hello.

After a long – and very unintentional – leave of absence, I am so happy to be blogging again. It has been too long. I wish I could give you a really good reason as to my temporary disappearance from the blogosphere, mainly to try and reduce the self-guilt I feel for neglecting to write; alas, I can’t. What I have noticed though is that in the (over a) year I didn’t post – I did a lot of free and creative writing, but nothing I chose to share – I was busy in terms of professional theatrical work. I find this very interesting. I had so much to say about acting and about my future when I wasn’t acting and was really quite unsure about my future. And then cue a spontaneous 3 week trip to New York, which – in its own incredible, taunting way – made me more aware than ever of the challenges that a move there would hold, but did nothing to deter me from my still present ambition of working there. I came back and opened up to all kinds of auditions, including those for musical theatre jobs, which I’d taken a temporary break from whilst my knee healed. And then, after 7 months of exploring my options whilst working behind a computer (am) and a bar (pm to am), the work came. But with that, the words went; at least the words I felt comfortable enough to publicize. It’s hard to say exactly why that is, but something tells me that because I was finally being fulfilled in one creative aspect, it made writing (and sharing what I’d written) less of a necessity. I no longer had to use writing as an outlet, or dare I say a justification, as to why I was “out of work.”

 

But, I am back.

 

I am performing professionally, and I am writing, and I am going to both at the same time, because that is what I’ve always wanted to do. In fact, one day I hope to be able to say that me writing and me working are synonymous activities.

 

If I could sum up what I’ve done in the last year, it would be to say that I have lost weight. And I mean this more than physically. I can start at the physical aspect because I have lost 20lbs (around a stone and a half) in the last year. I have lost weight before, several times. But this time was, is, different. The catalyst came one afternoon in Newbury, where I was performing over Christmas last year, after a series of events in the last weeks of 2014, I made a commitment to do whatever I could to become the best version of myself. I had literally had enough of, now old, me. I’d had enough of the decisions I was and wasn’t making, enough of my procrastination, enough of my reluctance to identify that the person I wanted to be was not only inside the person looking in the mirror, but that it was that person, me, right now. I had to change. I had to be better, and only I could do it. So, I went to the gym. I went hard. I would grab a ride with a cast member with a car who was going; if no one was, I would cycle the twenty minutes it took to get there, do my 45-minute workout, and cycle back. I ordered all my groceries online, after creating a weekly eating plan, every week. I did this until it became a lifestyle, which it is where I am now. My relationship with food and my weight has been rocky at best. I have been a secret eater, a binge-eater and an over-eater. And I am not cured. I still relapse. But that is exactly what it is, a relapse. It is not how I live day-to-day. I don’t beat myself up like I used to if I eat a cookie, or two. But I have accepted that I am on a journey to what will one day be a glorious, unicorn-esque relationship with food, and it’s a journey that I am going to be very nice to myself on.

 

Aside though from the physical weight I’ve shed some of the weight of the expectation I constantly place on myself. I think the best way to describe what I have is a CAAC {continual activity anxiety complex: self-invention, self-diagnosis}. Basically, I have to always be doing something in order to feel useful to myself, and thus, the world. If I’m not cooking something, reading something, writing something, or working out how to BE something, I am not very much. It sounds very intense; it is. It keeps me up at night sometimes, a lot less than it did before, but that’s only because I am doing a lot more of the things, rather than giving them such gravitas that I don’t know where to start. I take active baby steps.

 

I do feel that the one thing that might make my absence a little bit more acceptable is the fact that I’ve come back with not just a post, but my own website. I bought this domain in February of last year; back when I was temping at a media agency and feeling inspired to create a more professional platform for my work. It has taken over a year for me to actually launch it. I’ve had bouts of frantically designing pages, followed by wanting to assault whoever invented html coding, to telling myself I’ve just been wasting money monthly on a domain that I’m too afraid to turn into an actual site that real human beings can visit because then I would actually need to be doing things. I’d basically been playing the self-deprecation game: Championship Level. I work with a development coach, who actually gave me the ‘baby steps’ idea. Once I applied this to my website, I’d finished it in a matter of hours. These changes sound so little when I explain them, but they have caused such big shifts in the way that I work, and exist, that I can only be amazed at how simple it is to turn ones way of thinking around. Or at least, how simple it is to just take that first baby step. So, although I can’t exactly validate my absence, I can say that you are reading the words of a changed lady. A lady who stopped being afraid of the work it would take to get to the next level. A lady who doesn’t want to wait. A lady who loves a green smoothie.

 

I still feel the same way about a few things. New York City, for example. There’s absolutely no change there. And there are still many things I need to do. But I am excited to work out how to do things. I’m excited to find as many ways as I can to keep growing. And I can’t wait to see, and share with you, what else I learn.

 

Thank you for waiting.

 

See you much sooner.

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a x