Gah. This truly is going to be some thinking out loud. Spontaneous vulnerability makes my fingers shake.
The other day I began thinking of my upcoming summer and how I should spend it. You see, I actually have what one would consider a “summer,” as my theatre conservatory gets put on hold until September. So although I could be involved in other acting projects, I do not have a main job keeping me in place.
As I got thinking, I began to have these heavy clouds of guilt creep in. Guilt, and quite possibly shame.
They were really strong, and were dragging me into a dark place of self-depreciation. So I had to sit down with a pen and ask myself clearly, “where is this guilt coming from?”
I began to take a look back – a clear look back at how I have spent the last, oh, seven summers… heck, years… of my life (ever since moving away from home).
2008 – In college
2009 – In college
2010 – Worked making money as an actor
2011 – Travelled to Asia and spent time at home before moving away to University
2012 – Lived at home with parents. Tried to return to auditioning.
2013 – In hospital in-patient program
2014 – Out of hospital. Worked as an actor in a film and TV series and began training
2015 – Outpatient appointments / Worked joe jobs (Starbucks)
The same list could go as such:
2008 – Training for career
2009 – Training for career
2010 – Worked as an actor. ED beginning to take over.
2011 – ED. Travel and go to University. No acting
2012 – ED. Health Scare. At Home. No acting.
2013 – ED. In hospital. No acting.
2014 – New found freedom. Passion resurgence. Acting / Career ^^
2015 – ED. Relapse. Outpatient work. No acting.
When I look back at this, I see how three, nearly four complete years were taken over by my eating disorder. Three years were spent away from my passion and building my career as an actor.
How does one not feel heart broken at this thought? How does one not feel a heavy, deep sense of guilt? Loss? I’m not even sure how to word the feeling.
When I look back at this, I also see a clear connection. 2014 (“out of hospital/worked in film and TV/returned to training”) was possibly the most successful year of my life. It was the year where my passion and career grew more than it ever had. This was the year where I was most successful as an actor and turn down film opportunities to join my theatre conservatory. This was also the year where I was at my highest weight.
The following pictures are from 2014 – the year after getting weight restored – when I was in Los Angeles. These are some of my favorite pictures I have of myself.
(my bestie Karen stealing the spot light…. sorry girl)
2010… 2012… both years where I was semi attempting to continue my career… I saw very little success. I was not getting auditions, I was not getting jobs, and my passion was dying. These were the years where I weighed the least.
Hello!? Can there be any clearer whack in the face? I was getting attention and people wanted to work with me (and even see me on film) when I was my highest weight. Yes, I did not like my body. But the rest of the world was screaming at me that I looked better than ever.
If nothing else pushes me to get back there, it is this.
I do not want this post to be a swamp of self pity. No. Because you simply cannot go back and change the past. Staying in the past will only keep you stuck… and “stuck” is what lead me to spend those years as I did. Looking back can hurt. It can really hurt. We’ve all made mistakes and spent time, perhaps even years, of our lives doing things we wish we hadn’t. But the only thing we can do… our only option... is to see it cleary, grasp it, stick it in our pocket, and move forward.
Last summer, I did not take the opportunity to go home and save money and be with family. Nor did I find acting jobs. It was spent trying to stop my relapse and getting myself back on track. Once again, a summer was spent giving attention over to my eating disorder. Much needed attention, I grant you, but attention that I do not want to give over anymore.
This is why I felt that guilt.
I fear using the word – for I truly believe no time is ever wasted – but I do not want to waste any more time away from my life. Not to this.
I don’t know guys. I’m kinda feeling… some things…. these days. Some new, good, scary, weird things. I think things may be shifting. I have a feeling my next Thinking Out Loud post may have more to do with this.
So, although my plans are not set for where I will be this summer, I know this is my last chance to spend time at home with family and save money before my time with this conservatory is up. I know spending time at home would be good for my health, where I can focus on relaxation, my passions and really get myself set up – physically and mentally – for the next step in my career. It was actually one of you lovely people who put the suggestion into my head that, in order to heal the relationship I have with being at home, I may need to consider spending more time there. I think this could very well be true.
If you find yourself sinking into a darkness when you think about time spent or time lost… sigh. I know its hard. Its so hard. But just keep reminding yourself, as I am now, that you only have two options. To continue. Or to change it. There’s still so much time. The world is still out there for us. Waiting ever so patiently for our red carpet re-entrance.
Thanks to Amanda, for giving a more eloquent name to my in the moment thoughts.
Hey friends! I don’t know if you read my post on Thursday, but…