Leading up to this huge shift in our world, I’d been going through what is labelled, rather blandly and boringly in my opinion, a mid-life crisis.
Beginning last year, there has been this energy coursing through my body, and it’s screaming at variable decibels depending on the day,
Are you gonna do what you’re here to do or not?
I’ve noticed a very “shit or get off the pot” vibe accompanying me more often than not throughout all of my experiences over the last year. It’s like an incessant and insistent best friend that constantly reminds me it’s no longer an option to settle in any capacity.
This energy has made it a lot easier to end things that need to end and stop doing things that keep me from experiencing what I want to experience.
I can stand up, take up space, and protect myself in ways I used to feel incapable of doing.
I’ve never been a wallflower, but I tried to be one for a long time – to hide.
This mid-life crisis vibe is refusing to let me dabble with playing small.
Sure, over the past 6 years or so I’ve been steadily shifting & changing – transforming.
But over the last year, it’s been undeniably next level.
My understanding of who I am and what I’m meant to do has been flipped on its freakin’ head.
It began super randomly. I remember sitting in front of the TV early last year, watching an actor perform on some show. I remember feeling the emotions of the scene and this wave of acknowledgment came over me, from every single cell in my body. It said,
If you do this, you will feel free.
Shortly after that moment came a bunch of synchronistic events that resulted in getting signed to a talent agency and working on a movie. These moments came with such velocity and speed I barely had time to breathe.
OK, I had enough time but I was so fucking nervous my chest felt incapable of appropriate degrees of expansion for breathing to occur. But the consensus amidst all of the new experiences and the ever-present difficulty drawing in air was,
I am meant to be an actor
Something about being on set lit me up, which was wild to realize because up until that point, life experience taught me that I was better off in the company of the most minimal of people.
Tons of people on a movie set. And it’s chaotic and crazy and volatile at times, which I usually head in the opposite direction from these days. It takes so long for me to shake stuff like that off that I try to avoid those types of environments and people.
Yet I remained so unaffected by it when it occurred on a movie set. It felt like I’d been there before – I’d done this kind of work before – and I knew how to handle it.
It also felt like I was meant to be there.
Whatever I felt resonated because whenever someone found out I’d never worked on a set before they were surprised. As far as acting – at that point background performing, ie acting without words, where many actors start out to gain experience and connections – the consensus from many people, including the director was, “You’re a natural.”
Acting with actual lines, I received the same results. After a few classes and huge degrees of fear-based hesitancy were worked through (who am I kidding? 😂 They are still being worked through!) acting came very naturally to me. I can tap into strong emotions very quickly and rather seamlessly integrate my flair for the comedic into improvisations.
Before this whole mid-life crisis inspired questioning-of-my-purpose began, I had zero inclination that acting would be my thing.
The people from my past who weren’t my biggest fans? They might have a different view of it. 😂 I mean, I was known for being dramatic. I understand why now, from a compassionate place, but for a long time, it was a point of self-shame for me.
It was something that people judged me for. For the outsider with no understanding of the repercussions of trauma, or through the lens of those who see women who speak up or take up space as a negative, who I was wasn’t a celebratory thing. Just the opposite.
Sadly, for a very long time, I was the outsider. I was the person who thought women shouldn’t take up so much space. I hadn’t done the digging into the reality of my childhood experiences, to see how they had conditioned me to abandon myself and my fellow females, and how they were inspiring my dramatic outbursts that no one seemed interested in witnessing.
I had no understanding of why I behaved the way I did, I just hated myself for it, because no one seemed to like me in that form, including myself.
And I hadn’t built any foundation of self-esteem or self-love to see the power in my capacity to live from a deeply emotive state. Nor had I been able to see that the people I was drawn to were incapable of valuing the well of emotions that existed within me, or understanding how they could be channelled into powerful creative pursuits. I mean I didn’t know how so how could I expect the people I was drinking with to know?
But then came last spring when I realized that all the moments I was dramatic and over the top, either in my eyes or in the eyes of others, were for a purpose.
They were indications that I was meant to utilize my flair for the dramatics powerfully and productively, through acting.
One of my driving forces in life is to share content and stories that make people think. To trigger then to look within themselves and ask why. Why do you feel this way about that person? Why do you feel that way about yourself?
It’s in the willingness to question our normal – the way we’ve always done things – that transformation begins.
It’s one of the most powerful acts of self-love, to begin to ask why.
I’ve done a lot of work on myself to be able to get to this point. I used to be driven by a desire to lash out, do drugs, overeat and argue. I now know how to self-soothe, so all of the above isn’t as much of an issue for me.
I work hard to take ownership of my pain.
I can call myself out on what I need to work on instead of spreading it all over everything and everyone I touch and see. Even though I wince when I have to look it in the face, especially when I have to head in the “what’s alive in you is alive in me” direction, I do the work.
It’s my job. I’m here to break the cycle of abuse I come from.
There are days when I can see that I’m being co-dependant, judgmental, or jealous. Angry. And it’s not coming from a healthy place, ie I need to process it in the company of no one, so I don’t place the energy of those emotional states onto other people.
Sometimes I fail.
I always feel bad when I do. I’m always trying to do better. It’s really about the art of the attempt – the intention to do better with this kind of work.
That’s the pathway to transformation, to be willing to try to do better the next time.
But now, after giving myself permission to embrace the performer within me, I channel ALL my experiences into my creative life. Even when I’ve been a grade-A asshole to my love, or felt learned narcissistic traits trying to take over a conversation or a choice. I don’t let those experiences go to waste – I utilize them so I can learn from them.
I see acting as an opportunity to transmute destructive feelings, both within myself and within others.
If I can give the feelings within me a chance to be witnessed and worked through via a creative performance, I can perhaps help others see and feel their feelings, and transmute them.
Connection through performance is powerful. It can incite empathy. It can inspire people to think and try to do things differently. To ask the inner questions that need to be asked.
Acting has given me an outlet for my capacity to feel.
All the years of absorbing what went unspoken and dealing with the trauma that came with my ability to do that can now be channelled into character development and scene work.
Realizing the power of this channelling of my abilities has been cathartic. It has inspired self-forgiveness.
I felt ashamed and guilty about my empathic abilities for the majority of my life. I had no clue why I couldn’t get a handle on the anxiety and depression, and the addictions I relied on to try to escape how I felt.
I felt inherently flawed which was affirmed by many people and the media. I was lambasted with toxic medications that made me shake, and labels that made me cower in the corner.
I tried to outrun it all and it almost killed me.
Now I see the power in my experiences: they can be used to make art.
When I am rehearsing a monologue, I feel actualized. Like I’m doing what I’m meant to be doing. On point with my purpose.
When I write a scene for a potential web series, I feel aligned with who I am.
It took me a long while to get there; I spent a good section of my life believing life was all about money – how I could make money. I wrestled with the ancestral narrative toxifying my cells consistently, “you need to make money at what you do, all the time, or else there is no point in doing it.”
My mid-life catharsis, in conjunction with this apocalyptic state of the world, has helped me see how the money-centric narrative needs to end.
It’s not meant to live within me anymore. Or on this planet.
Since this pandemic began and we’ve been asked to isolate ourselves, I’ve been steering myself in directions I’m meant to go.
I’ve given myself permission to follow the pull of what my heart wants to do.
Every day I wake up and work on my craft in some capacity. Whether I’m exhausted from a sleep that felt more like a fear takeover than rest, I make an effort to do something, no matter how small.
I research. I read a book. I rehearse a monologue. I watch a movie that inspires me or helps me formulate a character. I join a free webinar.
And I think – a lot.
Through this viral outbreak has come an opportunity to disentangle with the stories that tell me I need to keep trying so hard at things that guide me to abandon my purpose in life. To be who I am to the fullest.
To be able to stop feeling ashamed for not doing what I was taught was required to be able to accept and approve of myself – ie make copious amounts of money – has been fucking soul altering.
Mid-life crisis and this covid-19 outbreak have taught me to stop being led by something that isn’t meant to lead me.
They have taught me that resistance to change is viral.
So much change is happening as a result of this pandemic. The world will never be the same. We will never be the same.
It’s time to step into the new unknown, whether we feel ready to or not – To face the fear of it instead of letting it lead us.
Full disclosure: there is not one thing I’ve experienced over the past year that I felt ready to do.
Every single experience that came up, I felt like I needed more time to process or learn, or someone to consult with before I took the leap and did it.
I received none of those things, but I did it anyway. And I transformed.
So can you. We can do it together.
If you feel the pull to share how the alterations to your world – your normal – in the face of covid-19 have changed your life or your views, I’d love to hear from you.
Contact me privately or leave a comment below. 💗
So much love to you – to us all – during this time of unprecedented change to the fibres of our lives.