What do you get when you add a top hat, a freezing cold whipping wind, and Times Square teeming with tourists?
The answer is my own personal hell.
...Also known as my most recent promo job. It's a wonder the girls and I stay any sort of sane. Seriously, you can't understand it until you live it. I stood there watching the sea of fanny packs float by. The bad haircuts, the frat boys spitting dip-laced saliva into bottles (Seriously??? People do that in public?! Ew.), the Midwestern faces broad with awe and wonder that looked up... instead of in front of them...where I WAS STANDING. “If one more person runs into me I'm gonna strangle them with their own Hello Kitty backpack-purse.” (I actually said this semi out-loud. It was an accident. Not very professional. Even for a girl in a top hat. A police officer was walking by and looked at me in shock. “Was that you?!” he said like he couldn't believe that something so menacing came from such a small person. “I have no idea what you're talking about, Officer.” I said with an entirely too big smile. He walked away with a belly laugh that reminded me that things are funny in life and if I ever want to experience them again, I should avoid the urge to run in front of a double-decker tour bus.)
I stood there with my thoughts, bouncing up and down in attempt to stay warm for four hours- contemplating my situation. Why am I here? What is the lesson? (it seems I tend to get introspective and philosophical when being tortured.) And, I came up with this: I can't anymore. The lesson was: This is the last straw. The final outdoor promo shift. You heard it here folks. I will not be lured by the money, the short hours, the awesome girls I work with. I will not. I WILL NOT! ...okay now I'm slightly convincing myself. But for realz. I must move on. For God's Sake! ...and my own. Done. Deal.
My Mom came into town today (Yay! Annual pre-Thanksgiving girls trip). Over coffee, with Bryant Park and all of its holiday glory in the background, we got into a conversation about this torture...I mean job and what's next for me. She's been trying to get me to stop the madness for quite some time. I told her my decision, and my subsequent guilt about making it (stay with me). “The girls are so awesome! I'm no better than they are! I'm not too good for it...” “It's not ABOUT that.” she said. “You have to make the decision for yourself. You have to decide your own place in the world.” And she's right. Dammit, my place in the world is not a NYC street corner!! ...So to speak. The job zaps my energy. Depletes my self-esteem and straight up fucks with my peanut-sized head. I can't keep doing something that affects me so negatively. Don't get me wrong- I'm grateful for the work, the people, the lessons (I am forever changed by this job and the lessons. It taught me so much about how to treat people, about empathy, about work ethic, about life, and about how to avoid a homeless man that relentlessly proposes to me).
We then got to talking about my nutrition schooling and what I'm going to do with it. My Mom's been wanting to lose weight, but has had so many health problems that it's been hard for her. She can't walk super well, so exercise is tricky. She wants to go go go, her body just has other plans. So I've been helping her out with product lists, recipes and food swaps, creative exercise ideas, etc. We sat there on the edge of the park yesterday and she told me, very seriously, about how helpful I'd been to her recently. She's lost 5 lbs in 3 weeks. She feels great and is super motivated.
And I wanted to cry.
It was so amazing to hear. I got such a sense of satisfaction from those few sentences. So, really, I know what's next. I just need to get out there and do it. Trust that I'm able and knowledgeable and helpful. Start my business and leave the bullshit behind. Spend my energy on that and my acting career. While it's true that in my time on the street I've become very good at dodging loogie's hocked by oblivious passersby and averting run-ins with talkative crazies (I've become very nimble from these days on the sidewalk and my agility is now something to envy), the street corner is, simply put, not my place in the world.
In the past days I've been to LA, met a whole slew of peeps, done some readings, done some shopping tours, met with a well connected rehearsal studio owner about my acting career (who said I need to start making some things happen 'cuz I've got the look and I'm good. SO nice to hear from someone in the biz. Now to implement some of his suggestions...), I've been on some dates, managed a slight social life, and developed a new love for bootcamp style workouts-IN. SANE! I have a fairly competitive spirit when it comes to physical challenges...okay so maybe not “fairly competitive”. I'm kind of a beast. :-/ Turns out I do not like it when someone is running ahead of me. There's one bootcamp, run by a former Marine, that I've fallen in love with. I spend the hour wiping sweat and snot from my face (I look so pretty), huffing and puffing, pushing myself to the point of near cookie tossing while tourists take pictures and watch us like we're part of the reptile room at the Central Park Zoo. It's awesome.
Now to spend the Holidays with the fam. Cooking healthy foods (I'm thinking chocolate brownies made from chickpeas...Can't wait for the looks I get for those), playing cards, snuggling puppies, watching movies and enjoying my time away from the mess of NYC life. Love it.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you all have a million reasons to be thankful.