2017 has almost come to a close which means what? We’ve accomplished all our hopes and dreams? Stuck to our new year’s resolutions for all 365 days instead of the usual 14? Or we’re sitting at an airport bar drinking a pear martini and thinking wtf, in 2018 I’ll be 35!?! That’s halfway to 40! (OK, as my sister points out I’m already way past halfway to 40, but whatever, you know what I mean. Halfway through my 30s. How did that happen?????)
And sitting here thinking about my life, as someone in their MID THIRTIES (that still must be a mistake) who has no job, (and probably shouldn’t be splurging on a pear martini) who is not married or has any kids, you’d think I’d be freaking out about THAT. But actually, I’m fine with that. I’m very happy to be opening 2018 being able to 100 percent go after my writing and acting dreams. And I’m also in a great place in my relationship with my boyfriend after overcoming our share of ups and downs. Nope, what I AM freaking out about is wrinkles. And bags under my eyes. And figuring out how I can possibly win the lottery to afford the $1,500 of filler I CLEARLY need. (I mean the bartender didn’t even I.D. me just now!)
It’s gotten BAD. I’m not sure if it’s because I have too much time on my hands, but I’ve been pouring over old and current photos lamenting the loss of fullness in my face. (Apparently we lose an ounce of collagen a year. This could be a ploy used by plastic surgeons to get me to buy an ounce of filler a year but I don’t care! Just to be safe I bought collagen chews at Whole Foods. At $19 that’s another thing my unemployed butt probably shouldn’t be splurging on. But they’re pomegranate flavor and taste AMAZING.) I swear lately I hate everything about how I look. I hate my hair. I show my boyfriend pics of how it looked in different years, and even though much to my chagrin he says it all looks the same, I know I can find a better way! I hate my cheeks, my skin, my bangs. It’s CRAZY. So for all those other girls out there who feel this way, I’m going to tell you a story of something that happened to me this week.
I went to a casting director workshop at the SAG AFTRA building this week. Because one, I’m trying to throw myself head first into my career and this was a great way to get my work in front of a top casting agent. And two, it’s free since I’m a union member. And mama has no job. ANYWAY, I’m feeling gross and ugly and old per usual these days. I walk in and there’s a gorgeous brunette sitting right next to me who is my type. Crap. Why does her hair have to look so damn good???
But I put all that aside and enjoy the workshop. When I get up to do my scene I nail it. I mean I was in the flow. The casting director said she had no notes for me. She said I had a great arc and character and really told the story! I was on cloud nine. OK I AM on the right path. So I relax. When gorgeous brunette gets up and does the same scene as me and also does well I don’t even mind. And at the end of the workshop the casting director touches on the topic of competition. She said we all bring our own flavor and essence to the role so we should stop trying to figure out what “they” want and just have fun, do our best work, and just be ourselves. Great advice.
Still in the back of my mind I’m thinking about my terrible hair. So when the workshop ends I ask gorgeous brunette how she does her hair so I can copy her and stop looking so hideous. And the most interesting thing happened. She says to me, “You know how we were talking about competition? Well when you walked in I was like great. She’s my type and pretty. And then I heard you talking to your friend about stand up and I was like great, she’s funny, too. I’m not funny. She’s gonna be better than me.”
Hold. The. Phone. This gorgeous brunette felt threatened by ME?? Are you kidding me? I spent the whole time worrying about her and she spent the whole time worrying about me? I quickly assured her that she was gorgeous and we BOTH kicked ass on our acting scene. She also assured me that I also had amazing hair. But I left with a greater lesson. Us girls are ALL way too hard on ourselves!
How much time have I wasted analyzing every pore and smile line instead of enjoying my life? How many hours have I wasted looking up plastic surgery procedures instead of living my dream? What is wrong with me? (Besides the obvious 35, no job, no marriage, no kids. 😜)
So my New Year’s resolution? To love myself more. To love myself just how I am. To enjoy each moment and not let petty insecurities hinder beautiful moments. (And when they inevitably try to I’ll slap myself to snap out of it.) And I encourage all of you to do the same. Maybe looks don’t bother you. Maybe you tell yourself you’re stupid or not funny enough. Just stop it all! Love yourself. It might be the hardest lesson any of us ever learn. But when you feel weak, just ask your neighbor. I promise you they feel uglier, dumber, and less funny than you.
And so it is.