Let’s start where it’s supposed to end:
My hair is too coarse
My skin is too scarred
I’m too old
I’m too muscular
I’m too short
I’ve always been filled with dreams,
And I’ll always chase them.
But, I came on a strange road,
And though I appreciate them all now, I do have scars.
I’ll share some with you if you share some with me~
After all the idealizing and editing and airbrushing and beauty lighting and whatever else comes, let it never be said that the person behind it wasn’t a real person, because I am. And if you mistakenly followed me thinking you had stumbled upon a lady, sorry luv, because you’ve got the wrong one.
However, if you’re perfectly imperfect, and traveling the same odd little road toward your dreams (or want to), make your presence known. Say “Let’s go!”
The Who and the What
In the winter of 2019, before [whateverallthisis] popped off in my life and yours. I was visiting the fam in GA. A friend of a friend and I were at a bar (remember those?) talking about my work doing on-set lamp op and briefly, in-house lighting tech. Late hours, backbreaking work, a boiling summer, a freezing winter, skinned knuckles all while working with a team of mechanical geniuses in dirty jeans and fitteds. Hands down the best, brightest, and most movie worthy people I’ve ever worked with… dammit, I’m gonna cry…
Anyway, it was about a twenty minute convo before we moved on. Later on, he jokingly stated that I had the hands of a mechanic cause I didn’t (and couldn’t) keep a polished manipedi at all times. Honestly, the sh** was funny, and I figured I was about to pocket the $50 he was trying to flex with and go buy camera filters. Then, without thinking I responded, “Yea, I know. I AM a mechanic, remember?” After which he promptly walleted the $50 apologetically …I wonder how much I could have gotten for a spa day or skin peel or something had he seen the scars on my legs that I got from knocking myself in the shins with a friggin 10k Mole-Richardson MULTIPLE times?
Btw, no shade to the lady grip & electrics out there with gorgeous manipedis. The particular one I’m talking about knows I’m talking about her. Still don’t know how you manage it, but I’m still jealous.
The Lesson in Pain
Five years ago, this photo would have been an impossibility. Five years ago, I could only dream about getting out of bed without pain, much less launching myself off of the ground a few inches. At the time, I was emerging from another horrible holiday season of isolation and chronic physical pain. The undiagnosed now pre-malignant foot tumor I had been limping upon for 15 years prior had resulted in torn tendons, impinged nerves, misaligned hips, sciatica in my back and left leg—All of these things culminated in two years of existing in just one bed and just one room.
When I was growing up, my mother, RIP, was fighting her own battle against Lupus. But during those years, with only one healthy and working parent, and with us strapped for cash, my foot problem understandably could not be prioritized against her serious autoimmune disorder. So, without ever saying it and in our everyday lives, we did something that no one should have to do. As a family we chose and the choice seemed obvious to us all. Her health over mine. My foot would have to remain as it was until an undetermined date when we could afford to deal with it, and I settled into the idea of living a life like that. In the early stages of pain, I thought it was feasible. I could still run fine, and walk if I tried albeit with a limp. And I figured it would never get any worse than that painful little bump, and a little limp… It did get worse. A lot worse.
And so on and so forth…
I still have selfish tendencies, and am still insular due to living for 17 years of my formative childhood and adult life in excruciating pain, the last two of which were lived from a bed. A lot of my acting skill, now that I’ve been taking it seriously for a few years now, I genuinely think comes from my life spent smiling and laughing and conversing normally through constant pain. I’m still a bit spacey and absentminded when things aren’t super quiet and calm around me. Still introverted, of course. Still disillusioned about quite a few thing in life. There are no rose-colored glasses or “good luck” in my world; just the grind for anything that I may want out of life, and the glory of achieving it. When my goal comes to me it will come to me. But if it doesn’t, it would never have been for lack of trying, or for my being afraid. And if there’s anything that I want to impart from this cryptic half-story, it’s the same thing I try to repeat over and over nowadays:
Do it. Do the thing. As long as it harms no one (yourself included). Feel weird and awkward. Be imperfect and flawed. Have scars. Be cautious. Do it brash. Or do it scared. Plan the path out first if you have to. Drown out the naysayers if you have to. But don’t lie to yourself, and don’t make excuses when you are afraid. Because the only thing that comes of decisions made out of fear is regret. Every time.
At the end of the day, I don’t regret the time I lost to being incapacitated because those years, I had no choice in. I only regret the times when I was able to chase my dreams and simply chose not to because I was fearful. Fear can and will eventually subside and disappear. Regret for the things we could have done but didn’t out of fear—you can only bury that. Never destroy it. Some may say different buuuuut… I don’t think so. So, if you find yourself blessed with the means and the health in life to do what you want to do, go ahead and start. Take one baby step. And hey, comment about it or hit my DM and tell me about it WHEN you do. 💜