Saturday, June 11, 2016

On my 35th Birthday - let me declare:

I'm an unmarried childless woman with astronomical student loan debt, living with 2 roommates - and I'm telling you: 
I have been unhappy, and let me tell you - this is not it. I have a shit ton to be grateful for.

1) I haven't done anything major in my life out of fear. I didn't settle for unsatisfying relationships or stay in bad ones. Being single at 35 does not feel sad, nor does it feel worrisome because of the babies thing.

In fact I still feel like a baby girl in many of the best ways, and an independent adult in the best ways as well.Your 20s is a fear based era of your life, inadequacy and the task of defining your adult self often pushes people into fear based decision making and undesirable life courses.

I believe that I'm living the life that I'm meant to be living. I had every capability to get through the hard times that would have been easier with a companion.

Now I reap the reward of every life decision I make being for myself and my own needs. This has been such an incredible gift of being single and I appreciate and embrace it. This shouldn't be squandered!

I'm not saying my life is better than anyone else's. I'm saying that I enjoy and am grateful for the way it's turned out - and that many of the things society says makes for a bad life, have actually made my life wonderful.

I have had many romantic relationships and have loved learning from them, getting to know myself and the world better through each one. My time both single and while involved with someone has been fruitful for its own reasons. I've had fun both ways, and adventure both ways. That makes me feel rich and free and grateful.

As for the babies thing, I once had plans with male friends of mine to "have friend babies" if we got older and didn't have kids yet. But I don't want to do that. I think I just want to keep living as I am and if making babies happens, it happens. If it doesn't, it doesn't. My heart knows that's the way to go. As for now, I love my daily Ortho Tri Cyclen and am really grateful for that too!

2) My career is everything I want it to be. I want more success that's for sure. I want to direct movies with real budgets and that's what I'm going after next --- but as of this year, I have DONE THE WORK.

There's a lot of people who've told me what I need to do: I need to do standup every night, I need to go to this and that school and get into this festival and win these awards and cast these famous people in my movie, I need a certain kind of headshots, I need to network and join societies. Well, I've made choices about what I really need to do and I've done a lot of different things my way, because hey - I want a path that not everyone is walking down - and I've done the work to walk down that specific path.

A couple years ago before I shot my first feature film, I was very depressed because I thought it wasn't going to happen and it was impossible. It has very nearly been impossible many times - mostly because of general rejections on top of financing and casting troubles. But I financed it and acted in it myself and so fuck it - it happened. It's 1 week away from done and paid for. There's things that were hard and things that are flawed in the final film- but I needed to make those mistakes - because they make me better at doing what I want to do.

I feel that part of success is luck and opportunity - but luck and opportunity cannot strike if you don't do the work - If you can't unequivocally show people what you are capable of. And I feel right now, I've done the work to show that. So it's entirely on me and my shoulders if I don't get what I want out of life. That's how I feel. But it feels really great to have done the work --- because I finally feel free and able to go after all my dreams.

This is the best year yet. I'm going after what's next, and going after things IS MY FAVORITE.

3) Feminism has, for the first time in my life, become understood and accepted.

There is still so much work to be done, but there is no coincidence in the timing of Hillary's success.Everything I've been hungry for in life feels more possible, in the vast and important ways.

The pain of being a little girl in a man's world - a pain you are met with by the constant disappointments in life of things that are not for you --- is being healed by each glass ceiling broken, each acceptance of female competence, each celebration and understanding of our experience.

Progress is still needed but women are today heard in a new and different way than ever before, and that's just a really loving thing.

4) I can look to my bad times and know with 100% certainty that things do get better.

Yesterday was the 6 year anniversary of my dad's stroke, which he survived but with severe handicaps, which has also considerably handicapped my mother's life who is his full time caregiver.

Living through this has been hard and sad and seemingly impossible - but I know that all things are possible. We are here, we are living with it and through it. We are all going to France on a vacation together in July. My parents don't really do things like "summer in France" - but they are doing it in a few weeks, and proving that there is more happiness to be had, and more wonderful life to live, in spite of tragedy and difficulties they face every day. The simplicity of being able to still have a lovely experience like staying in a Chateau in the Loire valley, when you can no longer wipe your own ass -- or when you have to wipe your husband's ass for him and afterwards place his jewels properly so he doesn't sit on them -- is perhaps what life is all about.=====

On top of all this I've lived a life of wild adventure and privilege - some I was born into and some I made my own. I'm lucky to be born as an American -- yes there is privilege in growing up here. There is privilege to being raised as a woman now, versus every previous decade. There is privilege to being raised in a beautiful suburban New Jersey town with seasons and safety, with hardly any cellphones or internet yet, graduating high school in 1999, and the with the shore in the summer, NYC access year round, and snow in the winter. I'm very lucky to be raised by parents who support and embrace and encourage me. I could go on, but yes, I'm lucky. My life has been filled with great depths of sadness and struggle but also met with outrageous reward and adventure. Here's to all of the things hopefully that we could all list as damn lucky from the day we were born.

Please let my own personal life lessons be a message to you about where happiness and fulfillment comes from-- and that is living from your heart, and following your own path sincerely - not giving up, and not giving in. You do you.

This is my favorite year yet.

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