Dig Deeper!

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Deeper, must go deeper!

I realised that although my previous post was long, I’m not sure I investigated deep enough into myself with regards to having self doubts about the path I choose to follow… the one that I think to be true and authentic to my soul.

I think I motivated myself out of going too deep into the uncomfortable thoughts. The benefit however, was the identifications of my motivations of how and why I have this dream to be an actress!

I always believed that acting was my calling, given to me as a gift from God, as no one else in my family are remotely creative or artistic. What scares me is the understanding now that it could be an obsession and escapism rather than ‘calling.’ It could still very much be part of my path of self discovery as it has given me the permission, understanding and language to gauge how I feel about things, if I am willing to shut-up, be still and listen to what I am feeling!

I think underneath all of this is, the sadness that I am of a certain age and have yet to seem to figure out my life, I have nothing to show for the years I have been on this planet and the things I have experience in this life. Nothing truly manifested in the real world that I can be proud of, or even just simply call my own and have some feeling of independence, self-worth and feeling safe… as safe as we could feel in this fragile world!

The other side of going after what you want and believing that you can get it is dealing with the flip side of the coin of what happens if I put in all this effort, time, made the sacrifices and took on the challenges thrown at me for following this path and then I end up with nothing at the end of it! Would I have wasted my life or would I look back and go… at least I went after the thing I wanted… I gave it a go!

The daunting thing is that if I’m not meant to be an actress, I do not know what I could do! I know I could NEVER go back to working in an office; I have no other skills in the creative world other than acting… so what… do a minimally paid job where I just check in and out of work where I have no say in how things, people and situations around me are handled or cared for. Have no passion for my job.

There is something about being true to how I’m feeling that resonates with me as well as something I put a great deal of importance on. Acting, music, dance, painting, writing and all creative artistic work has an energy that flows from your soul that I don’t think you find anywhere else and that is something I love; the expression of that! That I DO know for sure! So maybe, acting is my calling and all I am going through is the challenges that come from it!

What if I don’t ever make enough money to have my own home, I don’t think I would be happy at the end of that story either! I understand that there is always a gamble, a risk that has to be taken in these situations and then coupled with the belief that this is worth it! But, it is something I have been thinking about more recently and it scares and causes a lot of anxiousness within me. … Maybe more meditation would help!

To be honest, I used to meditate twice a day, first thing in the morning and last thing at night but, I recently have not been doing it. I became even more distressed, jaded and pessimistic about life and that things for me are never going to change. I also believe myself to be angry at God, not really trusting this omnipotent power or myself. I’m disappointed!!! I literally just realised that that is exactly what I am feeling and why I have been avoiding any meditation recently.

I am losing my faith and that scares me as, if God is not true and all we have are us how lonely, frightening and sad it feels.

So what do I do from here? I know the idea of not acting again makes me feel really miserable. So what… I keep pushing forward? Keep perusing it! It doesn’t’ change anything, it just means I can’t go after anything else and honestly, there is nothing else I want to go after in this moment! So I miss out on nothing!

Are these cages and frustration in life real or is it just in my head? Stifling me! I do need to get out of the presence to my father. One of the most dysfunctional and hurtful relationships I have in my life and I shouldn’t have him in my regular environment. Every child just wants to be loved and cherished by their father but in some cases, it was just never going to be and I must deal. My main drive and intention is to get out of this environment, as a means to protect what minimal light I may still have in me!

So what I realised from this post which has been enlightening is, yes, maybe the path I am on is my calling, it may be a difficult road but these are the things that all actors and creative’s go through, these are the challenges we must all face on a daily basis, so understand that, truly comprehend it and accept it! There is no way to be in this industry without having to deal with this. Not going to lie, a break here or there would be truly appreciated!!! So I get refocused! I have understood my thoughts and put them into perspective. It is just the fear creeping through but, it is good to identify understand what is going on inside me and to check in with it and deal with it instead of trying to ignore its presence and push through it, when it comes to emotions that is never the solution. So I have cleared it!

Meditation… oh meditation I know I must get back to you. Once I finish this post that is the first thing I do! You may or may not help me manifest things but, you do help my soul and that is important… there is a whole conflict inside of me with regards to meditation that I can feel when I wrote the sentence but, I will figure that out another time! Tomorrow…. I’m not sure my brain can handle any more analysing!!! Today, I meditated!

So, I sign of with gratitude for a clearer understanding of myself and when I bite the bullet and dig deeper there are no scary monsters within me, just the light of understanding!

“Your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions.” 

― Elizabeth Gilbert,

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” 

― Horace Walpole

Being true to who we are!

Always

MsIHaveAVoice

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Is this really my calling?

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This is the conversation I didn’t want l to have… what happens when you doubt whether you can do the thing you’ve dreamed about doing your whole life! Is it really my calling?

It is such a large topic that I don’t even know where to begin but I do know it is something I want to discuss and investigate!

When I was younger I dreamed so many dreams, one was a singer “pop star” and the other was an “actor.” Somewhere along the line I made the decision that it was acting that I really wanted to be. Honestly, I’m not even sure how I came to that conclusion but, I do remember making the choice. Now that I look back on it I believe the reasons to be:-

  1. I loved Television shows and always wanted to be in them!
  2. The fame, money and respect had a part to play.
  3. Living in financial freedom… linking to point 2
  4. Acceptance …. Linking to point 2
  5. An escape from the world i was born into… believing I was better than it!
  6. I never believed that I was clever but, I knew I was emotional and felt things differently to those around me and I believed it to be something I could do it! … but when I visualise things I see myself watching myself on TV or film more than actually doing the craft… this is something I have wondered about; what does it mean?

Yet, I continued down the GCSE, A’level, University route; in its own strange way, never believing that I could go down this route because I so wanted acceptance from my family and friends as well as not knowing where to start with the dream. Believing if it was meant to be it would find its way to me. I desperately wanted to prove to myself and others that I am just like them, that there is nothing wrong or strange about me.

When I graduated university and began working in offices, Acting was all I fantasized about, believing that was my key to my happiness when I felt so unfulfilled, bored and never really ‘fitting into’ any of the roles I did! I kept me sane and was my nightly happiness, my hope, my escapism!

When I got to the end of my Advertising career, I knew; even though I was getting paid a lot of money and I was partying, drinking and socialising, I wasn’t very good at it, in some ways I didn’t agree with it, I didn’t enjoy doing it and just sitting by a desk everyday was not what I wanted from my life!

So I left and finally had the courage to say that I wanted to work in television but, not having the courage to say ‘As an actor’ as it was still just the fantasy!… now I wonder if I enjoyed having it as my fantasy and escapism as I didn’t want to taint the image with reality!… So, I got into production and realised very quickly after the struggle of getting a good job in a well recognised TV show, that this was not making me happy either! It was basically still working in an office just for a TV show instead of advertising… not much different! The difference this time was I was good at my job but, still was sooo bored and didn’t enjoy it, so I asked for the opportunity to work on set which they allowed…. more years are passing!

Now I’m working on set, I thought this was going to be the answer to my dreams! I was either going to really enjoy it or I was going to be discovered because ‘God is good!’ It was a physically exhausting job where people treated you like a child! You had no say, no power, no recognition, no appreciation… no voice! But, I had built a reputation, had a group of drinking and debauched friends, had a relationship with one of the main actors, I thought I was enjoying the life associated with doing the job.

Looking back at the experience I realise I was numbing the unhappiness with trying to see the positive, hoping I’d get ‘discovered’ and enjoying the way people in social situations saw me because of what they thought of my life… I wanted my life to change but, in a contradiction of emotions I didn’t want to change my life. It wasn’t the main dream but, there were elements that’s were very close or adjacent to the dream!… but they were all dysfunctional.

What I remember clearly is being so unhappy when I was in my aloneness at night in my house…. still using my fantasy of acting to keep me happy and have hope!

Then my world collided… literally! I got into a serious accident, partly because of the time of year darkness, partially tiredness and partially from smoking into the early mornings when I had to leave home and ride a motorbike at 6:00 am, everyday! (This includes getting up, showering, changing etc!)

During my time in the hospital a new manager was brought in at work who I had never worked for, I went into some form of depression in the hospital due to being in the orthopaedics ward with very old people who suffered with Dementia, Alzheimer’s and calling out that they wanted to die during the night, plus withdrawal from debauchery and forcing me to sit down and be with my thoughts, no family as they are spread throughout the country with their own lives and I can’t remember telling my friends outside of work, so no visitors, feeling alone, sad and broken in every way! But I tried to keep going!

Then a week after going back to work I was called into the office and they told me that my contract was running of and they thought it would be best if I got experience with another show! i.e I was let go! That was it!!! Too much!!! I was now broken!

I then spent the next two years lost, confused, scarred… trying to put my broken pieces together! Out of it I realised I didn’t want to go back doing the same job with another show, it was acting that I really wanted to do … the thing that kept had kept me sane, safe and comforted throughout this time… I was so low in life and I thought if I had the difficult challenge of rebuilding myself I was going to do it truthfully to who I am! Go after the things I want in life.  I believed it all happened to me so it would lead me to my true path!

So I began to take lessons; first a weekend course and then a year’s course. Acting courses are very expensive, I has been unemployed for over two years and I was turning 30 to say that my father and mother did not approve or understand is an understatement! There barrage of not particularly supportive comments continued as it had for the previous two years of doing ‘nothing.’ They never saw, wanted to see or probably didn’t know how to deal with such an emotional being who felt so alone, lost and broken! (They are both accountants!!!!) But, somehow I found it in me to continue to fight and try to move forward, to be all that I can be and to be truly happy in all aspects of my life!

So the acting journey began, I stopped going out just to get drunk, I started spending less time with my ‘friends.’ I finished school, eventually got an agent, went to auditions and got cast and paid as an actress! There are so many no’s in this industry. I was reminded by those who were not in the industry that my background and age, coming into the industry at a late stage in life would make it tough; almost impossible to get parts. I haven’t been cast in much and it requires quite a high level of intelligence to leans pages of dialogue, listening, interacting, moving, seemingly unplanned and true to life! It was what I wanted and dreamed about so I continued. If I had to fight in life, I was going to fight for the life I want!

When I eventually got here I thought things would be easier, smoother and things would fall into place as I am being true to myself, sober, a better human being, etc… I believed that this is where God steps in and helps me along in becoming what I was meant to be; HAPPY! That unfortunately, has not been my experience, still struggling and fighting! Not sure if I am any happier!!!! Still alone, misunderstood, ignored and passed over!

Is this really my calling? I can’t help but wonder! Shouldn’t it be easier after the struggle? When I’m in class I feel that I am good but, when I worked I didn’t think I was particularly good, that’s not self deprecating but just true! The nerves and anxiousness can get overwhelming sometimes! Wanting to be great but not getting the chance to improve through the experience of being in a professional situation. I believe I, like everyone else, we improve with experience! Still doing classes but it’s not the same!

It’s my anxiousness that is my self-destructive characteristic now! Constantly questioning myself and having self doubting myself when I know I have the potential! My teacher, classmates and I knew in my last class: I smashed it but no new jobs and they are just commercials or corporate videos, not TV and I can’t book them, EVEN when I do a good performance, they do not pick me!!! Why…. is this really my calling? How do I really know if this is for me? I enjoy the learning associated with it, about myself and the humans I portray, I enjoy doing it and get the most amazing feeling when I do it well. The feeling I had when I booked my job was a feeling I can’t describe in words… full of joy and potential! I feel through my learning I have been able to help others through my new levels of compassion, listening and understanding, my reduction of judgement! Is this enough to believe that this is what I was meant to do? The struggles make me better, but it is so exhausting to the soul!

I pray for a sign, help, guidance, support yet all I get is silence!!!!! What is my next step?! How do we figure it out? How do we do the job that ‘aligns our personality with our purpose?’ I know what needs to be done, I just haven’t figured out the HOW!

When in doubt I always go back to Oprah…

 “The truth is, I try not to let other people define for me whether I have power or don’t.”

 “You cannot hear the still, small voice of your instinct, your intuition, what some people call God, if you allow the noise of the world to drown it out, so, shut out the haters and the well-wishers and the sales clerk who thinks that dress is “so versatile.” 

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.”

“Turn your wounds into wisdom.”

So I continue to… try, love, fight, figure out, to have hope, to believe!

To all who continue the fight, I praise and wish you love and strength.

Always,

MsIHaveAVoice

Grounded in Success

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Light vs dark!

A strange understanding came to me recently, I realised that somewhere along the way, between teenage and adulthood, my thoughts or maybe it’s more accurate to say that, my feelings are not as bright and shiny as I believed it to be.

This realisation came to me when I recognised that somehow, I had found my way down an avenue of potential career ‘success/growth/fulfilment’ and yet I could not sit still, my thoughts were finding ways to be anxious, nervousness and sadness which led to thoughts of the eventual failure that it was going to happen… hopes crushed!

This had somehow become my default setting! When I caught myself and tried to visualise it working out exactly as I dreamed, to be happy, hopeful and just take in the moment, I have to be honest, I got fidgety! It felt almost uncomfortable…. I have become comfortable in the uncomfortable (sadness, anxiety, failure, defeat.)

Worse still, this has somehow become my norm that I seem to make clearer and sensible decisions in that space! I am more humble, kinder, grounded, and it seems that it is linked somehow to my drive, creativity and my passion to express.

When I am in a healthy situation whereby I have the ability to freely express myself, I seem to struggle to function in that space!

Take away the sadness, the darkness and place me in the pathway of fulfilment and light and my drive becomes paralysed and I find myself reacting with almost an entitled mindset. It is as if the decisions and reactions are being made by a completely different person!

The idea of succeeding almost goes to my head because of my constant belief and wallowing in “failure.”

The decisions being made in this state rarely has a positive outcome, and I realised that I may be self-sabotaging myself so that I eventually get back to manifesting failure in my life which stems from my feelings about myself!… Money is bad and the root of all evil, I am not a good person, I am useless… I am unworthy!

I wasn’t always like this, I remember a time when I expected growth and ‘success’ from my career, from most of my life decisions but, somewhere along the way I got jaded, exhausted and began to have disbelief. What surprised me was that, I believed that for the past ten years I have been working on this; spiritually, artistically, psychologically. To realise that I have been deceiving myself, that I may be saying one thing to myself but, how I actually feel about things are a completely different scenario.

Now I am aware, that I have had a tough couple of month by anyone standards which may the cause of the increased dark and twistyness but it is also something I am glad to be aware of so that I can deal with it!

So the next inevitable question is… “How do we stay grounded and rooted when we are on a path that excites us, to continue the growth and to stay humble and essentially keep acting via your moral beliefs.”

I know Oprah has always suggested a gratitude book whereby every day you write five things we are grateful for! No. 1 Must Do!

When I get exited, I get completely engrossed in a project, focusing hours at a time into the night and the meditation and visualisation that kept me moving forward during the times of struggle seems to go out the window and becomes nonexistent. No. 2 Must Do!

The simple act of eating regularly and having a good couple of hours sleep. No 3 Must Do!

The “acting world” suggests to simply sit in the emotion, do nothing and try and recognise what it might be triggering up… what emotions is it bringing up? Recognising always helps in changing the pattern! Must Do No.4

For me, the simple act of praying and asking for help is my Must Do No 5.

With the constant stimulation of work, people, music and tv (Netflix etc) I sometimes forget that I have to ask myself “how am I actually feeling,” not just ‘what am I thinking’ because, all those stimulation’s essentially overrides the voice in my head… never giving it space to reflect, to feel and to enlighten! And to me, that is the only voice that should I listen to, to guide me. So, it’s about reconnecting with that stillness within me because somehow, through neglect or choice, I have broken the connection!

Always,

MsIHaveAVoice