Sick Day :(

SO. I have been fairly sick for the past 5 days or so. I have just kind of accepted the fact that since I work with kids when I am not performing, there is a good chance I will be exposed to some…sickly situations. Kids are like little teeny carriers for viruses so that plus living in NYC and getting on and off of the subway, dealing with the insane weather patterns, and overall just making sure to remember to eat healthy, drink water, etc. can sometimes catch up with ya and hit ya hard. Like a solid punch.

That being said, I wanted to list some things that have helped me to feel better quickly when I am feeling gross and groggy! (Particularly when it comes to colds and sore throats)

  1. REST.  It’s hard for me to relax at times, especially when it is forced upon me. I like to be active. I am not someone who ever binge watches netflix or enjoys laying in bed. There’s nothin, wrong with that, but it is just not what makes me thrive! So I do my best to keep that stuff as a bit of a reward at the end of a long day once in a while. However, when I am sick, despite how much I think and believe I will be fine, I know I won’t be. Rest is key. Even if it’s just laying down while you do some work on the computer, watching a show, reading, texting friends, etc. Frequent napping is also top notch. But the point here is, listen to your body. Only you know how much you can take. Don’t dismiss if you are feeling horrible because it will only get worse if you don’t just take that one day to rejuvenate. Trust me. I learned the hard way by partying all weekend while I was sick and it made it about ten times worse.
  2. MY TOP DRINK,  I am always drinking water. Therefore, I almost always am peeing. So this only gets worse when I am sick. HOWEVER, another number one favorite drink to have when I am not feeling well is hot water, lemon, cayenne pepper, and ginger (honey is optional). This little easy drink packs a big punch and has proven to help me more than regular tea has. I love spice, so I know for some this is not ideal. But damn it will get the job done! And even when you aren’t sick, it’s a great way to start the day! Two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a cup of water is also great, as it helps to kill bacteria and helps to relieve inflammation. ALSO, if I am really not feeling too great, I love to go to this awesome ramen shop by 125th street. The ramen bowls are massive and jam packed with spices and nutrients. Always helps to fight off a little cold while also enjoying a mind nummingly delicious meal.
  3. TOP THROAT LOZENGES.  Ricola. I love Ricola. Just the original flavored honey lozenges do wonders to soothe my throat. Also, Olba’s Pastilles are awesome. It’s like icy cold vapor rub, but edible. These are great to really power through a terrible cold because it helps to open everything up a bit, especially the nasal passages.
  4. SELF CARE. This might seem obvious, but sometimes this falls to the wayside a bit. Take a nice long warm shower or bath, light some candles, eat healthy, check in with yourself. I personally love solitude just as much, if not more sometimes, than being social! Enjoy this time with yourself and figure out what you need while you rest. Also maybe even make some plans for the future while you have the time!
  5. FIGHT OFF FUTURE ILLNESS. Sometimes, you can’t help it. You are just going to get sick and nothing can change that. But other times you definitely have control over it to some degree. Maybe the seasons are out of wack and you are not prepared when you are out and about. Take this into consideration and maybe pack an extra sweater or t-shirt to have handy for some major switch-ups. Maybe you know for a fact that you have not been eating very well or maybe not enough. Take that into account because what you eat is what fuels you and helps your immune system to fight shit off. Wash your hands, drink your water, exercise (even if its just for 5 minutes a day at home), and stay healthy ya’ll. 🙂

Secret Weapon

So, this is not something I have really discussed outwardly on here, but you can kind of grasp through some of my poetry (since when am I a poet????) and other writing that I am a big believer in the law of attraction and having control over your own destiny. For example, the poem that I wrote called “Guiding Hand” or any time i speak about light, it is usual in reference to spirit or to the law of attraction.

It sounds a little kooky at first, but it really is true that what you put out comes back to you. If you are constantly focusing on what you don’t have and complaining that life sucks and that you are nowhere near your goals, that is only going to continue to happen. It may seem difficult for some to train your brain to believe that everything is going to work out, but nothing great ever really happens over night. It takes time and practice and dedication; you create habits that support your goals instead of being inactive, you become more self aware and are more happy because of it. You find out what is good for you and what makes you happy vs. things that have been bringing you down or creating a sense of comfortable laziness.

Throughout my life I have been very lucky to have known about the law of attraction without really knowing that it is called. Because of that, I have had a lot of opportunity, success, and have brought wonderful people into my life. Strange phenomenons would happen all of the time that would be in congruence with things that I had put out, whether that meant through writing, focused energy, or speaking it out loud. I would truly believe that everything was going to be okay, and usually its better than okay.

I ask for signs a lot, especially when I am going through an uncertain time. When I was in my last relationship, I wasn’t sure what was happening and that was a hard burden to keep to myself. One day in the very thick of it, I was babysitting. The kids that I babysit can sometimes have behavioral issues and this was in the second month of me working there. I knew that I had to take one of them to buy a gift, so we walked into a toy store. While this was happening, I was preoccupied with the thoughts of my relationship almost constantly. It would bring me down more than I have ever experienced before. I would think about it on the train, at work, when I was out with friends, anytime I looked at my phone, with family, in my room. It was endless. I had recently made a statement out loud that asked for a sign of positivity to get back the feeling I was used to, because it felt lost. Boy, did I get a huge sign.

I will shorten this up a bit, but I ended up losing my wallet that day at work in an unfamiliar part of Brooklyn while caring around a hungry 7 year old. I tried to remain calm because we had only walked 2 blocks before realizing I could have left it at the toy store. The 7 year old was remarkably patient, helpful, and had not a single tantrum or attitudinal issue. I was immediately grateful because it was getting late, he hadn’t eaten dinner, and we had been walking back and forth for a very long time seeing if we could spot the wallet in the snow. No luck.

We went to the toy store and random stores along the way, searching to see if we had somehow missed it or maybe someone brought it into someplace nearby. The feeling of panic was very faint. I couldn’t explain it, but I felt like everything would be okay. I knew my insurance card, credit cards, unlimited metrocard, money, Id, and everything else in there was out there somewhere but that I would be seeing it again somehow. Maybe. Hopefully. Finally, I was at the end of my rope. Keep in mind I had 4% phone battery. I told the kid I babysit that we tried our best, but we should try to go home. I looked down at my soon-to-be-dead phone and saw a random number had called. I thought nothing of it.

We started to make our way to the train and I couldn’t help but feel a sense of defeat as I asked if I could use his school metrocard to get on the train and figure out the rest later. I suddenly thought that maybe it would be a good idea to call the person back. Maybe it was a casting call! I called them back and a woman named Christine answered. Earlier that day, I had emailed with a woman named Christine about an audition. I immediately deflated somehow thinking that this could have been related to my wallet. But, to my surprise, Christine actually had found my wallet and had looked me up online to find my phone number. She said she had searched long and hard to match up my information, and that she had seen m wallet in the snow and picked it up to try to get it back to the owner. She said that everything seemed to be in it still and that we could meet her at a restaurant nearby to pick it up. She gave me the address, and my phone died.

No google maps to rely on, I tried to remember every detail about where she said she would be. A woman on the street came up to me and asked if I needed help and pointed me in the right direction. About 45 minutes later, we found the right place and my wallet was safely returned to me with every single thing still intact. I felt tremendous appreciation and love and overall thankfulness. I tried to buy her and her date some drinks, but she just told me to pay it forward.

The sign I had been looking for to show me that something positive was still within me and outside of me had appeared before my eyes. It was the perfect metaphor for what was happening in my life; everything was seeming difficult, lost, and like an overall struggle. But there was a light there. It had never even gone away, I just let it slip past me for a second.

We, as Americans, are very self-absorbed in what makes us feel negativity. The world is faced with horrible, inescapable situations and we sit here upset about a relationship that is making us unhappy or a job that is not fulfilling or a cup of coffee that spilled on our new jacket. Yeah, those things suck ,but they are fixable and don’t need a negative focus. Put a positive spin on it all and you will find that you are strong enough to make a decision about your relationship, that you look for a job that will make you happier, that you wash out that coffee stain and move on with your life. Everything comes back to you and the universe is a friendly place, so practice staying positive, set goals, get out there, do things that you like, help people (even a simple smile on the subway can make someones day), and move on with your life knowing that you have the power to get what you want, big and small, if you focus the right energy on it. Remember, it’s a lot easier to give into negativity. Don’t choose the easy path. 😉

Pressure Relief

There is this weird, unspoken societal structure to life where everyone feels they need to follow, or at least stay close to, a cookie cutter-like path in order to feel “fulfilled” and “happy”. Some people defy these unspoken rules and lead extraordinary lives and I guess this is just a reminder for myself and everyone around me that you don’t need to feel pressured to follow anyone else or their idea of life.

Everyone knows the formula: go get a job, go out to party every weekend, settle down with someone and buy a house, get married, have kids, etc. Some of these things are fundamental to certain people and that’s great! Other people are not so sure and are met with pressure if this doesn’t align with their wants and needs. Parents, significant  others, friends, hell even people we don’t KNOW can bring these topics about as though it is engraved on some ancient tablet specifying the rules of life. It’s definitely enough to make you squirm and cringe if you aren’t too certain if you are choosing a different path. So here are some things that have helped me to focus on my own path while figuring out the things that I want to do to lead a life that is fulfilling to me.

Taking time to write out my goals

I have probably sat down 2.5 million times to write out all of my goals so that I have a very clear idea of what I am working towards. I am also a strong believer of the law of attraction, so speaking things into fruition as well as taking action, writing, creating to serve those ideas really helps me to know that this is my reality and that goals are super reachable. All of this helps to solidify the kind of life I want to lead and where I am at this point in time. Instead of leading to panic, it helps to motivate and comfort.

Taking time for friends, family, and time alone

Having a balance is seemingly impossible, but balance doesn’t necessarily mean that you are having equal parts all around but rather creating a balance that is true to you. Sometimes people need a little bit more alone time than others, sometimes people want to be surrounded by people more often. Whatever your truth is, make sure to make time for yourself to get to know and love YOU, because that is the most important relationship that you have first and foremost and, more times than not, needs the most work. Having a good relationship with yourself is also built through your friendships, family life, and love life, so isolating yourself is not helpful to help to build your true self. Yes, time alone is one hundred percent necessary, but, again, finding a comfortable balance of each is extremely beneficial for your psyche. Also, stop comparing yourself to others and avoid spending a lot of time on social media.

Learning to detach from things that do not serve you positively

As humans, we tend to hold onto all sorts of negative energy that no longer serves us. Sometimes it is easier to detach from these ideas than others, sometimes relationships can leave a permanent mark no matter how much you detach from the negative feeling it left you with. It’s important to know when to allow yourself to move forward from a situation that may not be getting better for you personally. Maybe you have let it all go, but there is still left over tension from past events that, no matter how positive you feel about it now, has just plain changed a relationship. What it comes down to is this: fear, envy, pain, stress, worry…it does not help you to move forward. And if you have let the feeling go but feel stunted in some way with someone or something like a job or something in that realm, then it is time to move forward. If you are able to let go of the feelings that it has caused you but no longer feel growth, face it and make your next move. It’s scary, but it’s honest. Which leads me to my next and last statement…

Being honest

This is it. Life. Why not be honest? Be honest with yourself and about what you want. Be honest in your relationships but also be fair and understanding. Be empathetic and open. Challenge yourself. Be a good listener and be there for your friends, family, lover. Be there for YOU. Do activities that inspire your creativity. Be bold and choose to push fear away. Do not choose a path that is not true to you. Do not sacrifice parts of yourself to make someone else happy because that is how you lose yourself. This does not mean to be selfish, but if does mean to be real with yourself and if something is making you uncomfortable, speak up and have an open conversation about it. Do not be stopped by the idea of what if, but rather be inviting of it. Be kind and form opinions. Be decisive. And, most importantly, lose the idea that life is supposed to go a certain way because that is where you will lose yourself and your honesty.

 

 

 

 

Chaotic Nature

I recently had this thought where I imagined everyone on earth was required to write a very detailed book on each year of life until death. It would form one large book that would be saved and documented for eternity for people to peruse as they please throughout their own lives. Of course, there has always been the analogy of treating years or certain parts of our lives as “chapters” or “seasons”. But what if we actually had to keep detailed documentation of our lives? What if we all took into account that every action and decision, no matter how small or mundane, would truly effect the quality and outcome of our lives?

People are so afraid of countless things in life that actually inhibit them from living a fulfilling and exciting life. Rejection, failure, anxiety, overthinking, other peoples wants or needs, money and more are all examples of what seems to get in the way of life being lived to the fullest and achieving their goals. I’ve seen it in friends, family, loved ones, and, of course, myself! It’s all around us! Like our brains start to freak out a bit about what will happen if you take that job or if you want to go out that night or if the audition went well. That being said, it’s also important just make a decision. Decisions are usually dragged out, stressful, and can consume your thoughts. Just take the risk or do what you feel is best and go for it. And if chaos comes as a part of that, then savor all of those times of struggle and uncertainty because whether it is the greatest time of your life or the darkest, you are growing. You may want to punch people in the face or cry or scream or jump for joy, but through it all, you are growing.

Everything is temporary. I have learned that as an actor, friend, daughter, girlfriend, sister, and person that the faster you learn that, the easier things are. Plus, if something is pretty shitty then I mean…you KNOW it isn’t forever, even if you feel like it is. you have to treat yourself like your best friend.

Here is a list of some random things, some great and some not-so-great,  off of the top of my head that have helped to me grow tremendously. (There are plenty of other things but these are the first things that really came to mind).

  1. Traveling to different countries (especially my first visit to England) and around the U.S
  2. Auditioning and being cast!
  3. Auditioning for huge casting directors and walking away feeling like I had no idea what just happened.
  4. Allowing my entire apartment to be taken over for 4 full days with a 17 person crew with little to no space, our rooms being completely taken over, having our bathtub overflow for a scene, and shooting for 12 hours each day.
  5. Being surrounded by people on tour, living situations, and situations where I really just wanted space but couldn’t get that.
  6. Visiting my 90 year old grandmother.
  7. My parents getting divorced.
  8. Every romantic relationship I have been apart of.
  9. Taking a year off from college and then deciding to go back to school and moving to NYC without knowing where I was going to live or how I was going to pay rent.
  10. Working random odd jobs.

The truth of the matter is, it is really easy to look at this list and think about how some of the situations might seem amazing while others seem less than ideal. Some were decisions, some were out of my control. Either way it is how you handle chaotic situations and know that you will actually benefit from it in the end that defines how your life is going to go. Far too often on my Facebook feed or in real life, I hear and see people complaining and focusing on the negative. I see people treating each other without respect or with frustration because of their own problems and current situations. Of course, letting off steam is healthy. But treating yourself and the people who care about you most like shit because you aren’t happy with where you are at in your personal life is unfair and that has to be realized.

The point here is, we all know everyone has their own struggles and  you have to try and embrace all moments in life. Sometimes it may seem like things are falling apartbut just remember to swim under the wave. It is not going to last forever and the more you know and accept that, the quicker that really shitty time in your life will seem less and less of an issue and instead, just a part of life that is actually placed before you to help you grow! The concept may seem strange, because the natural reaction and easier thing to do is to react negatively to situations that you don’t like. But taking the time to get annoyed or upset and then let it all go will be far more beneficial than walking around with all of that excess baggage that may end up changing the course of your life.

Know Thyself: Relationship Edition

Here are some tips that I have slowly but surely gathered from the relationships that I have been in over the years.

1.If you feel something, say something.

A lot of people are terrified to talk to their partner if something is bothering them in regards to how the relationship is going. Whether it’s where you are at emotionally, any anxieties that might be coming up, if something is hurting or bothering you, you have to say something. People hold out because they are scared of what might happen if they hurt their partners feelings, scared they might get angry, scared they might leave them or not understand. But the truth of the matter is, if you are in a relationship and you feel something is off for you or you are concerned about something, then you will carry that guilt with you for a long time. It will start to build up like a giant, heavy, snail shell on your back and will make you feel cold and burdened. Do both yourself and your partner a favor and communicate. It may lead to some dismay, but most of the time things can be resolved. If they can’t, they can’t! And you go from there. It’s easy to get comfortable, especially as you get older and start to consider things like when you may want to get married or if you want kids. Some things are fundamental to people. For example, some people know that they want to have kids and want to know that their partner is at least considering it. Sitting down and talking about these things can help to solve some issues that may come up down the road. It’s always good to know where the two of you are at and it’s the fair thing to do.

2. Keep the romance alive!

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that the little things add up a lot. The special little things like leaving a note or getting a candy that your partner loves to surprise them may seem small, but actually makes a big difference in how special you can make people feel. Make some plans at least once a week to do something together that is fun or relaxing for you both.

3. Know when enough is enough.

It’s never easy to figure out when it’s time to call it quits, and this all kind of goes hand in hand with #1 on this list, but if you feel that you have had enough, you have to express that. Sometimes simply from just saying that, things can get better. Other times, you know that it’s absolutely what you have to do to protect your heart, pride, sanity, etc. Also, if you let things pile on top of each other for  too long, it begins to feel as though you are betraying them. Don’t lie and pretend like everything is okay if it’s not. Period.

4. Don’t move too fast

It’s easy to get tangled up in the throes of passion and think that this person is everything you could ever want and more. In that early time, it’s easy to make promises that you might not be able to keep even though at the time you truly believe that nothing could ever change that. This sets the bar way too high way too fast. Make sure you take your time with it, get to know the person if you haven’t known them for long, see if you share the same interests, see what flaws are admirable and what drive you crazy. If it’s meant to be, it will be. I know it’s exciting, but the best part is the journey and not the arrival. So take your time.

5. Don’t compare your relationship to others.

Some of your friends might be dating people too, which is super cool! But keep in mind that every relationship has its ups and downs and a lot of the time, thanks to social media, we only see the happy, shiny, perfect side of the relationship. Don’t let that get to your head if things are seeming not as great on your end. Most times, you probably are in a better position than other people are. But even so, that is not your business and your business is not theirs.

6. Keep your eye out for those red flags

There are some clear signs that your partner may have issues that are unreasonable for you and may push your limits. Some of these red flags may be the following:

  1. Frequent mood swings
  2. Overly sensitive and jealous
  3. Unreasonably angry over small issues
  4. Chronic sadness
  5. Verbally or physically abusive
  6. Promiscuous and unable to commit

Now of course, just because someone may be battling something doesn’t mean that you can’t be with them, but you have to know what you can take. You cannot be someones happiness. You cannot change someone. You cannot be someones punching bag. You come first. Always remember that. Even when you love someone more than anything in the world, your safety and mental health come first. It is very easy to allow someone into your life, but it is not easy to get them out. Before you commit to something and have seen signs that you may not be able to go through with, take a step back and evaluate whether it is worth it. Everyone has their quirks, but you need to know what you think will be best for you.

7. Have fun!

The whole reason why you are dating someone should stem from some part of you really enjoying their company. The person you are dating should be like your best friend, not someone who is causing you grief and sadness and stress. Enjoy your time together, plan trips, hang with friends, watch whatever you want. But make sure that you are happy. Make sure that you are not being hurt emotionally or neglected. Know your worth.