I was recently introduced to the work of Seth Godin. A very large book of his was quite literally dropped into my lap, and as I flipped through the pages, I gazed upon words and photos that filled my heart with such comfort. This book started off as a blog and developed into this amazing piece full of inspiration. His entries consist of insightful quips and detailed observations on life.
It reminded me that while I have this blog, I don't have to write the perfect post every time. In fact, I'm going to embrace the imperfection of it all and set a goal for myself to post one blog entry a week. It could range from a sentence to a lengthy essay, but either way, I think the important thing for me is to keep creating.
For now, I want to share that last night I ended up writing ten pages of a new play that's been on my mind for far too long. I sat down at my desk with a glass of whiskey, lit a balsam and fir candle, and let the dialogue pour out onto the page. It might not be Shakespeare, but I'm very excited to see where it goes.
In 2015, my dad and I got phoenix tattoos for my birthday. His is this bright green color and has a flowing shape. Mine is a black outline and symmetrical. We had them designed to match our personalities. My dad had chosen a phoenix for us each to get because he related to it’s mystical powers and thought it would be appropriate for us as we’ve molded into different versions of ourselves throughout the years.
But at the year anniversary of getting my tattoo, I found myself heartbroken. I had thought that upon having my skin soak up the ink, my life would immediately become more gratifying. There were all these changes I expected to happen. There was this ideal version of myself that I had hoped to become, but in the summer of 2016, I found myself in therapy, not writing, and felt victimized for how life’s game had played out for me. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. I was supposed to get the tattoo and life was going to get magically better. As I was voicing these thoughts to my partner, he reminded me that I was forgetting the most important trait the phoenix represents: rebirth. A phoenix must burn and rise from the ashes to become a new version of it.
2016 was definitely a year of burning for many of us. Beginning primarily with the election and all the celebrity deaths we felt so connected to; we were also witness to so many terrors that made us feel that our world was in fact coming to an end. I know I’m not alone in feeling that 2017 does represent a year of rebirth, now that we’ve finally closed the chapter on 2016. But we need to keep in mind that there are greater challenges facing us as we find our way in this new world. I for one am continuing to find my role in society as a woman, a white privileged woman, who wants to use her voice to help better our society.
The day after the election was one of the roughest days of the year. I remember putting on my makeup like I was preparing for battle; unsure of the world I was walking into. I questioned my idea of feminism and wondered if I was part of the “white feminist movement” ignoring others around me, drinking the “male tears” Kool-Aid and complaining about everything wrong with society instead of doing something about it. I was depressed for a long time. I tried writing about it, but couldn’t put the feeling into words. I attempted to push forward and put the call to action for politicians, and found hope among friends doing the same.
The greatest struggle I had towards the end of 2016 was the balance of staying up to date with all the news but not letting it weigh me down. I wanted to be informed, but found myself having a nightmare of Steve Bannon transforming himself into a shark and feasting on a Muslim family in front my eyes. It is an image I will never be able to get rid of. So I found myself wondering how to care about everything, but not too much so it didn’t cause sleep deprivation. I wish I could tell you that I found an answer to achieving this balance, but it continues to be something to work on. It continues to be a part of this person I have created in my mind, this ideal version of myself I want to be.
After Carrie Fisher’s death last month, I was journaling and wrote down the following: “She is a woman I am continuing to admire and want to live my life a little more like her: with zest and sass, not taking every damn thing so seriously, and tearing down a fascist.” That is what I strive to be more of in 2017. I’m tired of sitting on the sidelines, saying how unfair life can be. I’m tired of not believing in magic and the good in people. I’ve decided I’m going into this year with strength and hope.
Yes, there is this version of me I want to live up to, this version of this woman with the phoenix tattoo I’ve been scared of for far too long. And there is nothing more limiting than doubt. So I pledge right here, right now, to live up to the person I’m meant to be. And I ask that you do the same. Instead of making resolutions this year, let’s make a pact to live up to our full potential. Let’s stand united instead of against each other, and open up the dialogue instead of shutting it down. A new chapter has opened for us and the pages are blank. We have the power to make it anything we want. So let’s not burn the pages of 2017, but hold it up as a symbol for all that we can and will be.
This script first came into fruition for five in ASYLUM, Theater in Asylum's experimental night of ten minute performances in 2011 and 2012. There were five lead artists and five rules to follow when writing. We must include: a misused object, a phrase repeated five times, a non-verbal conversation, an excess of silence, a five-word alliterative phrase. Upon the news of the election this week, I was reminded of Unruly Women and decided to rework it a bit. It doesn't follow the original five rules anymore (see if you can notice which ones), but it's definitely something I want to develop further. For more information about Theater in Asylum, check out their site here. They're a pretty dope company based in New York.
"I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else." - Pablo Picasso. The screenplay I'm currently working on began as an idea when I was in college. It started out as a 10 minute play, which grew into an one act, and is now becoming my first feature. So far the process of creating this beast has only taken me nine years (give or take), and I could look at that timeline with judgement or criticism, but I refuse to do that. Some stories take their time to come into fruition. Sometimes they're not ready to be told yet. Now, I believe, is the time for this one. The idea behind it is something that greatly matters to me, which in my experience is the best way to start writing something. Write about what matters to you and go from there. Who knows what worlds you'll get introduced to along the way.
This past week, I've been focusing a lot on mapping out the main points of the plot. I drew a storyline chart on graph paper (like a boss) and was even gifted with two amazing books, The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne and Lab by Hope Jahren, thanks to a couple of inspirational fairies. The timing couldn't have been better to receive these treats. I'm already devouring Shawn Coyne's words and feeling inspired to write a novel alongside this screenplay. And I'll admit that is one problem I have while writing. I get a lot of ideas swarming in my mind all at once and have trouble focusing on one solid plot. I want to write all the stories all the time! But right now, it's good for me to focus on one priority and map it out.
The process actually reminds me a lot of the "Choose Your Own Adventure" or "Give Yourself Goosebumps" books I used to read when I was younger. There are endless possibilities as to where the story can go. I could introduce new characters I haven't even thought of yet. I could trap a character in a corner with no way to get out except to combust. I could throw a dinosaur into the mix and really mess with the world I've created. The sky's the limit as to where I can take this and I look forward to seeing where these maps lead me.
And yes, another #cheesyending. The theme was maps. Did you get it? Now all I want to do is eat some cheese though. Shouldn't have said cheesy. Blurgh.
There's a song in the musical Newsies called "Watch What Happens". It's sung by a young female reporter, Katherine Plumber, who is so inspired by the newsies' strike that she starts to write an article covering it. The song begins with the lyrics: "Write what you know", so they say, all I know is I don't know what to write, or the right way to write it," and it's those words that I've been singing to myself lately, especially as I begin to type this out.
Writing is hard. We've all heard that before. You stare at a blank page and wait for the words to appear. There are some people that believe "write drunk, edit sober" (Hemingway) and others that attribute their work to the "elusive creative genius" (The Romans via Elizabeth Gilbert). There are countless books out there that provide insight on writing. I for one am currently reading "Riding the Alligator" by Pen Densham and one of my favorites is "On Writing" by Stephen King. I love to talk about writing. I love to read about writing. But for far too long, I had a very hard time admitting to myself that I was still a writer.
A few weeks off turned into months, and I honestly lost track of any project I was wanting to focus on. The idea of sitting down with a journal or in front of my laptop seemed tedious and pointless. I was wasting time working on that play, that book, that screenplay simply because I didn't know what I was doing. I just knew I wasn't meant to be a writer. That little voice inside my head kept spewing negative thought after negative thought until I was so frustrated and angry that I would lash out for the most absurd reasons. Something I've learned: not writing makes me very depressed.
So now I'm writing again. I'm not sure what the turning point was really, but I'm currently part of a writing group and working on a screenplay, which is very exciting for me. It's so exciting in fact, that I have decided to document my writing journey on this blog and on social media. I have started with just a couple photos this past week:
And something's telling me it's important to share this process with people. Not only does it motivate me to keep writing, but it feels like a deep connection to share with others that might be struggling on their creative journey as well. We've all been there, and I want to be honest about the path I'm on. I've been avoiding writing for so long, that I want to shout all this from the rooftop to let people know how utterly thrilled I am that words are flowing from my fingertips yet again. It took a long time to get back to this place though, and I know I won't stay here forever, but while I'm here I want to share it with all of you.
So let's watch what happens.
Honestly, I can’t remember if I dreamt this up or not, but recently I was asked the formidable question: “So, what do you do?” As in: “What do you do for money?” “How can your lifestyle benefit mine?” “Is your life better than mine?” “Let me value you based on your response.” And I stumbled. I actually stumbled with the words, paused, and stared at the floor. “I write,” I said. It wasn’t a defiant statement such as “I’m a writer.” No. This was meek and casual, and when I said it, felt like a lie.
“Do I even consider myself a writer anymore?” I thought. Is it fair to say I am a writer when I haven’t put pen to paper or typed something creative in what seems like, and quite realistically might be, two years? In that moment of being asked the question “so, what do you do,” it would appear that I was, in fact, not writer anymore.
Yet, here I am, typing out a new blog entry. Something I haven’t done since June 2014. I’m writing because it is what I do. It’s just not something I’ve practiced for quite some time. So please forgive me for being a little rusty at this, I’m slowly getting back to work.
Because, that is what this is: work.
Elizabeth Gilbert says in her book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear: “Work with all your heart, because - I promise - if you show up for your work day after day after day after day, you just might get lucky enough some random morning to burst right into bloom.” I’ve actually been reading her book since September of last year, and am a little more than halfway done at this point. It’s not a hard read. Well it is and it isn’t. It’s a quick read but challenging for me because all she says hits way too close to home for me on many levels.
I’ve been struggling a lot for quite some time. I don't even know how to go into the details of that yet, but I am starting to get better. I started seeing a therapist recently, got back into my yoga practice, and journaled once last week. I truly wish I could explain how things fell apart for me and why suddenly I feel like I’m coming back together as a whole person. I’m sure I’ll delve into it further as I continue to write more. But for now, I want to focus on, well, the now.
Earlier, I caught a glimpse of this speech by Peter Dinklage that’s been surfing around the interweb a lot tonight.
"I waited a long time out in the world before I gave myself permission to fail. Please don't even bother asking. Don't bother telling the world you are ready. Show it. Do it."
I don't know why this clip is circulating tonight of all nights since it was released back in 2012, but it's clearly something a lot of us need to hear right now. What I do know is that it seems strange that I heard his words the day after I finished reading the “Permissions” section in Big Magic in which Elizabeth Gilbert says "You do not need a permission slip from the principal's office to live a creative life." (She italicized those words, not me.) Now, it just might be coincidence, this idea of permission floating around, but as The Alchemist is my favorite book of all time, I'm a much stronger believer in the Universe lining things up rather than just random acts coming together. But again, it could just be the timing of all these things. (It's the Universe, slapping me across the face, telling me to get my shit together, I tell you!)
To back my Universe theory even further, last night as I was reading (surprise, surprise) Big Magic, I came across the chapter “Radiation Canaries,” which references a 30 Rock episode I know far too well. Lo and behold, while reading it, I had 30 Rock paused in the background, circling that very episode. Blamo! Synchronicity. (The Universe).
So, I'm getting back to work, because I feel like things keep telling me to do that. For far too long, I've been stuck in this complaining rut of how I want to write, but can't. "It's too hard," I would say. "I don't have the right words." "I would rather not." But it's exactly what I need to be doing. I know this to be true. I might be full of a lot of theories, but that isn't one of them. Writing is what I'm meant to do with my life. It's just sometimes easier to run away and hide from it (because then I don't have to deal with things I know I need to write about). But I'm choosing the creative life. Here and now. This is my declaration.
I will be showing up to work (write) every day. I will also be issuing out a newsletter once a month, which will include highlights from my blog, updates on projects I'm working on, and inspiring words that motivate me. I invite you to follow along.
This evening, I got home around 9 p.m. I sat down at my desk, opened up my laptop, and without hesitation I began journaling. Three pages into my thoughts, I stopped, saved the document, and began scrolling through stories on NPR. I found a blog piece regarding Beyonce's cover for Time's "100 Most Influential" that instantly ignited some sort of fire within me. I started writing a response - which I was going to post to my own blog, but for now it will have to wait. While jotting down some notes, and for a reason unbeknownst to me, I started to think about a play that I wrote back in college. I thought of the story line and the women I wrote about, and wondered whatever happened to them. Then, something just clicked. I began writing a monologue for one of the main characters. I completely and utterly lost myself for a moment in her mind and realized that The Secret Seduction of Little Girls was never truly complete. I opened up YouTube to find a video referencing it, and paused as I saw the video copied below appear in front of my eyes. It was the first one on my subscription feed, and I couldn't help but feel a moment of pure connectivity with everything that led me to see it exactly in that moment.
As I mentioned, I wrote Secret Seduction back in college. I have written many plays since then; many of which have been failures, but I have (and always will) keep writing despite that. Elizabeth Gilbert served as a healthy reminder for me tonight: whether we succeed or fail, it is important (no matter what) that we come home to whatever makes us truly happy. Which for me, and for her, is writing.
Apparently it's an anomaly to walk 1.2 miles to and from a bar in Los Angeles, but I always love to deviate from the expected. Tonight I found myself walking down Santa Monica at 10 p.m., with my headphones nestled in my ears, and a familiar song playing on my Pandora station. Instantly upon hearing that song, I had a flashback of New York.
I was walking up 8th Avenue, on my way to meet my friend at The Pony Bar. The same song was playing in my ears and I was somehow walking/dancing along to it as I weaved in and out of crowds. I remember this moment because it was much needed with everything else going on in my life at that time. Along with a slew of outside circumstances, I found myself questioning a lot of my choices and felt the need to find some sort of an outlet (since I was avoiding writing and theater). For some reason, the thought crossed my mind to place myself in an imaginary film. So I pretended the music playing was the soundtrack to what was going on around me. I began writing a scene in my head and directing the shots as I saw fit. I panned in and out of the girl dance walking, and surveyed the lights of the city and the crowd around her. There was the sound of sirens, people laughing, and arguments between strangers mixed under the song she was listening to. The girl seemed at home, and so did I, in this imaginary state. I remember meeting my friend at the bar and telling him what I had realized: If I were writing my life as a book or a film, it wouldn't be anything like it had been up until that moment. It would be the life I've always imagined, and that's exactly how I planned to start living it right then and there.
It's funny that I have now ended up in film. How I'm developing a series of projects and working behind the scenes of stories that appear in front of our eyes. I love it. I truly do. It makes me feel completely alive and genuinely happy. Maybe that's why I feel so at ease walking around Los Angeles late at night. I feel somehow invincible. Like nothing can break me down. I'm fighting the good fight and will stop at nothing in my way to see these things through. It's encouraging, motivating, and exhausting all at the same time. I feel at home in these worlds, these worlds around me and the ones I create in my mind. Call it a form of escapism if you will (I do). Even so, it continues to awaken parts of me I didn't know existed, and causes me to question things I thought I knew the answers to. It's about risk and taking chances. It's the idea of stepping outside your body and seeing it from another perspective. There's no right or wrong answer, simply the adventure- and isn't that what it's truly all about?
I'm not sure. These are just some thoughts I had while walking alone late at night. I’ve always found that walking can clear the mind space and allow room for new ideas to take place. That's why I love exercising. Whether it is running, walking, hiking, rock-climbing, or yoga. Suddenly I'm there and an idea for a story appears in front of me.
Yeah, so basically this is just a propaganda piece for people to start walking more in Los Angeles. Things are not that far away, people. It's okay to put one foot in front of the other to get there. You might be surprised what treasures you'll find along the way. (Brought to you by "Christine's Work Out LA" – a new film I should be developing.)
Last week I wrote and submitted a ten minute play to a series based here in Los Angeles. While my play didn't make the cut for the final staged readings, I am just so freaking happy that I actually sat down and wrote some creative language. As I have mentioned before, there is this horribly negative connotation of failing that we have naturally succumbed to in our society. Something I'm continuing to learn is that it is so much healthier to look at things with the idea that we are failing up instead of down. We learn from what we do or do not do; and I cannot help but be reminded of Ira Glass, and one of the reasons that I love him so much. It's okay to fail, as long as you keep pushing forward.
Based on my previous article and my current situation, it would appear that I either need to be on a plane or sick in bed to write something for my blog. Either way, I'll kind of encompass that in this entry.
I’ve never been very good at taking care of myself. If you were to ask my close friends, they’d tell you my favorite meal would be a large Guinness with a basket of onion rings. Lately though (despite this current illness) I have been doing a pretty kick ass job at it. I start my mornings out with a smoothie, work a ten to twelve hour day in the office, practice yoga or go rock climbing in the evening, and am home by 11pm – where I continue to edit a couple films that I’m currently developing and editing. On the weekends I go hiking, kayaking, and host business meetings in my studio. I manage an apartment building and pay all my bills on time. I even paid off a giant credit card and cut that thing into pieces- that's right! After not taking care of myself for so long, I finally feel like I have it all - a healthy working life balanced with an active social life. Who could ask for anything more? Well, of course, I am.
Okay, yes, looking at my life from the outside, it would appear that it’s pretty damn awesome (which, don’t get me wrong, it is) but what a lot people don't see is this emptiness dwelling deep within me. While I’m out there posting these photos to Instagram and Twitter, I am in fact covering up a giant heartbreak that has slowly been eating away at my soul for some time now. Damn. That sounded a little grim, didn’t it? Let me see if I can explain it better.
Earlier today I saw this post on Facebook that was asking people to list female playwrights that they knew. I scanned the list and smiled as familiar names piled one top of the other. Then, this thought crossed my mind, one that has been haunting me for months. Do I still consider myself a playwright? Sure, I have a degree that states I studied the art of it in college, but what does that really mean? I can’t tell you the last time I sat in front of my laptop and wrote dialogue or even a character description. I can’t even grasp the title of the last play I read.
That’s when it hit me. While scanning those names, I realized that my heart is truly broken because it is the only thing I am not taking care of in my life. I’m not feeding my creative soul.
While I am working on several projects with groups of friends that are all inspiring me and pushing me towards new ideas, I can’t help but think back at the girl I used to be in college. The girl who came home drunk one night after telling a boy she liked him, only to have her two best friends put her to bed and set her alarm for 6 a.m. so that she could write forty pages of a script due to the next morning (which she did). The girl who lived the cliché of working at a coffee shop, and spent her summer in Prague taking writing and photography classes. She would have cringed at the thought of sitting behind a desk for the majority of her day. She would smack me across the face right now and ask me what I am doing with my life when there’s so much left of me to give. She would think that I've given up.
I believe that we are all blessed with certain passions or talents that direct us down the path we call life. Some of us are born to be dancers, performers, engineers, or astrophysicists. I was born with a pen in my hand (or that could have just been my umbilical cord). Okay, steering away from gross metaphor-ville, I believe that writing is an art. Even if it’s a comedic sketch about farting, it’s still art, because where does that idea originate? I have written several pieces that I could not tell you from where they were conceived. Suddenly, the words just started pouring out of my fingertips and there they were. I never felt that way with performing while growing up. I never felt that genius appear while being on stage. That simply just fed into my ego. Writing though? Writing fed me and I know it’s the gift I have been provided that can actually make a difference – as corny as that sounds.
What I’m going through, this creative depression if you will, is something that I have shared with a slew of friends across the board. We all want to pursue our dreams (whatever those might be to us) but we continue to work crazy long hour days and then spend our nights either in front of Netflix or with a solid drink in hand because our brains can’t handle much more information and we just need a moment to chill out. While doing so, we continue to beat ourselves up with resentment that there’s not enough hours in the day for us to do all that we want. We tell ourselves that maybe it would be better to just move to Europe and start retirement early; spending our days in bookstores and coffee shops. Living the dream. Maybe then we would feel like we finally made it in our lives. Maybe then we would be free.
Is this what it means to be in our twenties or thirties? Still grasping at this life we idealized for so long, and finding ourselves frustrated that we’re not there yet. It doesn’t help with social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. Now we can visually compare ourselves to our peers and continue to beat ourselves up that others are living the dream we imagined. Where did we go wrong? How can I obtain their life? What am I doing differently?
Soapbox moment: We should all stop comparing ourselves to others through any social media or website, and just live our own fucking dreams.
Who put a time constraint on it all? Who said you have to have obtained this much by this age? It’s damn frustrating and can make someone just stand still because they’re too overwhelmed by either A) all the possibilities B) failure C) success. Personally, failure has never scared me. I’ve grown accustomed to looking like an idiot, because I’d rather look back and say: “at least I tried”. What in fact scares me is the idea of success. Even for someone who moves around and travels as much as I do, I get comfortable in my surroundings, and the idea that something could alter my way of living intimidates me. In all honesty, what worries me the most is that people will actually start to listen to what I have to say- yes, I realize that I’m stating this on my worldwide blog.
What it comes down to is this: writing completes me. It’s what gives me purpose and makes me feel like I’m contributing something to the world. Playwriting might only be one aspect of my creative juices, but it's a large component of what makes me the person I am. I've distanced myself from it for far too long, and it's due time that I step back into that realm. The truth of the matter is that I've found myself in this heartbroken/creatively-depressed state because I’ve allowed my own excuses, comparisons, and intimidations to override the yearning I have to write. I’ve spent my days doing anything and everything but writing because somewhere along the way I decided that I needed to get my life in order before aiming for the thing I want above all. Well, now everything else is in order, so what’s there left to do besides fulfill my dreams? Seriously though, what else is there left to do besides aim for what you want? To quote one of my favorite spiritual teachers: “Do, or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some dialogue to tend to.
It was midnight when I left her apartment. A tin box of keys under one arm, and a thirty-six pack of ramen noodles under the other. I couldn’t help but feel like Diane Lane from Under the Tuscan Sun in that moment. Not in the sense that I’m a forty something divorcee who bought a house in Tuscany on a whim; but I did move across the country into a studio apartment, and as life would have it, I became the manager of the building (hence why I was bestowed a giant box of keys… I can’t really explain the ramen). The building is located somewhere in Hollywood, which is truly nothing like Tuscany. There is a homeless man that hangs out across the street, and a couple that lives by our building with their dog. I hear the helicopters fly overhead almost every hour, and my fridge makes gurgling noises which wakes me up in the middle of the night. Sometimes I can hear the sound of crickets though, if my windows are open and the sirens aren’t drowning them out.
At the end of that visit which left me in my Diane Lane state of mind, I walked down the hall, back to my own apartment after bidding the owner sweet dreams. The door shut behind me, and I stared at the boxes piled on top of each other. Several of my books were scattered across the floor, along with tote bags, hats, paint supplies, and camera equipment. The blank walls stared back at me and I felt anxious. I needed to hurry up and hang some art and photos around the place before I lost my mind.
The box of keys and ramen remained attached to me. I couldn’t wrap my head around everything that had taken place over the past few weeks. I had moved to Los Angeles at the beginning of October, when my dad and I drove down from Northern California in hopes of securing an apartment for myself. After several days, nothing had turned up. My dad had to return home, and I (without a home) ended up crashing at my friend's apartment, where I stayed for the remainder of the month. During that time I had already begun my new job, and the commute to and from the office would sometimes take a couple hours. I was able to find joy in that back to back traffic though. It allowed me time to listen to all the NPR I wanted, or to rock out to some Pat Benatar if I was so inclined.
Solitude has actually became a large aspect of my life upon moving to Los Angeles. It became increasingly apparent to me when I settled into my own place, away from my friends and the life that I had started to lead. Prior to moving, I even deactivated my Facebook account, as a way to allow more time to acclimate to all the changes and not be distracted by external factors. My focus drifted internally, and I centered my life around simple things that would bring genuine happiness into my life. I felt this to be necessary since everything outside of my shell was more chaotic than I had originally anticipated.
During the first couple months, I have practiced yoga on the beach, wandered around farmer’s markets and flea markets, spent evenings editing photos and videos, made some delicious meals with a stove that doesn’t even have the pilot lit (and without even owning a microwave), signed up for an organic food distribution program offered at work, enjoyed IPA fests and movie nights, had dinner parties with friends, and even began writing a novel (shout out to NaNoWriMo). I was able to drive up north, spend a weekend with my parents, and take in the I-5 scenery. I took time to read books I had been aiming to read for years (and sought out to buy some new ones). I drafted a few new plays, started a couple screen plays, and laughed at episodes of Parks and Recreation. Then, being the grown woman that I am, I slept with the lights on because I was fearful there was a ghost in my apartment (still am, to be completely honest) - so I burned a lot of sage.
Living by yourself can be scary sometimes, even without the thought of a ghost being in your midst. It can be lonely without two dogs or a cat to greet you upon your arrive. It can be nerve-wracking when you're unsure if those gurgling noises are coming from the bathroom or under your bed. Despite that, and despite those occasional twelve hour work days, it's a nice feeling to come home to an apartment, that's only half furnished, where I can turn on The Temptations and dance around like nobody’s watching (except for my neighbors, who can in fact see me across the alley). I don't mind. There's something so freeing about this independence and starting a new life. It's the idea that anything is possible and that there's an exorbitant amount of new things to try- even though some of them might make you want to poop your pants. They're still worth trying.
Well, this definitely has ended on a less poetic note than I originally set out for when I began writing this piece. I'm sure Diane Lane's character (Frances Mayes, who wrote the original book, by the way) wasn't always eloquent at times either. But I sure don't remember her talking about poop. What I do remember (from when I would watch this film in high school) is Sandra Oh's character asking "Can you star-69 Italy?" and the woman in the large hat that would quote all the Fellini films. That character was always pretty awesome to me, and the type of woman I would love to embody someday. Until that point comes though, when I'm able to walk around Italy with a large cone full of gelato in my hand (instead of a pack of ramen under my arm), I'm beyond happy to be where I am today: nestled in my own part of the world, living the life I've only begun to imagine.
“You have to live spherically - in many directions. Never lose your childish enthusiasm- and things will come your way.” - Federico Fellini