living without fear

Also known as, living with anxiety, but not allowing it to stall my life. For the past few years, I’ve been trying to, not so much overcome my anxiety, but live with it. I started this with my weight loss journey, choosing to focus on positivity and self-love over insecurity and shame. It’s a battle every day. The most recent and most obvious example was my moving to LA from Boston four months ago.

I miss my people. I woke up the other night thinking what have I done?! What am I doing? Chasing a dream, taking a risk, exploring the world. I don’t know how long I’ll be here, but I’m glad I’m doing it, ups and downs, joy and sadness, triumphs and failures included.

What I’ve learned in general in my quest to “live without fear,” especially recently, is that such a credo doesn’t require saying ‘yes’ to everything. There’s power in saying ‘no.’ While it is important to do things that scare you and make you uncomfortable, and that compromise is a very important part of living with other people (not in a roommate-way, but in an other human beings exist in the world-way), you also don’t have to do things that make you miserable. Sometimes staying in and watching your favorite show on Netflix is self-healing, but other times it’s overkill and you have to get up off your ass, take a shower, and go outside.

Carrie Fisher’s death made me think a lot about mortality. It’s strange to be mourning someone I didn’t really know. I’m also coming up on a year since my cat died and still grieving my beloved aunt. I’m living far away from my loved ones. I eat at least two out of three meals a day alone. I come home alone. I workout alone. I do a lot of exploring alone. Loneliness has always scared me and while it’s hard, it’s not necessarily the worst thing to experience. It’s making me take care of myself, be independent, and learn a lot about the world and my place in it. Life is fragile, fast-moving, and can change or end at any moment. This is startling, but it’s also inspiring.

I’m scared a lot of the time, whether it be concerning my future, career, money, family and friends, and all the little and big things that compose a person’s life, but I’ve stopped letting that fear prevent me from trying, in any capacity that I choose. Spoiler alert: I fail a lot. Sometimes it’s easier to go to bed early and hide under the covers. But when I do face scary people and things, I try to always maintain eye contact. Because people so rarely make eye contact anymore.

The world is big and we, individually, are small. That feels like relief.

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Two Days!

Pretty soon, I’ll be off on my adventure and I hope to share with you all as I go through it. I’m now two days out from my big adventure and there’s a million different feelings and thoughts circling my head. Change is big and scary and necessary, and not in the least easy. These past few months have been a whirlwind of preparations intermingled with the usual workdays and summer happenings. Especially in these past few days, I’ve spent a lot of time with family and friends, not exactly saying ‘goodbye’, but more ‘see you at Christmas,’ but it’s still weird.

Many people have asked me if this move is “it,” meaning I’m not coming back. I understand the sentiment, but I don’t think there’s ever a way of knowing if anything is  “it.” What I’m telling people is that I’m going on an adventure. It’s as temporary as it is permanent, which sums up everything we do in life. I’m going for a multitude of reasons, number one being that I want to write for TV. I will never feel settled in anything that I do professionally until I give this a shot. It’s my dream.

As my mom said, when I mentioned it was hard that my dreams were taking me far away: “That’s the point of dreams, you have to chase them.” People may think I have a glamorous view of moving to Hollywood and pursuing my dreams. They’re not wrong because it’s hard not to envision this complete change of life, with a lot of fear, but much more hope, thinking that things might just fall into place, but I also have no delusions that this journey will be easy. That’s what makes up a journey, struggles and triumphs. The whole “blood, sweat, and tears” trope is very real. I don’t know if I will succeed as a writer in a place where there are thousands of people doing the same exact thing, but I have to believe in myself and my talent, and give it my all. At the very worst, I will have tried, learned invaluable lessons, and lived.

I’m entirely fortunate to have the very best family and friends to support me through it.