consistency · self-acceptance · self-knowledge


For a few years now, I’ve had “clear New Jersey boxes” on my list of “to do”s.  I’ve generally said, Oh this is too much, I’ll wait until it’s summer break… winter break… spring break… and so it’s been 6 years since those boxes came with me from my childhood home in NJ when my dad was selling it.

For whatever reason, it has happened that I’ve been drawn to clear out these boxes lately.  A few weeks ago, I began moving from box to box, shelf to shelf, drawer to brimful drawer of notebooks and folders and binders.  I have kept a lot of crap.

But in and amongst that crap are important pieces of my life and—as I’ve realized in the culling of it all—my self.

I can categorize every paper and folder and notebook into the following:

  • Performance (theater & music)
  • Spiritual progress (in subcategories of finance & underbeing, relationship & sexuality)
  • Math & Science
  • Creative Writing & Visual Art
  • Education & Teaching

That’s it.  My life on a librarian’s studiously categorized bookshelf!  5 categories that sum up the whole of me, my interests, my passions, and my goals.

What feels humbling and calming about this revelation is that I can more easily attend to the axiom, “To thine own self be true.”

While categories may be added or quizzically sussed out (does piloting count as science? is sailing education or spiritual progress?), the need for perfect sorting isn’t what strikes me today.  What I notice is that all my choices for over 10 years can be shuffled generally into these areas, and I am so glad of it!

It means that I am consistent, that my choices are consistent — even and especially when I feel lost about some aspect of what’s happening in my life, I now know that I have a template of myself.  5 colors.

Does this choice adhere to my color scheme?  If not, is it a choice I’m making for myself, or for somebody else?  If this choice does adhere to these categories, am I really giving it its due?  Am I paying attention to what it’s telling me, or am I scuttling it under a rug muttering, “It’s not that important”?

I have many a lumpy rug.

As I continue to sift through the accumulation of my years, I am finding a piece of pride in knowing these are the anchors of my being.  I can stand firmly and state with conviction that I love math, that I seek spiritual progress, that I foster my own and others’ education.

To know facts about myself, in this waylaying storm of daily emotions and tasks, is a relief and a boon.


aspiration · authenticity · consistency · courage · death · fear · life · procrastination · responsibility · self-abandonment · writing

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow…




Why aren’t you writing for a living?
Because it’s just a hobby, an escape.
Why aren’t you writing for a living?
Because it’s too hard and I’m not good enough.
Why aren’t you writing for a living?
Because I don’t know how to show up consistently.
Any of these types of questions ever cross your mind? Any of these questions
and immediate quashings?
This morning, that question came to me. I always dismiss my writing becoming a means or an ends.
I don’t make the time; I haven’t touched the essay my aunt said I should submit to
the New York Times’ Modern Love section. I haven’t crafted anything for the The
, a magazine at least 3 people have
suggested I submit my work to.
It’s just me
being me. How is that worthy or interesting or enough?
Because I saw someone else had clicked on it, I just re-read a blog I wrote in January, Remember What the Redwoods Told You, about being “told”
by the trees that I was going to live through my cancer. And as I read through
the end of it, about being given the chance to
be in my life, to make this time worthy, I think about
all the procrastination and fear I still let grab hold of my ankles.
This is not a self-flagellation blog; as you can read in
italics above, I already have plenty of those thoughts. But, they are just
thoughts, not facts. And thoughts can be changed. Through action.
“Act your way into right thinking,” the phrase goes.
I’ve “thought” for a while about waking up earlier (yes,
even earlier) to do some “real” writing.
It hasn’t happened yet, and that’s okay, but I know that I work better in the
morning, when my brain cells still have some anima.
And as I was finding this question arise in my meditation
this morning, goading me to find a legitimate reason for postponing my good, I
thought of a perfect resource friend I can reach out to about this, and
actually get something into action. And maybe deadline.
Because, as my acting friend told me earlier this week when
I asked her how she “makes” herself learn monologues, she answered, Deadlines.
She sets up deadlines by signing up for auditions, and makes sure she has a
back pocket filled with current monologues.
To paraphrase, Our growth can come as much from our actively
seeking it, as it can from being forced.
But, it helps to be pushed a little.
That’s what registering for these auditions is for me, a
push to get back into it, to not let another month and another month slide off
the calendar. To make this year “worthwhile,” to me means to actually do those things that I think are for other people,
people with talent or time or resources. Bull.
The only difference between them and me is action. Nothing
A rallying, warrior cry sounds every day for me. It is my
choice to heed its call or to roll over and hit Snooze.
And yet, it is also my choice to condemn myself or not on the days
I do hit Snooze. As I wrote yesterday, there’s no use in beating myself
up for not being where I want to be – that doesn’t actually get me there
What helps with all of this is accountability, which a
deadline is, but also what friends can be. I’ve been toying with the idea
(thinking, again!) recently of getting an “Action Buddy,” or “Accountability
Partner” whatever you want to call it.
I know this is a system that works for many people, and I
believe it could work for me. So, with all irony, I’m going to add “Get an
Accountability Buddy” to my list of personal actions… and see if I can hold
myself accountable to that!
Because there is no reason I’m not writing that is valid. I
know there’s grist here; I know there’s “enough” talent. I would love to take
actions that reflect that knowledge. Because, if you haven’t noticed, I seem to
think that Time is our most precious natural resource of all.

aspiration · consistency · direction · faith · fallibility · fear · perseverance · progress · stagnating · work

Once More unto the Breach, Sorta Kinda.




Despite having gotten the “message” or “more information”
about where I think my career path is supposed to, or rather, for the first
time, where I want it to go… the
hard(er) part is taking action to actually go there.
Although I’ve submitted my own promotion to my job, and
would love to do this work there, it is unclear whether they’re in a place to
support that work. And so, it’s up to me to put more eggs in more baskets.
I spent some time on Saturday updating my resume and cover
letter. I had to go visit a baby(!!) so I still have some final work to do
before I submit this particular one. And that’s where the stall-out happens.
Any of you know this one? Heard this one before?
I’ve got this pretty particular set of things to do, in an
order, in order to go where I think I want to go, in order to get what I
think I want to get. … buuuuut. Well, there’s only 3 more episodes of this show
I’m watching on Netflix (on my phone, I should add), so I’ll do it… later.
Gift and curse of cancer or any other mortality insisting
event, or simply the past experience of soul-crushing procrastination, is you know that “later” may not be there when you are.
I’m reminded of a meditation I did once.
It was probably around another time when I was demanding from fate and god and
the universe that I get answers about what the f’ I’m supposed to do with my
life. But, I thought about this turtle that I sometimes meet in my meditations.
And I thought about him walking to get toward this grass to get a bite to eat.
He is a turtle. He walks as a turtle walks, slowly,
thoughtfully, without haste. When the f’ was he gonna get there?? And I realized my fear was that the
grass wouldn’t be there when he/I got there. If I move at a pace that is
consistent, thoughtful, persistent,
what if the
grass simply isn’t there by the time I get there??
What the turtle had that I didn’t is faith. A true belief in
knowing that the grass will be there when he gets there. That as long as he
keeps on in the direction he thinks is best, care-fully and consistently,
whatever he needs will be provided along the way.
Wise turtle.
I don’t know that I have, or had, the same faith.
I can’t tell you, truthfully, that watching more t.v. is a
way of simply agreeing that abundance in the universe exists and I can lolligag
all I want because of it. I can tell you that I have fear of where my efforts
take me; that I have a streak of entitlement; that I want the outcome known
before I walk anywhere at any pace.
But, I do want an outcome. As I’ve been writing, I’m tired
of standing at the crossroad of my life, waiting for a lift that will never
There’s a phrase I hear around now: There is no ship.
If we’re all waiting for our ship to come in… sorry, bub, no
That could be horrifyingly depressing. WHAT AM I DOING THIS FOR, THEN? If there’s no ship?? But,
as I’m beginning to understand it, this phrase simply means that there is no
skipping over the work, there is no lottery that dumps in your lap; that, like
the turtle, you have to keep moving forward, and then maybe you build your own
The idea is that there’s no white knight. That fantasy
time is over. That we are our own white knight, if we are so brave and also
disillusioned to be one.
So, unto the breach I go. Haltingly, uncertain of what I’ll
find when I get there. But, if I have been given (finally, gladly, luckily, FINALLY, again) more intel on where it is I think I want
to arrive, then I must get up and walk in that direction.
I must submit resumes, continue to clear the gunk
from my soul, and write to you of how uncomfortable it feels to endeavor
on my own behalf. 

acting · clarity · commitment · consistency · dreams · growth · perseverance

Get Real.

Blogger lets you see what posts are being read, how many
times, and where in the world the reader is (HELLO! Those of you in Poland, Germany & Israel…whoever you are!). This morning, I saw that someone had read
Pulling a Carmen,” my first blog-a-day in November of 2011. I haven’t stuck
with it daily, but fairly enough.

Amazingly, a) it’s the same things I talk about now (wanting
to act and perform; letting myself be in a relationship; owning my dreams), but
b) it also shows me where things have
changed: I
have been a bass player in a
band – I certainly wasn’t in Winter of 2011 when I wrote that; I wasn’t until Spring of 2013.
In that blog, I write that my
relationship with others is reflected in my relationship with myself: how am I not committed to myself and my goals? And here I am present-day, whittling down my goals to only theater, finally. 
This week, I
wrote the lead singer in the band I play bass in that I can’t be in the band
anymore. It’s sad, but I know it’s ultimately for the best. It’s a pruning
game—like a bonsai. Or fichus. (cuz who doesn’t love the word fichus). And I
think it will ultimately help me in my attempts to focus on and even achieve
anything at theater.
I write about all the same things that I write about now,
but I do think I’m at a different place with them. I mean, I guess I write
about the same things all the time: relationships, healing, self-care,
self-derision, past experience, authenticity, perseverance.
Perseverance. I’ve written a bunch about that before, but
without one goal to head toward, the whole thing becomes dispersed, scattered,
and ineffectual.
Yesterday, I put down a deposit for real headshots.
The friends I’ve had who’ve helped me out over the years
produced incredible photos, artistic, fun, and fun to shoot—but they’re not
“acting headshots.” And there just is an industry standard. I’ve been trying to get the name of someone from an actor
friend of mine, but her voicemails are all garbled, and somehow it hasn’t been
Enter Yelp. Yesterday after some searching and
clicking and emailing, I sent half of the $350 fee to this woman in Berkeley.
Later that day, I got emails back from my other inquiries,
friends, who would be willing to do a much reduced rate, or photos in exchange for
I cursed myself (mildly) for being so impetuous and
imprudent, for not being patient and thereby “wasting” money.
And then, I looked at these friends’ websites, and I said,
ya know, it’s worth it.
As Maybelline says, I’m worth it. (or is it clarol?)
Because, after hm, 3 years of headshots that I felt either
okay, or less than okay about (fine photos though they were), I’ve been being prudent and cutting corners and trying alternatives–It’s time to put
my money where my mouth is. And I mouth about being an actress.
Does this mean I’m suddenly an actress? No. Does it mean
that I’m taking myself seriously enough to invest in myself? Yes. Does it mean
that I can focus more on what I’m showing the auditors rather than what I’ve
handed them, or emailed them? YES.
Because it IS my calling card, my first impression. And if I
want to be a professional, I get professional help. If I want this to be real, then I get real.
I could look at that first blog and laugh/lament that I’m
talking and writing and working on the same damned things 3 years later. And a
little bit, I do. But I also recognize that big things have shifted since then,
too. I’m glad to have this kind of record to mark my progress. Even when
progress looks circuitous and labyrinthine.
The last line in that first blog is that maybe there’s a
tall attractive employed funny Jewboy who is looking for a
“writer/singer/actress…bass player.” At the time I wrote that, “bass player” was only a
vague hope and notion, a funny, last second, “doorknob comment” throw-away, because you shouldn’t really know that it’s important to me. Today, I get to own that mantle. I am a bass player. I
play bass, I’ve been in a band. And I am now hoping to own the mantle of
If you glue it, they will come.