quite pin on my period. I feel boxed in. The last few days have been filled with impatience. Although typing this in my warm bed as it rains outside I feel present and grateful and luxurious, for the most part, lately, it’s been hard to be present and in the moment. I catch myself daydreaming about vacations in Tulum, Istanbul and Paris, about walking from my fantasy apartment in NY to the farmer’s market, about walking out of dance class feeling lithe and toned, about dressing up and wearing sexy knickers and being in love. Instead I’m bloated and running incredibly late for brunch with my old friend, Rex, who I’ve known since art school.

I know part of the restlessness is that I haven’t written for a week. That I’ve let go of new habits I’ve been establishing for myself. I haven’t been meditating and that throws off my focus. Even if I can’t really do it yet the simple act of stopping and being present really trickles down to the rest of my day.

This whole process of finding my voice, of becoming a woman, of stepping into my life now and not when I’m five pounds lighter or have booked a job that thrills me or have fallen in love again, is really about listening to my needs and not expecting any less. My friend Chili said to me the other day, “What you put up with is what you get”. And that is really about finding your own worth and speaking fearlessly from your heart. A few months ago I cut out a sentence from an interview with Natalie Portman and taped it next to my bed. The sentiment really resonated with me. “I believe in kindness toward people, but I also try to voice what I want and not be shy about standing up for myself.” If that is not taking care of yourself I don’t know what is.

It’s really, really hard to be present, to constantly tune in to how you feel and walk through your day really taking care of yourself. I can barely do it. When I look back I find that there have been people throughout my life that were really present that I have looked up to and without really knowing I have tried to emulate them. There is something so still and purposeful about them that I found so attractive and powerful. But I never really knew where that centerdness came from. Until recently I thought it was more about doing but now I realize is more about being in the moment. Last week I went to see my therapist. It had been awhile since I saw her one on one. When we talked about this she said it was “the letting go of the moment that isn’t here yet.” How great is that? How hard is that? I guess you just keep doing it until it becomes a habit.

Part of the restlessness is feeling like things aren’t happening fast enough. Things speed up, things come to a barely imperceptible stir. This is unnerving. A few months back my cousin said to me, “you have to experience every aspect of grief or it will come back to get you.” So maybe this is some sort of post “divorce” gestation period. This week working at the restaurant felt like I had been condemned to a doctor’s waiting room with three month old copies of People magazines and Popular Science. But maybe all that needs to be happening now is just this- the writing, the struggling to learn how to meditate, the dance classes, the longing, the safety and cocoon of my cousin’s flowery, pink apartment.

David Whyte:

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on March 8, 2011 by ana

A real work, like a real love, takes not only passion but a certain daily, obsessive, tenacious, illogical form of insanity to keep it alive. Once you have experienced the real essence at the beginning of the affair with a work, the task, as in a marriage, is to keep the work, the company, the initial image with which we fell in love, alive. We want to be surprised again and again by where our work takes us and what kind of person we are becoming as we follow it.

Posted in 37 with tags , on January 9, 2011 by ana

I have changed in the last few months. Is that why I left? Because I grew up. I feel different, more centered and focused, and more able to articulate exactly what I want/need and why, and less afraid to do so. I have nothing to loose and for the first time in a long time, perhaps ever, I feel myself present in my body. It feels great.

Still, I struggle to keep myself firmly on the ground. I am a person who aggressively looks for the beauty in things. To me life isn’t life unless I find the magic in it. There is a fine line between that and my usual fantasy mode. Is very easy for me to weave a story in my head, to mix my hopes and dreams about something with the actual event at hand. This leaves me chasing after things that I will never be able to have because they don’t truly exist. There is a small battle in my head about staying present and this morning I woke up exhausted from it. I tried to meditate, something very new to me, and that left me spent rather than invigorated or centered. I think at the end of this struggle lies something rich and interesting. I feel inspired by desire to let go, to not plan my days but rather have a vague idea of were I’m supposed to go. I find that when I don’t think about dinner at breakfast or make ten lists of all the things I must get done, my days seem fuller and more accomplished.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on November 29, 2010 by ana

I feel that I have lost my compass. My routines have changed so drastically I am no longer sure what I’m tethered to day to day. There was a time when I used to feel overwhelmed by all the things in my life but once I began taking acting classes I began to feel settled. My creative endeavors didn’t seem as daunting, even if so many questions about who I am and what my purpose is remained unanswered. I felt more grounded.

I have always been a morning person but now I can’t get up before 10:30 or 11. I don’t want to exercise. I don’t want to go to acting class. I haven’t read in weeks. I just want to watch TV until I fall asleep at three or four in the morning. This new set of habits make me feel cozy but lost. It feels like I have lost my way, like I’ve stopped trying. This may not be a bad thing. I may just need to lay low. The thing that I don’t like is that it brings the question of what am I doing with my life back with a vengeance.

What is my purpose? What is my bliss and how do I follow it? All those doubts were there before the break up but being in love kept them at bay. We had purpose together. We wrote screenplays together. I feel that I’m at sea longing to reach the shore. To some degree I have always felt that way. I have always longed to find a place to build myself and my home.

I have never felt quite at home, quite like I fit in, completely comfortable in my skin. My relationship grounded me in that way. Made me feel that for the first time. I defined myself by it, by how good it was, by how cute we were, by the sweet notes we left each other, by the romance, by how good we looked together when we went out.
None of that matters now.

A clock is ticking

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on November 21, 2010 by ana

Today I changed the sheets on the bed in the guest room where I’ve been sleeping. It was the first bed I’ve made in six years that is just for me to sleep in. Leo and I always made the bed together in the morning and changing the sheets today stopped me in my tracks. There has been a lot of that lately. Last night I went to my friend’s house in Pasadena to watch a screener of Black Swan. Leo and I spent a lot of time in Pasadena at the beginning of our relationship. Before we went over to my friend’s house, my sister and I shopped a little on Colorado. As we walked around I had this sense of trying to find something that I had left behind.

I feel so lost. It’s no secret. I woke up this morning fraught with doubt. I’ve always had big dreams but now that everything has gone pear-shaped they seem so childish. I had always envisioned for myself a life within a creative, stimulating community, a marriage or partnership where creative work and love and family all thrived. I have always dreamed of coming into my own creatively, of following my bliss, of finding a fulfilling career, of being passionately at work and at peace. I have none of the above. At the beginning of this year I thought my life was moving in that direction. Even if things weren’t moving as fast as I would have liked them to I thought I had a good foundation.

This morning I woke up longing for my old life, torn because it may not be at all what is best for me. I woke up longing for a child, for a home, for a job that really fulfills me. Where am I to go? What is to become of me? Will I ever be able to dig deep enough to really make something meaningful- to write, to act, to cook. I want to feel fulfilled. Do other people feel this way? How do I get there? Is it perseverance? Is it diligence?

Will this feeling ever go away? Will my heart mend fast enough to fall in love with someone else in time to have a child?

They say that in the grand scheme of things age doesn’t matter. I don’t want to be lost forever. I don’t want to be a late bloomer. I just want to bloom. I need at least one part of my life to light up but all I can do is go about my day and trust that there is a purpose and a path.

It’s the little things

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on November 12, 2010 by ana

I keep thinking about this detergent I have at the apartment. My shirt has a small wine stain, and I want to dab stain remover on it. I either have to go get it or buy a new one. It’s one of those things that now dumbfounds me. What do I do?

I think about my shoes lined up in my closet or the box of nail polish by the bathroom sink silently taking up space, marking the place where I used to be. Things all bought and picked for a life that now seems will never happen. I know, I know, I chose to leave. I could have kicked him out and stayed in the apartment but I think I needed the comforts of family. I think I needed to live this moment in a simple way with two dresses, one sweater, jeans, some shirts and not much else. And yes, those are still my things and will be no matter where I end up but many of them were bought for that life. Like the Missoni towels I ordered for our new bathroom or the fancy candle I bought when we first moved. Those are the small things that haunt me- the stories we weave into our objects. The importance we give them as if they somehow will hold us in place.

And then there are the other little things, the opposite of objects. The small things that seem to bring enormous satisfaction. Things like putting on lip balm so my lips stop feeling like paper. Things like sleeping in because I don’t have a bunch of stuff to do around the house or writing this blog because it feels really good to do so. The simple pleasure of taking care of myself.

Tonight a woman came into the restaurant who I had done a scene with in class last year. She asked if I was still at the studio, which I am not, and said she was now in the master class. It took me by surprise. This wasn’t the first time someone telling me they were advancing in class filled me with some envy and left me searching. I work really hard in my classes but I’ve never had a breakthrough like that. Tonight, I got it. It’s the confidence.

And then I also got it in a whole different way. Yes, I have a shyness that I sometimes don’t even know I have. A lady like upbringing will sometimes give you that. But if confidence is being certain of yourself then I also have to put things into context. Those particular women that I write about are not more or less talented, they have just been doing it much longer than I have. There is a familiarity, a comfort and an assertiveness that come with practice. They are also on their own path. I don’t know where I’m headed in most aspects of my life but I am where my path has brought me and there is no right or wrong way of arriving as long as you keep walking. I may still doubt my voice or feel it has not yet been found but I am brave and tenacious and graceful and that is more than enough for now.