Whirlwind

This summer has been a whirlwind.

I look at my last post and see it was from July which on one hand doesn’t seem like so long ago, but on the other hand I’ve done SO much and my life has changed a lot.

Things that have happened:

I went to Lana Del Rey’s birthday party.

I also saw her in the front row at the Spotify Album Release party, at Amoeba for a small show, in Anaheim in the front row, and in Santa Barbara at the bowl. It was a very Lana-filled summer.

I got to see Bishop Briggs perform an acoustic show at the Grammy Museum and got to meet her afterwards. I also finally got to see Glass Animals in concert.

I’ve had a blast at work, working with our new boyband and getting really into the groove of my job.

I got cast at HHN (FINALLY) in the weirdest role and at first I hated my mask and was upset with it, but now I LOVE my little chin ghost, my cast, and even am putting myself through 19 hour work days because its just so fun to be a part of a cast. I’m really proud that I’ve been able to get through it thus far (even though I’ve had to take a handful of days off) and honestly I think it may be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

I met someone. It was supposed to be a slow build but I fell in love pretty dang fast. I’m so thankful for him because I don’t know how I would’ve gotten through the past two months without him.

 

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One Pulse

A year ago I woke up to a flurry of notifications of friends in Orlando marking themselves as safe. It was my worst nightmare. Living across the country from so many of my closest friends has been a challenge for the past few years, but I never thought I’d have to worry about a terrorist attack in Orlando of all places. Once I read the news alert, I began hysterically crying as the panic washed over me while I waited for friends to mark themselves safe. I remember thinking, “Orlando will always be synonymous with one of the worst terror attacks in this country’s history.” This was not okay. A senseless act of terror in the place I still call ‘home’, against people who were just out for a night of fun.

Once I was able to grasp that all of my immediate friends were safe, I cried for all of the victims. A former co-worker at my old work location, Main Street East, had been taken. Friends were posting about their friends that had been killed. It’s not fair that innocent people had to be the target of one person’s hatred. I pray for the victims who were taken too soon, as well as their families and friends who I can imagine will be grieving for the rest of their lives.

I love you Orlando. Love is Love is Love is Love.

I attract some of the SHITTIEST PEOPLE to be my friends and then I get surprised and hurt when they TREAT ME LIKE SHIT. Not sure why I haven’t learned my lesson but here I am, making the same mistakes again. 

I have a hard time accepting that everyone isn’t nice. 

TrappedĀ 

The other night I had a paralyzing dream that I had an intruder in my home. I woke up and couldn’t move. They say it’s a common dream to have if you have big life decisions to make. 

At first I thought, that’s silly,  what do I have to decide about? But then I remembered that I constantly feel trapped in this web of Orlando vs LA. My life is in LA now, it wouldn’t be easy to just pick up and leave. But when part of your heart is afross the country where all of your friends live and the place you grew up feeling so passionate about is waiting for you, it’s hard to think with a clear head. 

I constantly feel trapped between who my heart says I am; and who I’ve become/am becoming in LA. I don’t want to give up the entertainment industry right now unless I know I can come back to it. I have a bit I need to get out of my system. Is the bug Orlando, or is it Los Angeles? Where am I supposed to be?

Anywhere in the world

This morning as I parked my car on the side street and walked a little further to the studio lot, I felt at peace.

The temperature is in the high 60s, there’s a breeze, and it’s just pleasant. I felt myself mentally relaxing as I walked, and was hit by an overwhelming sensation of homesickness.

I’m sitting at the bench at cosmo in MK, half an hour before I can even clock in. My eyes are barely open because it’s so early in the morning (and those lights are miserable when you’re half asleep), but I have my overly-sweetened mediocre coffee in a styrofoam cup from the mouse. Ā I unfoldĀ my large vera bradley makeup bag and stare at the makeup that I need to cake onto my face.

That is the one place I wish I could be in the world right at this moment. It’s not something most people would wish for. In fact, at least half of the people that are actually there right now would probably think I’m crazy.

My heart aches for itĀ so badly right now.

You’d think maybe after two and a half years away, I would’ve moved on.

Moving on doesn’t seem like something I’m capable of doing.

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.