The late night musings of my mind, brought to you by anxiety.

As many people who’ve experienced generalized anxiety would probably tell you, sometimes we just don’t know why we’re anxious. It’s just a feeling that consumes you and you can’t turn it off. Often times, for me though, the same thoughts recur in my anxious cycle, and they almost always come towards the end of the day when I’m trying to go to sleep. I guess you could say, it’s what keeps me up at night.

I’ve been so lucky to not suffer the loss of many family members so far in my life. My Grandpa passed away when I was a pre-teen and that was very difficult to get though. My Nana passed when I was two so I don’t remember it, and her husband passed many years before I was born. I haven’t lost any close friends, but I’ve lost a pet and that really sucked.

I feel so lucky to have had generally a lot of constants in my life- everything has been pretty status quo in the past 10 years. Why is this troubling, one might ask? Because I know it’s coming. I know I WILL lose the people I love. I know my sweet dog Tippy will have to cross the rainbow bridge. My heart aches every time I think about a future that won’t include weekly calls to my Grandma (who happens to be one of my best friends). I’ve spent many nights crying and mourning the losses that haven’t been lost yet. I know they’re morbid thoughts and I shouldn’t think about that stuff, but unfortunately when you have anxiety, you just can’t help it.

When I was growing up, I didn’t realize that these thoughts weren’t normal. I thought everyone felt this pain all of the time. I used to have anxiety attacks thinking about my mom not being around anymore and be so suffocated by the thought that it’d spiral me into depression. My anxiety manifested itself into a phobia (strangely I had a phobia of people throwing up/ throw up in general) and it consumed me. I had to beg my mom to let me get a therapist when I was in 9th grade because I was having panic attacks at school and dance whenever someone got sick. She thought maybe it was just a phase I was going through, but it was real, and it was crippling. Did you think it was possible for someone to have PTSD-type flashbacks of seeing other people throw up? It sounds crazy right? It was. All of my anxiety went straight into this paralyzing fear. I can remember my first panic attack in 7th grade when a kid threw up at reading competition. I remember a kid getting sick later that school year at our choir concert and me not being able to keep it together. I can remember being backstage at a dance competition, literally about to go on, and seeing a girl throw up into a trashcan behind me. That was a bad one. Someone had to slap me out of my panic attack to get me on stage. It took me actually getting the stomach flu at dance camp to stop letting the phobia control my life.

I’d be lying if I said I’m OK when someone near me throws up… It happened last year at Disneyland and although I didn’t have a panic attack, I can still remember something most people would’ve forgotten the next day.

When I stopped letting the phobia control me and started becoming a generally more normal person, all that pent up anxiety didn’t just go away. I’ve always thought my phobia caused my generalized anxiety disorder, but the more I evaluate it, I think it was probably there before the phobia and then re-dispersed itself once I wasn’t spending every minute making sure no one was getting sick around me. Generalized anxiety can also be crippling and painful- I think my phobia personally was worse to me because I was petrified of a normal human body function, but general anxiety is no walk in the park either.

I can never quite get out of my head. I think things through so much that I already decide the outcome of risks before even taking them. No point in going on that first date, he’ll probably be boring anyways. No point in asking for a day off work, they’ll probably say no.

This all kind of leads me back into something I’m not really sure exists, but it’s really relevant to me. I have a fascinating coping mechanism for times of high anxiety. I latch on to things wholeheartedly so I can distract myself from whatever’s missing. I know, I know- everyone does that. But most people don’t do it to the level I do. When I was 11 or 12, right around the time I started experiencing anxiety for the first time, I saw the musical RENT. Don’t ask me why, but I became obsessed. I’ve seen the show 14 times now, and in the height of my obsession I think it made being around me difficult because I was just so crazed. I’ve done this with a handful of things, some worse than others. Panic! At The Disco/Brendon Urie. Auditioning to be a face character at Disney. Pretty Little Liars. Vampire Diaries. And of course, Lana Del Rey. My two worst attachments have definitely been Rent and Lana, and I think they sort of reflect two interesting points in my life.

Like I said with Rent, I fell in love with it around the time I first started experiencing anxiety. It was my escape. I stayed obsessed for quite a few years and dragged my poor mother along with me. When I started listening to Lana, I was on my second Disney College Program, had kind of just thrown away my 2.5 year relationship for a guy I met there (who treated me like crap) and I was under the stark realization that my perfect fairy tale life there was 100% going to come to an end as soon as I had to move back home. I DOVE into Lana’s music, and because she has that natural mystery surrounding her, I just became more and more interested in figuring her out. Who was she really? It certainly took my mind off of everything going on. I’d sit in my car blasting “Born to Die” and just let myself cry. I know that doesn’t sound like it was helping me, but it REALLY did. When I got back to college and realized how much my life sucked now that I had ruined my relationship and pretty much had no friends, her music became my best friend. Lana’s music was the soundtrack to my life, and I literally listened to nothing else for 2.5 years. I binged Big Bang Theory and Pretty Little Liars and dreamed that I’d move to LA and have friends as cool as my favorite actors.

News Flash: it doesn’t work that way, and even though I knew it didn’t, it was still a wonderful distraction from the truth.

Now, here I am, a few months away from turning 25, and still suffering from anxiety. I’m still obsessed with all of my original obsessions, but I had a new one recently enter the mix- The TV show New Girl. I even have been listening to Zooey Deschanel’s band She & Him on repeat for the past month, which is funny because I only somewhat liked them in high school. I get frustrated sometimes because I know my crazy obsessions are a LOT for people to handle. I wish so badly that I could turn them off and just be normal, but when I live normal, the anxiety always makes its way back in. Having an escape has really helped me figure out which friends really care about me. The ones that can’t handle my personality must not be worth it in the first place.

At the end of the day, it’s really just me trying to find a way to deal with all the things that terrify me on a daily basis. I hope that one day, maybe I won’t have such bad anxiety, and I’ll be able to watch a TV show like a normal person without latching on and going crazy, but for now I guess it’s just one of my quirks.

Putting this out in the universeĀ 

Things I’d be ok with happening in the near future: 

Having as great of hair as Zooey Deschanel.

Befriending Lana Del Rey

Finding the Nick to my Jess (aka LOVE! OTP style.)

Losing the weight I’ve put on (kinda a lot)

Getting rid of old clothes so I can buy new ones (this is harder than it sounds)

Bye

It’s been a month into 2017 and I’ve already had 4 people exit out of my life because they’ve shown me their true colors. This year I’m standing up for myself and not letting people walk all over me. If you treat me like crap, then bye šŸ‘‹šŸ¼.

You’ve Never Shined So Bright

Disclaimer: don’t read this if you haven’t seen La La Land and plan to because I’m about to spoil it.

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“Yes, all we’re looking for is love from someone else.”

I saw La La Land a few weeks ago and absolutely loved it, but felt a little unsettled by it. The more I thought about it, the more I realized why I felt that way, and although I debated writing about this I ultimately decided I needed to for me. What I took away from this movie was something very personal, so take that as a warning and don’t read any further if you aren’t interested in the inner-workings of my mind.

Obviously this movie was amazing- Emma Stone is fantastic in everything she does, it’s a musical which I love, the choreography is Mandy Moore who I grew up taking classes from at conventions, and the story takes place in the city I live in. All a recipe for a movie I’d love. I think what makes it so stand out is that (spoiler) Mia and Sebastian don’t end up together. This is where it struck a nerve for me.

I was lucky enough to fall in love once. Not just young first love- a really powerful love that felt like it was the one that would last the rest of my life. To this day I have moments where I question if I’m actually over it, and it’s been 3 years. When it ended, there was a text from him, officially ending the relationship after we had been grasping at what was salvageable in the weeks prior. In that long text, I remember him saying something along the lines of “maybe in the future our paths will cross and we’ll try it again.”

Honestly, I wish he hadn’t said it, because regardless of if he meant it or not, somehow it stuck in my subconscious and has crept into my mind at the loneliest of times.  In a city as lonely as Los Angeles, it’s pretty easy to find something superficial, but I haven’t had an inkling of an actual connection with someone in over two years. Don’t get me wrong, as mentioned in earlier posts in this blog, I kind of LOVE being single because I think I’ve found myself in a lot of ways that many people never do.

Still, that little atomic sliver of hope that he left for me years ago exists in some subconscious place in my brain, and when I saw the ending of La La Land it just struck that nerve.

When Mia is happy with another man and they have a cute kid together, obviously she still found her happy ending. Mia and Sebastian both had their dreams realized, but during the movie they fell in this epic love that was life-altering. When Sebastian plays those notes in his jazz club and we see the “what if” Mia and Sebastian had stayed together scenario, everyone in the audience desperately wished that was really the story that would have unfolded. Unfortunately, life got in the way, and although they probably assumed they’d get back together, it just didn’t happen. It’s heartbreaking in a way, but it’s also beautiful that they could recognize what could’ve been and walk away from it.

I think this movie showed a lot of us that maybe that person we’re holding on to isn’t going to come back. Or maybe they will come back but you’ll have already moved on.

As much as this story is an homage to the dreamers out there, in my opinion there was a deeper meaning for those of us who’ve experienced “the one that got away” syndrome.

I don’t know what will come of the future. I sincerely hope what happened at the end of this film doesn’t happen to me, because my little sentimental and overly-emotional heart probably cant handle that.

Resolutions

Following up on my post yesterday, last year I posted some resolutions for 2016, and it was kind of amazing to look back at them a year later and see what I accomplished. So here goes.

1. Blog more (or maybe start a vlog IDK)

2. Get into shape 

3. Travel out of the country! 

4. Read more and absorb more knowledge 

5. Put 200% into everything

6. Craft more as a creative outlet 

7. Watch more critically acclaimed movies and tv shows, and listen to more music. 

Here goes, 2017!

End of 2016

I’ve been putting off writing this post until the very last day of the year, mainly because so much has happened for me that I really didn’t expect. I want to reflect on this year filled with some of the highest highs and some low lows. 

A year ago today, I made these 2016 goals for myself and I think it’s kind of amazing to reflect on succeeding at them. 

1. Appreciate more of the little things in life.

I’m really proud of myself for making this a priority. This year I accepted the fact that I live in a lonely city and decided to just be my own best friend. Although I have some actual amazing friends out here, I often opted to take myself to dinner, or a movie, or just go on walks alone and enjoy the weather. Ive said it before but going to the movies alone is just one of the most therapeutic things for me. I love my me-time and I honestly don’t think I’ll ever want to give that up.

2. Be less giving with my heart. Some people don’t deserve it.

This is one that I think living in LA has just automatically done for me. People move to California thinking it’s the place that makes people soft, but I think LA has the opposite effect. I think it’s really hardened me to the people I come in contact with and has taught me not to be quite as trusting. 99% of the people you meet out here are out for themselves. You have to be in a city where your success depends on your hustle. 

3. Accept that some people won’t be in your life long term and learn to let them go.

Still working on this one. I still have a hard time accepting certain people have walked out of my life, and not wishing they would walk back in. Maybe this is a good quality some of the time, but my heart still hurts thinking about some of the relationships I’ve lost in the past few years. 

4. Go on an adventure out of the country.

This was totally me writing about how I wanted to go to Shanghai, or back to Europe. I didn’t expect that my trip this year would be Israel! Wow am I glad that I went when I did. I met the most amazing, funny, and chill group of people on my Birthright trip. Israel is just the most amazing and beautiful country and I fell in love with it. I hope I get the chance to go back again soon, but for now I love getting to see my bus 398 family here in LA. 

5. Hang out with Lana.

Well I failed this one, however I did meet her again in February so I’ll take that as a win. Maybe next year.

6. Fall in love with something. 

This is probably my favorite thing about this year, and what I fell in love with was so unexpected. I took a leap of faith from my job at DC Comics this year where I was pretty unhappy, and went to a small talent PR firm where I learned about celebrity PR, and WOW I fell in love. I love getting a feature for my talent. Getting someone the cover of a magazine is kind of one of the greatest feelings. Developing a working relationship with an artist and being a part of who they are to the world. Most of all, it’s the thrill of a red carpet. Is that Lady Gaga over there? Oh gosh Nina Dobrev is next to me. There goes the cast of PLL. Oprah just spoke to me and I can’t form a response. Oh hey Chris Pratt you almost stepped on my foot. Evan Peters plz marry me. CLEARLY my lil celebrity obsessed heart has found love in this profession. Publicity is everything I dreamed of as a girl but I never knew it was something I could actually accomplish. Here I am in LA doing something I can pretty much only do in this city, soaking up every minute of it. I know the novelty of it will wear off at some point, as every publicist I know practically hates red carpets now, but for now I’m going to see where this love takes me. 

I started this year out on a relatively low note. I was very unhappy with my job, so much so that I flew back to Florida to audition to go back. Most people don’t know this but at the end of February, I was re-fit in punz and ultimately not reapproved due to my weight. It was a really low moment for me and I felt pretty sorry for myself, but within a week of returning home from that trip, I had an interview for my first PR job and the rest is kind of history. I still miss Punz every day, but I’m learning to accept that part of my life being over and appreciate what I have now. I’ve struggled with my weight all year, and recently found out I have hypothyroidism, which explains a LOT. I recently started medication so fingers crossed I get my “silhouette” (ha) back in 2017. I also spent 2 days in the hospital for something called ischemic colitis, which was an episode that the doctors referred to as the equivalent of a heart attack but in my colon, probably caused by a blood clot. Obviously not one of the happy moments of my year, and I’ll probably always be paranoid that it could happen again. Minor crappy things happened as well, like my tire physically exploding as I exited the 101, losing my passport, my dog eating an entire bar of chocolate and having to get his stomach pumped, and a lot of travel fiascos that seemed worse at the time than they do now. 

With that being said, this year had a lot of incredible memories. Here are some of my favorites:

Finally going to the teen choice awards 

Getting to be a part of team FIYM and working the ABC Christmas parade filming in Orlando 

Meeting my future husband 

Baby Winslow

My 24th birthday 

Sweet friends coming to visit me 

Getting rehired by Disney

Unforgettable memories in Israel

My first Disney red carpet 

That time I hung out with the cast of scandal and let Shonda Rhymes down by not having a tissue.

My very first red carpet as a publicist

 More sweet friend visits

Birthday weekend in Palm Springs 

Every moment I got to see my WIFE this year 

The most amazing group on my Birthright

Best friends trip to Disney World 

Being in the presence of my queen

More friend visits featuring Ronnie who I miss so much 

Going to Halloween Horror Nights a total of 8 times

Kathleen Graham stealing my life šŸ˜‰

Finally meeting my doppelgƤnger 

Seeing so many dear friends back in Orlando
That’s a wrap on 2016. Thank you for the wonderful memories and to all who were a part of it with me. Here’s hoping less prolific celebrities die in 2017, and that our country survives its first year being run by a reality star. 

A Nation Divided

I’m going to hash out my thoughts on this election. I consider myself to be more on the liberal Democrat side, but there are certain issues I side with Republicans on, so please keep that in mind if you’re reading this.

Last night, as CNN was announcing that Trump would be winning the Presidency, I posted a video of Van Jones (excellent speaker, very well educated man) making a statement on CNN. He perfectly explained what many minorities in this country are feeling right now.

My comments on this video: “Van Jones said it best. All we can hope is that Trump steps up and puts all the BS behind him and actually acts as a leader to bring people together and apologize to the millions of people he offended. No more bigotry, no more sexism, no more racism. I want to feel safe in my country and I want my friends to feel safe.”

Now I’m sure I have a lot of conservative republican friends/acquaintances in my friends list, and that’s OK. I don’t have a problem with your political views. I don’t think you’re necessarily a racist/bigot/sexist if you voted Trump. I know those people are out there, and there’s probably still a lot of them; it’s only been 50ish years since the civil rights movement and as much as we’d like to say we’ve come a long way, we really have only scratched the surface. It takes a lot more time to really make change, and all I can do is hope that I’m alive to see that day come to fruition.

One of my friends on Facebook posted her rebuttal to the above post, which she is entitled to. Like I said, I still love my Republican friends. But what could have been an educated conversation from two different sides of the spectrum quickly produced some statements on her part that were personally offensive. I’m going to post her words here, because they’re already out on the internet and I’d like a bigger audience to be able to see what has been said.

Here are some of the quotes from what she said.

“There is no sexism.”

“And yes, I have felt extremely oppressed for my religion, my race, class, and culture.
Taking ‘under God’ out of the pledge of allegiance. Allowing an atheist to be VP of a Christian college group, not allowing prayer in school, support of abortions, stomping on the Confederate flag, American flag, without arrests, taking the confederate flag out of museums.”

“There’s a difference between respecting (or I guess I have to say “tolerate” in order to be PC), respect someone’s religion, and then completely sacrifice America’s history and culture just to OVERLY-PLEASE a few others.”

“And I’ll let you pray to your God and let you celebrate your culture. Etc etc.
That is NOT what is happening though. What is happening is that Christians are no longer allowed to actually BE Christians without getting hated for it.”

“Is telling me I can’t pray before I eat my lunch REALLY that offensive to you? Is us wanting to “under God” to stay in the pledge really that offensive to you? If it is, move to Israel where you can be a proud Jew?

“You know I see people living in fear of being politically correct and that is not okay.”

“But it has turn into something totally unfair for whites.”

Those are direct quotes from her. She’s a young, white, straight conservative woman, and I had respect for her and her beliefs but wow, some of those statements above are pretty hard to respect. Also, who says “whites” to describe Caucasian people? Are people actually saying “whites” vs “blacks”????? Is this 1950?

A conversation needs to take place in this nation. We are not as free as many of us thought. If you’re a Christian, how are you spewing hatred? How can anyone truly believe that theirĀ ‘being oppressed as a Christian’ can remotely compare to what African Americans have endured in this nation? To what Jews suffered in the Holocaust and throughout the world? To what Mexicans have endured in this country for decades? To Muslims who are just trying to live their lives in America? To what Native Americans felt when we kicked them off of THEIR land and killed them?

I greatly respect mostĀ Christians- most of my friends are Christian, and they’re preaching love and acceptance for everyone right now. That is admirable. What separates them from people like the above is white privilege. Those are the same kind of people that enabled slavery, enabled the holocaust, enabled genocide. They preach hate instead of love.

Look- I’m not stupid. I know that a lot of liberals and democrats are preaching hate in a different way right now, and I’m begging them to stop. Stop telling Trump supporters they’re horrible people because they voted for him. Stop bullying independent voters- this isn’t their fault. Stop assuming everyone who’s not liberal is racist or anti-LGBT. That’s not who we are- I know we’re frustrated right now, but we can’t assume EVERYONE is just this horrible person. With that being said, there ARE a LOT of horrible people out there which is why we need to WORK HARDER to make sure our voices are heard. The young adults that will be eligible to vote next election- WE NEED TO FOCUS ON THEM! Show them how great equality could be, and with time hopefully the people who aren’t accepting won’t make up the majority anymore.

I have a horrible sick feeling about this whole election. We gave power to organizations like the KKK, and to be honest I don’t think Donald Trump will know what to do in order to calm them back down. He’s awoken a monster in America whether he wanted to or not, and I truly pray his advisers know how to settle the beast before violence erupts.

Please take the time to help those that this country has let down. Your minority friends, LGBT friends, even those people you know that practice a different religion. Stand up for them, because if you don’t there won’t be anyone there to represent them.