If there is anything I have really learned in this very fucking weird 10 years (I mean 4 months), it is that every day is so different and for almost no reason at all.
Setting the scene: I have spent the greater part of the last 9 years hustling. I fill my days to the brim. Between jobs and classes and social outings (and then extra hours at said jobs to pay for said social outings), my calendar is stacked. And the moment I had free time, it would revolve around a laundry list of things I had allotted to do “When I Have Time”: literal laundry, errands, something for the podcast, clean my shower tile, write thank you notes, etc. Notice I didn’t even mention acting work in there? I know you know exactly what I mean. I would go to bed every night checking off a mental stock of all I had accomplished and all I needed to do the next day. Because I thought that is how you are supposed to excel.
Cut to spring of 2020, and I have been forced these last few months to confront my own time head-on. With all jobs cancelled and any acting work on indefinite hold, I spent the first few weeks in quarantine working away on my to-do lists…aka being my exact same self. But then I would hit these really weird dark low points where I felt so distant and sad, for what felt like no justifiable reason. I would hit roughly 4pm and get super despondent because I hadn’t really “accomplished anything” that day. Which was untrue, but in comparison to what I usually do, felt lazy as shit.
Every day was a big question mark, would I do a podcast and be on a high for the remainder of the afternoon? Or would I hit a post-lunch lull that would last well past dinner? Trying to pinpoint exactly what upset me while keeping my brain constantly occupied to prevent it from happening again was exhausting and got me nowhere.
I don’t know the exact moment when I stopped trying so damn hard, probably somewhere around May when I realized even without my 4-5 jobs and wall to wall days…I was ok. I looked around and saw a mostly clean house, so much time I had spent with Caleb, my extremely happy dogs, a podcast and website that were functioning just fine, and a slow but incremental paying off of credit cards I was able to do (thanks to unemployment and also a major lack of places to spend money). In taking a step back I realized…I wasn’t just fine, I was great. Healthy and happy. Without needing the validation of an exhausting day to prove I was working hard. Holy shit.
This changes everything. Seriously! My entire world in LA has been built upon the concept of BUSY. And now I wonder if being busy kept me safe from having to do the work to reconcile my career isn’t exactly how I want it, my body isn’t and will never be perfect, my house will always some how have dog hair on the floor, and even with all the checked off items on all the long long lists…I will still want more. I think I have grown to attach ambition and drive to a busy schedule. So if this rings some very deep bells for you, maybe we can start to uncouple these things…because I really don’t want to go back.