I just got back from a trip to Los Angeles where I was working on my very first photography project. It was also my best friend’s 40th. Between the two, I was so overwhelmed with activities– heavy photoshoots mixed with Universal Studio Theme Park butterbeer nausea, I had a headache and was in a fog a majority of the time I was there. One afternoon, driving home from a shoot, my right arm and mouth went numb. I was so overly exhausted, my body was literally not having it. I’m not gonna lie– it was scary. I felt completely out of control the entire trip.
I have learned in my later years just how effected I am by the energy around me. As much as I adore my friends to the moon and back, I am a gal that needs her downtime– especially when I’m shooting. I have to be able to decompress, meditate, be alone and tap into the solitude. I’m not sure that a lot of people understand this as it demands a lot more time than you’d think. Clearly, I need to find better solutions for my next trip.
Chaos is also just in the air right now. I blew out a tire on my way down and broke a timing belt on the way back. According to the Power Path, April is a month of intensity and I can’t help but agree. Hannah Honda is now in a shop in Roseburg, Oregon and will be there for the next week or two until she is fixed and we can pick her up.
After two weeks of being on the road with nothing to ground me, with only one morning of alone time where I had nothing to accomplish, to break down in the middle of Oregon felt like I was floating off into space. I was so outside of my body, I didn’t even know what I was feeling! I was angry, sad, confused, grateful, relaxed and totally zen like a ferris wheel of emotions in constant rotation.
Thankfully, prior to breaking down, I was listening to Pete Holmes ‘You Made It Weird’ podcast featuring Elizabeth Gilbert. In the episode she talks about her Grandma and how she is a woman that very sincerely finds the joy in everything. Her letters are filled with exclamation points and she’s always excited about what she’s doing. So much so, that when she tells Liz she has cancer she says, “Isn’t that interesting, Liz? I’m getting to learn all about my body and about our cells and I’ve been meeting all of these fascinating doctors…”
It sounds like a load of crap but Liz said the woman is unquestionably sincere as the day is long. So I tried it. Rather than freak out about money, be a victim or try to control the situation with a white knuckle grip, I just decided to be fascinated and amazed and present by the whole thing as best I could. My tow truck driver was a sweetheart and my mechanic went above and beyond for me, even driving me to a local hotel with a car full of shit. I was soooo taken care of, how could I not be grateful?
Humanity snuck in for a brief moment when I couldn’t get a rental car on a Friday night. All of the unknowns undid me until– again– I realized, there was nothing to control here. It was entirely out of my hands. Miraculously, my photography class in Seattle is going to be rescheduled, I got my money back for the two nights that I booked a hotel in Seattle and I was able to get a rental car first thing Saturday morning. These are all miraculous things! There were times my old habitual, ‘responsible’ mind almost felt guilty for not being more stressed about money but it also felt… powerful.
My honey picked me up in Wenatchee that night and a day later? I’m shocked to be as cool as a cucumber with not an ailment, headache or overwhelmed thought to be had. In fact, I came home and ideas for my pilot and my children’s book just started coming out of me. There is a lesson here and I have a lot of gratitude.
With that said, the trip was chaotic but amazing. Working on this project is an honor and fills me to the brim. The project involves actors and the bittersweet, joyful stories that come with being creative people– and human beings. Artistic survival may only be familiar to artists but the struggle of humanity in our creatively blocked nature is a commonality that can be recognized in all of us. We all cope and survive in our own ways.
Below are three photos of my ‘BF,’ Sarah Welborn. (I can’t decide which one I like the most. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses). She isn’t a part of my photography project but I wanted to share these photos because I think her story is inspiring and in its own way ties up my experience.
She moved to Chicago to take part in the Steppenwolf Theater summer program for actors. After the program ended she stayed in Chicago to pursue acting and started writing a web series. When filming plans fell through and she couldn’t find anyone to film, she decided to go to film school to learn the skill set to tell her own stories. Soon voice and vision will also have eyes and hands. She is removing obstacles and excuses that keep her from being powerful. She now lives in Los Angeles with her partner Lou. This fierce, brave, mindful, queer and spirited woman is going to tell fierce, brave, mindful, queer and spirited stories and I am PSYCHED for the world!
I mean, look at that no bullshit ‘TUDE!!! God, I love it.
Anyway, as I step into my own creative projects and my jazz shoes (I danced for the first time today– at over 200 pounds, it’s gonna be a ‘thing’), I wanted you all to be encouraged and am feeling this on my heart today. The world needs your voice not your excuses. It needs your driven heart not your victim mentality. Tell your stories. Live your life. Be powerful.