Happy Sunday and Father's Day, Everyone!
Since the end of 2003, I’ve called you home. Though it is no secret that I never fully felt as though you were where I belonged. I was in my 20’s, finding my way in a city I had always wanted to live, trying to establish the actor within myself, and discovering what that meant in your world as the business evolved.
From the moment I arrived, on that mid-October evening, your busy, traffic filled freeways and tall, elegant palm trees welcomed my rather innocent heart. As your sun warmed me with thoughts of all the wonderful memories that would be created, new friendships that would form and lasting life lessons you’d teach. Though sometimes slowly learned, through all the ups and downs that colored my own unique path, or road map of life.
My time with you gave me a 2nd chance with an undiscovered flame. A flame that was first sparked back in college, when I was just 17, with someone who was now living in your city as well. This lead to my very first heartbreak, leaving a tiny crack on my newly strengthened heart forever. As difficult as they are to endure, they are also important in any girl’s life. Mine helped put to rest the “what if” feeling I’d had, where he was concerned, since my youthful, college days.
You also introduced me to my first, and unexpected love. While honestly unfolding the layers within myself, and helping me to discover who I am, what I want, and ultimately, what I need in life, and in another person. Specifically, a person who is going to stand by my side through the remainder of it. If that is indeed something that is meant for me in this lifetime, with which only time will tell. This very meeting led to the hardest decision I have had to make in my life thus far, but one I know was the right one for my happiness, and us both in the long run, though truly heartbreaking.
Since then, I have been able to step outside of it all and reflect. As well as gain further knowledge, feelings and thoughts from others, incidents and things that were said, which only confirmed my decision. Honestly, some things I found out were sad, hard to hear and even surprising, but I now fully realize the impact those lack of social graces, respectful interactions, behaviors and comments had on so many. In the end, he was a fit that simply wasn’t right for me, and he deserves true happiness, love and someone we can stand by him with no reservations.
My wish for him, is to first find genuine happiness within himself as a person, facing what I believe he knows he has needed to deal with for some time. Especially, after living through such a tragic event, which should have left him even more thankful and appreciative in and of life. Then, I hope he finds happiness in the life he leads and in the people and world around him, in a more positive manner, free from overwhelming negativity. Leaving him with the ability to fly and allow all the great qualities he holds to shine!
Aside from relationships, your city allowed me to further explore life as an actor, and all the highs, lows and frustrations that come with such a difficult, and often unfair, industry. You gave me the opportunity to meet and work with some well-known, talented actors on TV and in Film, be in a 3D video game, as well as, attend some red carpet events. All while shining a transparent light on an industry I feel has changed since I began, for different reasons, and with the invention and popularity of the internet.
All of this, sadly, caused me to lose some of the heart and drive I once had for it. Something that was reinforced while packing, when I came upon tapes from my acting and film classes in college. I truly did have a passion for it, and held a raw, magical and somewhat angelic view on it all, which I think I lost a little over time and with age.
As I write this, I am on the verge of a new journey in my life. Reflecting on the past 9 years in your city, and ready to embark on my new path, as the old one on my road map of life comes to a fork. It is time for a change, to follow new dreams in life with which I hold passion, and remain open to all that is ahead.
Strangely, the lyrics from an apology song, written and recorded for me by the one who broke my heart, read, “I hope you get to see the seasons change when the big city calls your name.” Well, the big city, better known as New York City, has been calling my name since the day I left. It is where my heart lies, and the place that most feels like home to me, with an unexplainable energy and drive that is unique to the city itself.
It has been said that, “You can’t live the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one.” Something I have a tendency to do. However, it is also said that, “It's just a chapter in the past, don’t close the book, just turn the page.” That is exactly what I am doing, turning the page. Although, I hope you know that through everything that happened in your city, which went by in a flash, I am, without a doubt, happy I got to experience you.
My future adventure awaits, just in a new city, where I plan to continue “leaning forward” into the next chapter in life. This time, without too many expectations, but instead letting life take the lead and enjoying the ride. “We shape our places, and afterwards, our places shape us.” That is what you have done for me, Los Angeles, and is what I’m sure New York City will do for me, in its own special way, as well.
The smile on my face is a part of who I am, and I will always do my best to stay positive no matter what because I think it is so important! As Thoreau, one of my favorite poets, once said, “Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.” I’m not sure we ever fully know ourselves, or the exact direction we are going at all times, but I do believe that with each step we take, and the experiences and people we encounter, it helps us to better find our way.
I am excited about what is ahead, and so, as Douglas Adams said, ”I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I’ve ended up where I needed to be.” Just because your city is now a part of my past, doesn’t mean I’ll forget all that you have taught me, or all the amazing and memorable times I had with some wonderful people. All that I have learned, along with those who came in and out of my life during my time with you, will remain in my heart forever.
Thank you for shaping me into the person I am today. A person who is, “learning to love the process” while following her own heart, and leaving your city stronger than when she arrived! Life is an enigma, which is what also makes it fun, but it is important to remember to “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.”
We are all on our own road, getting to places at different times. As an ex and still good friend once wisely told me, “We are on no one’s timeline but our own.” My timeline continues, with a job opportunity in NYC, alongside a genuine talent in the music industry, and possible exciting world travel in the near future. I already think it is going to be a great one, and I plan to truly live and experience every moment of it!