Tag Archives: adulthood

My Best Day

12 Aug

I think it is possible that today was one of the best days of my whole life. I made a roundabout trip from Providence to New York City with the cast of a show I am in. We are performing at Fringe Festival NYC starting this Saturday and today was our dress rehearsal in the theatre we were assigned to. The entire trip was daunting from the start; coordinating 16 people to be at a specific location on the Lower East Side by 2:30pm and then getting 14 of them back home again the same day was a logistical nightmare.

The very talented Hannah

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Hannah!

mapped out a whole chart for the next two weeks showing who was coming and going what days, who was staying in the city and where, who was carpooling, what methods we were using to get into the city and it was insane. Today was the one day that most of the group was traveling together both ways and it could have been a clashing of personalities and moods, but it just wasn’t. Instead I found myself stopping every few minutes and looking at the people around me, the sights on the journey and really absorbing every moment knowing that I was so fortunate to be there. I was lucky to be included in this group of talented actors

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The star of the show for me, Tammy

who I believe will light up Fringe NYC and I am grateful to be active in a hobby that takes me on so many adventures.

The past few days I have been in a bad headspace and I was dealing with it just fine but I was noticeably sad. I have been telling people about this festival for months now and only a handful of people shared in my level of excitement. Only one person had the reaction I had been longing for; the reaction my mother would have had if I had been able to call her with this news.

A mother is the person in the world who gets excited for their child’s accomplishments as though they are their own. I wanted to tell someone about this huge life event and hear that they were excited and proud. I don’t feel that I needed to hear this to be excited or proud myself, but rather, I was already feeling those things and it was lonely to be experiencing that alone. Like finishing a marathon only to find there is nobody cheering at the end. You cross that red tape and cheer and realize you are just a sweaty idiot alone in the middle of the street 26 miles away from where you parked your car.

Then there is Lisa. My best friend who told me over and over how proud she was and how impressive she thought it all seemed. Then she told me she had bought a ticket for one of the shows and said, “Seeing you perform in this festival is important to me.” It was said in a text message but it stopped me where I stood. It was the exact thing I had needed to hear to feel like I wasn’t alone. Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of people in my life who have expressed excitement and enthusiasm about this opportunity, but this was the only thing that made me feel like it mattered to her as much as it mattered to me. I should mention that Lisa lives over an hour further away from NYC and has a husband, two small children and a full time job, but she is coming because she wants to be there. That’s a powerful sentiment that doesn’t always get noticed, but I felt this fully and it was everything.

Today was just the dress rehearsal. I wanted to write this at one o’clock in the morning after a 16 hour day because I didn’t want to lose or forget a moment of it. I want to move into the next few days with the knowledge that this won’t last very long, but I know it is something I will remember forever. This isn’t about becoming famous or making it big in acting or getting my name out there. If five people sit in the audience each night I won’t care. This is about a play I loved the first time we performed it, with a cast

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Kerry makes the whole group prettier

I believe to be exceptional and a director so wildly talented I fear I may never fully keep up. We are going to be in a festival many entered to be a part of and few in comparison were chosen. I want to see other shows and meet lots of other actors just as excited to be able to stand on a stage in New York City. I want to say that the stage I stood on meant something to me and that is enough.

Our number One and Director, Kevin

Mostly I want to remember the key moments from today, the first day before the real ride began:

  • Carpooling with three people who make road trips in movies look dull by comparison. We actually spent two hours driving home at midnight doing sing-a-longs at full volume to Madonna, Queen,
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    Puppi was upset that he wasn’t tagged on Instagram

    Led Zeppelin, Abba and Hall and Oates.

  • Laughing in heat so unbearable it was hard to find air to breathe but we kept on joking.
  • Squeezing 15 actors into one unisex dressing room while boys changed into speedos and nobody seeming uncomfortable or awkward; feeling like a big family.
  • Creating a count off system while walking through the city to make sure we didn’t lose anyone and realizing that we were shouting numbers like assholes in the middle of Grand Central Station (also learning that the concept of counting and numbers isn’t so easy for everyone)
    • Me: Let’s count off.
    • Kevin: One
    • Hannah: Can I be six?
    • Me: You are literally two.
    • IMG_1344

      Rico got to be number seven

      Rico: Oh! I want to be seven!

    • Me: That’s not how counting works.
    • Kevin: You’re realizing now you may not want to have kids, huh Sam?
  • Learning that your friends are even more fun and are filled with more patience and kindness than you knew before.
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    Justin & Foldie in the Main Concourse of Grand Central

    One actor carrying a metal folding chair in 100 degree weather through NYC to have it as his prop. Watching him open and use said chair in the middle of Grand Central as well as the middle of our subway car. Then arriving at the theatre only to find at least half a dozen identical folding chairs already at the venue. Then naming the chair “foldie” to give it importance so we wouldn’t feel silly for having lugged it in two cars, a train, a subway and a mile walk.

  • Walking into a beautiful theatre with a stage twice the size of the one we rehearsed on and realizing that we get to play in that space.
  • Arriving home exhausted and barely walking with a huge smile on my face feeling inspired.
  • Knowing that although the whole thing will fly by, right now it’s all still ahead of me and I’m lucky enough to have noticed the moment before it was gone.

What My 30 Looks Like

5 Jun

Tomorrow I am turning 30. I think this post is mostly me trying to exist in this moment where I am still 29 but prepared for 30. My twenties felt adequately long and I don’t feel like I missed them or they went too fast or anything like that. I guess I just feel strange to identify myself differently to others as a new decade of age.

Does turning 30 mean I have to become an adult? Does it maybe mean that automatically without a say in the matter that I AM an adult?! Maybe I’m scared that I’m not doing enough or accomplishing enough to be 30. I remember being 14 and thinking that 30 year olds were so mature and adult. At 14 where did I think I would be at the end of my third full decade?

I will look at 30 from where I thought I would be and compare it to where I am.

I thought I would be married. For sure I know I saw myself hitched  with a super hot husband by 30 when I was younger. He had a name like Clifford or Geoffrey and his job was rescuing animals from oil spills but he made a ton of money doing it. I’m not sure it was ever explained to me back then how salaries worked for different careers. Plus, it’s my fantasy, so I am responsible for setting the pay grades for these fictional men. Man who washes a baby duck with dish soap: $1 million dollars a year. Now I get super excited when a guy can afford his own taco’s on $1 Taco Tuesday. If he splurges for the extra guacamole for himself I’m floored.

I used to think, “which man will be lucky enough to get a special girl like me?”

Now I think, “who is kind and patient enough to put up with my being a cuckoo nut-job forever?”

I used to think, “I’ll be so happy and lucky to be married.”

Now I think, “I’m so happy and lucky to not be married!”

I used to think, “Having a husband will mean I’m never alone.”

Now I think, “Having a husband will mean I’m never alone… so how will I have time to dance to the Hamilton Cast Recording in my underwear at full volume?!”

I thought I would have kids. At least one or two by now and all very well behaved (don’t make me repeat the part where my fantasy gets to be awesome and unrealistic). My children would mow the lawn and do dishes and we would all play games and read books together and never fight and I would love them so hard they would explode. Now the thought of having kids, let alone multiple kids by this age is HILARIOUS to me. Not for everyone, I know lots of people who are together enough for kids in their twenties, but I forgot to buy toilet paper last week and was peeing and then immediately showering for two whole days, I am not that person. If I had a child now, every stuffed animal they owned would sleep with me in my bed. I would name them all and if my beautiful sweet angel wanted one to play with themselves I wouldn’t want to let them. As a full grown adult, I would be reluctant to share a stuffed children’s toy with my own child, the person I’m supposed to be teaching about sharing. Video games? Those are also for me. Here is a stick, go play with that.

I used to think, “I can’t wait to have kids.”

Now I think, “I should really wait to have kids.”

I used to think, “Having kids will bring me such joy.”

Now I think, “Having kids will bring me so much joy… in like five or six more years. Today this hamburger brought me so much joy.”

I used to think, “I’ll be a great mom.”

Now I think, “I’ll do my best when I become a mom, but dammit am I going to screw them up royally”

I thought I would have an impressive career. Professional chef or veterinarian were my logical choices but anyone who knows me knows that my real dream was to be a sea lion trainer at the aquarium. I would have gone to school, gotten all A’s easily and found a job instantly out of school. I would show up every day and love my job and love Ce-Lion Dion and Cee-Lo-In Green (the sea lions names, obviously). I would be making an easy six figures a year (although money would be no object because my husband is seen on those Dawn commercials scrubbing pelicans, so we are good) and I would be well on my way to becoming Queen Head Trainer. Soon after I believe the next promotion is Queen of all Sea Lions, a job I would have taken quite seriously and accepted with honor and pride.

I am now a writer and bartender. Turns out I love them both more than anything else I’ve ever done. Although I do tire of people asking me what I’m going to do with my life, I know that I wake up every day excited to go to work and my life is my own. I have a flexible schedule, make good money, have fun every day, meet new exciting people and get to express myself on my own terms. It’s really great.

A few weeks ago I was bar tending a business event at work and one of the bosses of the company, an older gentleman (maybe 70’s?) ordered a very specific martini. I always love someone who knows exactly what they love to drink so naturally we were having a pleasant conversation while I mixed. He told me he had been a bartender years ago and said, “Of every job I ever had, that was my favorite. I have always missed it.” I make no qualms about his choice to find security, but the look in his eyes while I peeled his lemon twist was pure admiration and it made me feel good about where I am and how I got here.

I used to think, “I need an impressive job to be successful and happy.”

Now I think, “I need to make sure I pay the bills, beyond that success and happiness are found, for me, in non-conventional jobs.”

I used to think, “I will know what I’m meant to do with my life.”

Now I think, “If I ever stop exploring and learning my life will have no meaning.”

I used to think, “Being a well respected career woman would be nifty.”

Now I think, “I wonder if Cat Fancy Magazine would publish my songs about Ninja Squee?”

I would have tons of awesome friends that I saw all the time. Oh wait, I do.

Nailed it!

I guess I just needed to write this to see that I’m alright. I feel like I can wake up tomorrow and face 30 with gumption. Sure I haven’t done things the way I planned, but some of my plans were misinformed or insane (except the sea lion thing, I still want to be their Queen). If I’m giving myself some credit I can say I have lived in the moment enough to be aware of who I am, who I want to continue to become, what and who is important to me and how to be happy most of the time. Heck, I got to name my cat Pooter with no one objecting and I can eat burritos every day and fart alone in my beautiful apartment. If that isn’t success, I want no part in what is.

Super Mono & Small Goals

6 Mar

I have been sick since late January.

I am not the kind of sick where I take some vitamin C, get some extra sleep and push through my normal schedule. I have been the type of sick in Little Women when you start to worry about Beth and put the book down to cope emotionally. To be fair I don’t have Scarlet Fever but I was diagnosed this week with mono. Not just normal mono but something my irritating ENT Doctor calls “aggressive mono”; or what my much funnier friend John is calling “Super Mono!” (the exclamation point and title caps are necessary). This is coming on the heels of pneumonia last month and the death of my grandmother. Turns out I caught the mono sitting at her bedside in the hospital. Nifty.

So I’ve been trapped in my apartment, and most days even restricted to my bed with only the pathetic stumble to the bathroom while I grumble at my cats. Having a lot of time to think after a recent loss is no good. My life has come to a screeching halt.

To combat the feelings this uniquely cruddy situation is brewing, I recently started thinking up daily goals in order to feel like I was still a person:

Friday: Do the dishes- FAILED. 

What is amazing though is how many times you can reuse bowls when you are eating the same chicken soup, mac and cheese and ramen noodles for days. (Disclaimer: If one uses the same pot over and over it makes the chicken soup and ramen a little bit cheesy and the mac and cheese a little bit “oriental” –I’m not racist, they named the flavor that and nobody knows what it officially is.)

Saturday: Shower- FAILED.

When your major activity is sliding your foot back and forth under the covers to mess with the cat, not much body odor is accumulated. I was told by trusted loved ones that I didn’t smell. (Disclaimer: I haven’t really had a sense of smell for over a month, so to me I smell totally acceptable)

Ninja Squee may be by my side for all selfish reasons but I love her for it

Ninja Squee may be by my side for all selfish reasons but I love her for it

Sunday: Trick pink eye away- FAILED.

Alright, so this was my goal because when I woke up unable to open my right eye and it was the color of a pink peep marshmallow I suspected I might have pink eye. I decided that if I meditated hard enough on not having pink eye then I wouldn’t. Turns out WebMD does not recognize this as one of the treatments. (Disclaimer: Thanks to my eye, I now understand the inspiration behind the second Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film, if this cultural reference is going over anyones head, click here)

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pink eye ooze– less fun than this classic toy

Monday: DON’T GET PINK EYE IN LEFT EYE!- FAILED.

Yeah, no. I’m officially a monster and must remain quarantined. (Disclaimer: I have never been so gross.) 

I wish I could say I looked as good as him.

I wish I could say I looked as good as him.

Tuesday: Count to three- ACHIEVED.

Through conditioning I learned to set my goals lower. I felt good about a win, I really needed one, what with both my eyes rebelling and waging war on my face. (Disclaimer: Pink eye in both eyes is kind of metal; I’ve never looked more hardcore.)

Wednesday: Don’t speak- FAILED.

Tuesday was the day the Doctor called me with the blood test results about mono, so I had called concerned parties to update them. The lesson from that day is that the sore throat gets vengeful when I speak. It’s my new cruel master who keeps me living as close to a monk as I will ever get. This one was failed because with a separate family crisis in full swing I have to answer when they call. I also may still be occasionally singing to my cats, but I worry what they would do if I deprived them of customized theme songs.  (Disclaimer: If my throat asks, I was not speaking ill of it, or speaking at all. Let’s just keep it happy because I’ve seen the power it wields and there is some rage behind that tonsil. I now fear swallowing even my own saliva, but I’ve learned innovative ways around it.)

Thursday: Dishes? Shower? Dealers choice?- FAILED

Fuck it. I feel like garbage and I’m not seeing people. If the pets complain I’m open to suggestions but they seem super happy that my electric blanket is on all day every day. Mostly I think this is the best thing that has ever happened in their world. (Disclaimer: I used to think pets could sense distress and I’m now questioning that because mostly I think the cats are plotting ways to keep me trapped inside with them forever. When I asked Ninja Squee if she could help me she rolled on her back and demanded belly rubs. I caved.)

Friday: Do anything- ACHIEVED

This is vague I know, but I’ll relish the small achievements. I put on bottoms today. I feel so accomplished I could cry. (Disclaimer: I was forced into human contact because the movers from my grandmothers apartment were bringing some of her stuff. To those super nice gentlemen carrying bookcases into my apartment– if you experience a sore throat or itchy red eyes in the upcoming days I’M SO SORRY!)

Tomorrow- Be less gross- ???

I make no promises.

Dusting Off

30 Oct

Yesterday was brutal. After the post I wrote, I continued to struggle emotionally. Then, more “terrible-awful” got tacked on to the day: I found out I didn’t get a gig I auditioned for and got into a useless fight with one of my bosses which ended my time at that job.

Each individual occurrence is normally manageable; but when things come in threes and all within the span of three hours I am less equipped.

Then a funny thing happened; I took a shower. This in itself is not super unusual or funny, but yesterday I really needed it. I sat under the hot water and cried, not uncontrollably and not for long but just enough to be done. The water actually and metaphorically changed the tide.

It was as though the large amount of bad cancelled itself out. When I arrived at my other job, a place I love with people who make me constantly smile I was so ready to laugh. It wasn’t the smoothest night of bar tending but over the course of the evening, for each problem I found a mini resolution.

For the fight with my friend I had other friends, tons of them, sending me sweet, encouraging and loving texts. I was reminded that not only do I have a lot of friends, I am the lucky girl who has a lot of friends who are like family. Really good friends are in my corner through everything (my comedy friend included even if we hit a bump yesterday). It doesn’t stop the hurt of what was said in the fight, but it redefined what the day was about for me. Now it was about my other friends and family and not just him.

For the audition I didn’t get, I spoke to some people who also didn’t get cast and a few who did and realized we will all just audition again and sometimes it is my time and sometimes it is not. The cuckoo thing is that if that had been the only thing that happened yesterday it would have rolled off much smoother. I think this was a case of feeling overwhelmed and needing something positive and only having more garbage fall from the sky. This one was easy to move forward from when I singled it out and took some time to think about it.

As for the job and my now former boss. I wanted to be done for a long time. I was staying out of loyalty, love for the bar and the people that became my regulars. I was constantly sad to watch that ship sinking and it was time to exit even if I didn’t feel ready in that moment. I wish it had gone down another way, but I suppose I should have known that when things are out of control and someone is floundering, they will rarely handle things rationally. How did I get over this? Well I went to my other job where my wonderful boss informed me that he needed me on the nights I had freeing up. Then I worked my tokhis off and made four times the amount I would have made at the other bar. I’ll say that again because it feels good: four times as much.

When I arrived home at 4am I was tired and content. I snuggled up with my critters who reminded me as always that I am missed. I got into bed knowing I had turned things around, and not because anything was actually resolved or different, but just because I decided I was good. It took a little time to get there and I’m sure I’ll slip again, but this was a proud moment for me to see how much I’ve grown and how capable I am of handling anything. Sometimes that’s a reminder worth suffering for.

Three Things I’ve Learned From Living Alone

27 Oct

1. I’m weird- When no one is around to hold you accountable for normal behavior, things can get pretty wacky. Recently my downstairs neighbors complimented my singing, which is flattering and humiliating all at once because it means they can hear me. A lot. I have full conversations with my pets, eat cold pizza with the fridge door open and much more.

2. Cooking for one is odd- I tend to like to cook enough for a lot of people. Large quantities of food always seem like a great idea because I love leftovers. By the end of the 8th day I’m usually ready to move on to a different dish though. Making Shepard’s Pie for one? Not worth the work, so I make enough for 20 people. I suppose I could make enough for 4 people but I like to go all in with these things.

3. Living alone is friggin’ awesome- For so many reasons:

  • Sleeping in the middle of the bed.
  • There is always hot water left.
  • All the food is mine.
  • I can decorate however I choose, even if that means a painting of a cat with a machine gun in my kitchen and a hot pink print of monsters in the living room.
  • I can change anywhere.
  • Pooping with the door open… so liberating.

The Beast Of Adulthood

5 Oct

Being an adult is hard. I feel like my responsibilities are a game of whack a mole, always hitting one while three more pop up. Feelings of tension and suspense are held throughout my body because there are so many things that people never talk about and that spring up on me like a creepy mustachioed guy in a dark alley.3-ZOO-MULLET

As a little girl I knew about things like rent, groceries, car payments and pet expenses, but for some reason no parent ever sits you down and explains that car insurance is different from health insurance is different from renters insurance. Forget about flood insurance, I assume that won’t be explained to me until I’m in the middle of drowning in a super storm. I should invest in some pool floaties.

I work as hard as a person can; I currently have four bar tending jobs, three freelance websites and a varied number of freelance writing gigs. I still perform comedy consistntly but let’s not factor in money from that because even when I do make some it’s not much (I’m in it for the glamor). I pay my bills, on time and in full. My only debt is student loans that don’t add up to even a fraction of what most people have so I don’t complain. I’ve never abused credit cards, gone on expensive vacations or gambled. So how is it possible that I feel like I can never catch up?

I have recently discovered the horror/magic that is Price Right as a way to save money.

  • Horror because:
  1. The meat and produce is questionable but undeniably cheap
  2. The whole building smells like old rice and chicken
  3. I’m almost certain the walls are closing in or the stacks of cheap product are moments away from crushing me
  4. The people there give Wal-Mart regulars good competition
  5. I may have been briefly molested in the bean/canned good aisle
  • Magic because:
  1. The questionable meat and produce is delicious when hidden in a casserole
  2. I got my whole cart-load for $43 dollars (when I normally spend $100)
  3. The people there inspire the most incredible characters for my comedy
  4. I am forced to remember my own cloth bags which helps save the planet
  5. I may have been briefly molested in the bean/canned good aisle

This stuff is never covered in high school.

On top of being responsible for bills I still have to juggle being socially, physically and emotionally healthy when the powers that be are working against me.

Socially it is harder and harder to meet people post-schooling because there aren’t as many new people your age around you. I play on a kickball league, actively participate in local theatre, write and perform with a sketch/improv troupe, go to local political and social events through the magazines and network from behind the bar. Yet somehow in my efforts to find a full-time day job people say, “you have to know someone”. I KNOW EVERYONE… IT ISN’T WORKING. I’m well spoken, I don’t smell like warm car pork, my teeth are always brushed, my clothes are lovely and I don’t speak openly about my frequent gas so what am I missing here?

Physically my body works against me more and more as I age. This is a well known fact but it doesn’t make it any less depressing when it starts happening. Don’t get me wrong, I have a rockin’ bod (am I hip enough to use that term?) but I have been eating a lot of leafy greens and lean proteins lately to keep that true. As a kid I didn’t even know the term, “lean protein” and now I probably say it once a day. Salads are awesome, but less and less so when they invade your subconscious and turn your poo odd colors (odd colors for poo is ANY color that isn’t in the brown family). I still remember what it felt like to run and run all day long in my yard, feeling like I had energy to spare for the monkey bars and tree climbing. Now I have to use sad things like “couch to 5k phone app” which in the first few weeks proves that running for 60 seconds is wretched and later that running for a whole five minutes is doable but still wretched.

treadmill love 3treadmill love 2

Training smart is multitasking

Training smart is multitasking

Emotionally I’m a mess. My parents really did a number on me; I know this because my therapist feels I should consider two sessions a week instead of just one (he claims it is because I am making so much progress but I know I’m kooky). I also know this because everyone’s parents mess them up somehow, you just don’t feel the major effects until you are stressed about all the aforementioned “adult” things. Once anxiety closes in, the 1992 barbie convertible crash on the stairs becomes the reason why I have unpaid parking tickets.

The thing that scares me the most is that I’m pretty sure I’m doing all this stuff right, and I still feel lost. I constantly meet people who talk to me about the crazy drugs they do, their drinking problem, their rental eviction and I think, “okay, I sleep with a stuffed animal, but I’m alright.”

I like that I am quirky and fun in a lot of the same ways I was when I was a kid and I know that I am responsible enough of the time to be a decent adult. Scratch that, I’m doing well, but in all honesty I’m not ready to just be a grown-up and I am fine if that day never comes. Maybe there is no right way, and the trick to being an adult is letting the entire concept go and living sensibly each moment that I can. In this moment I’m going to eat peanut butter off a knife for dinner with coco puffs for dessert all while on my couch watching Star Trek (Next Generation of course). I think 8-year-old me would be crazy impressed.

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