Moments

My favorite moment from my favorite movie

The mind gives us moments of brilliance. And fear.

It gives us moments of doubt. And courage.

They can be fleeting or linger.

The mind is complex. And has a very strong pull. Toward happiness. Toward sadness.

It can be a dangerous, dark place. Bigger than us. And impossible to navigate alone.

Rest in peace Robin Williams. Thank you for generously sharing so many of your moments with us.

The View at 32

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This was the view outside our bedroom window at our new apartment tonight. So cliche I know. A photo of a SoCal sunset. But everytime the sky glows different shades of red or pink or orange, it amazes me and I try to appreciate it.

We’re all moved into our new apartment, thanks to some great friends and a husband doing double duty while I make a human. Being in a new place always feels weird. Like going back to school at the end of break. Excited for a fresh start. High hopes. And a little sadness of what has come to an end.

What I’m not sad about though is laundry. When you haven’t had a washer and dryer in your place since living with your parents, it’s an absolute joy. I thoroughly enjoyed doing laundry tonight. I was almost giddy about it.

I realize that in a year, at 33, I may have a different choice of words. Especially with the constant laundry that I hear comes with an infant.

But, for now, I’ll continue doing my laundry dance with hope that, next year, I’ll still appreciate the view.

Purge and Pack

The Inhulsens (Oma, Opa, Aunt Rie, Uncle Bep and Aunt Joe) Arrive in America

The Inhulsens (Oma, Opa, Aunt Rie, Uncle Bep and Aunt Joe) arrive in America.

It’s been over nine months since my last post. And as I said in that post, it had been six months before that. I really do suck at blogging.

This pattern may continue but, today, I’ll pretend that it won’t. Why today? Because I’m putting off purging and packing our stuff.

In the last nine months, I changed jobs, lost my Oma and got pregnant. And now we’re moving to a new neighborhood.

Pregnancy is overwhelming. I’m often awake at night wondering how we will raise another human being. In a small two-bedroom apartment. In Los Angeles. And what opinions do we listen to. What brand of baby gadgets do we get. And will it all fit in our apartment. Where will we finally find a daycare. What will our baby girl look like. Will she be healthy. And how will we ever choose between gray and charcoal for the nursery.

And then I look at the photo above. And feel ashamed. And so ridiculously lucky at the same time.

My Oma had a lot of hardship and heartbreak throughout her 91 years. More than any of us even know about. She struggled through war. Through pain. She left loved ones. Left belongings. And she boarded a boat to a foreign country with only her husband, three children and faith.

She still managed to love and care for her family. She lived for her children and gave so much love. I am where I am because of her.

We have too much crap. In our houses. On the Internet. In our heads.

Time to purge and pack. And have faith.

I Suck at Blogging

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It’s been nearly 6 months since my last post. The only reason I’m blogging now is because I’m waiting for my name to be (or not be) called at jury duty. 

But I keep this blog active because I want to be a blogger. I want to express myself and organize my thoughts. And maybe entertain or at least connect with one or two people. I read other consistent blogs (like a peer’s The Dinner Party Association and the genius Seth Godin’s). I get inspired. And then I don’t do anything about it.

Why? Because it’s way easier and less risky to veg in front of a TV. (Although my recent Breaking Bad binge was a legitimate excuse for like everything I wasn’t doing). 

I used to want to be an actor and only until I actually tried to work as one, did I realize that, guess what, I didn’t want that anymore. The only way for us to know if what we want will actually satisfy us is to go after it. DO it. And not when everything feels just right. That feeling will probably never happen. For example, I had some thoughts before starting this post but had no idea what words would form as I typed. And that uncertainty is part of what stops me from starting.

So if I actually want to have a blog, perhaps I should actually blog. 

I’m committing myself to doing at least two posts a month. Like founder of Accidental Creative and author, Todd Henry pointed out after his conversation with writer Sarah K. Peck:

“Take small, strategic steps each day to get uncomfortable and to stretch yourself. Over time, these add up to a high capacity for change and growth.”

So I will not commit to a weekly post just yet. Two a month. I can do that.

Starting after the Breaking Bad finale on Sunday.

LAX –> PHL –> DCA

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A shot of Reagan National Airport from the train platform.

I kinda love flying.* Among the annoying travelers and awkward security checks, there’s a reminder of life’s awesomeness. So many people and interesting stories.

For example, the three diverse guys that surrounded me on my first leg to Washington, D.C.:

  • An older Jewish male art auctioneer who frequently says “hm” with an admirable red-eye sleep routine complete with eye mask, pillow and blanket.
  • A curious blond male professor and art collector wearing a vest and small glasses (of no relation to the auctioneer).
  • A rough, raspy voiced divorced male construction worker with two daughters on opposite sides of the country and who claims his latest girl is “his heart”.

I recently went to a taping of Sir Ken Robinson‘s upcoming PBS special. He is a gifted, brilliant author/speaker/human whose mission is “to transform the culture of education and organizations with a richer conception of human creativity and intelligence.” (Watch his hugely popular TED Talk here) He spoke about his new book Finding Your Element (to be released May 21), giving snippets of ways to discover your talents and passions (no matter how old you are).

One of his talents is storytelling with bits of humor and connecting with people. At one point he asked us how many people have ever lived on the planet. People rose their hands and gave their guesses. He answered with something along the lines of “no one knows” and went on to point out that out of these X number of people, no one has ever been like us. No one ever will. We are unique. Made in the way we were meant to be made. Each given our own innate talents and passions.

It’s pretty powerful when you really think about it. Not one person is the same as another one. Not one is the same as me. Or the art auctioneer. Professor. Construction worker. 

Not one is the same as you.

And thank goodness not all are the same as the obnoxious announcer screeching in the mic at 7 am at Gate 23 in Philly.

* It should be noted that I wrote most of this post on maybe an hour of sleep on my way to a vacation in D.C. I noticed my feelings were a tad different heading back to reality.

Joy

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Sherren, Justin Timberlake and Me. This photo is real.

There are a bazillion books, websites and coaches all focused on helping us find happiness. Discover our passions. Live our best life (thank you Oprah). It’s overwhelming.

I will say that reading The Daily Love everyday did help me go after a dream of mine I’ve had for many years. I gained the confidence to put myself out there in auditions, plays and classes. Throughout 2012, I’m proud to say, I was pursuing my dream.

But it felt funny. Uncomfortable. Frustrating. I didn’t understand. I was ready to fully commit, but I was still anxious.

Before turning 30 in August, I did the Free to Love Chopra Center 21-Day Meditation Challenge. I wanted it to ease my anxiety. It did that. And so much more. My mind was finally quiet enough to hear that inner voice that had been buried by so much crap. Slowly I dug through the heavy pressure. The worries. Judgement. All dumped on me by me since who knows when.

I had waves and visions of joy that I’ve had since I was young but had forgotten. What I realized is: what brings me joy is my passion and what I need in my life to succeed and to live my best life. Acting brings me joy but the industry does not and I’m not willing to make any sacrifices for it anymore. My family brings me so much joy it hurts. I cherish Sundays with Andrew and Brin. Connecting with people. Listening. Helping others. Cooking. Exercise. Writing. Good wine. Great friends.

And Justin Timberlake. (of course I had to work this post back to him … I mean he is FINALLY releasing new music today). I know some people don’t get this JT obsession. I can try to explain it but like I said in The Day I Met Justin Timberlake, he just … brings me joy. And that’s that.

So I actually think it’s quite simple. This key to happiness and living your best life…

What brings you joy?

No explanation necessary.

Never Say Never

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Thanks @xoxolizza for this

I never thought I’d care so much about politics. But I care more each day.

I never thought I’d want to attend grad school. But I do. And it’s not for Marketing or even Acting.

Some people never thought they’d see an African-American president. But we have one. For four more years.

Some people never thought women would have the right to vote. And now 1 Senator in 5 will be female. And, dare I say, HILLARY 2016.

“Republicans and Democrats will never agree.” “America will never be the same if Obama is reelected.””I’ll never be happy until I have X or X happens.”

When we open our minds and listen to our inner selves and to others, amazing things might happen. And if we raise our voices for what we believe, like equality, and never say never, change will happen. Yesterday’s results clearly show that change has happened and I believe it will continue to in a positive direction. It’s when we remain stubborn, selfish and narrow-minded, that we remain unhappy.

So in the wise words of the Bieber, “Ne-never say never. Ne-never say never. Ne-never say never. Never say it, never, never say it.”