Big Country Blues Trailer

Big Country Blues Trailer
Sarah e Jacobs recognized as OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES at LA Webfest! And nominated for BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA at ITVFest! Click to watch the trailer!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Life's Lesson

It was this weird rush. Like everything that I wasn't was suddenly brought to my eyes all at one time. There I stood in the store, looking for a gift for a close friend. I wanted to buy her everything - she would look so cute in that and that and that... I wanted to buy something for myself. Replace my jeans from six years ago that I recently had to retire because holes now made wearing them an illicit act. The store became a sad metaphor for my current feelings about my life. Bringing to light a host of things I want and need, but can't quite seem to get...

I left the store feeling like these shortcomings had a solid grip on my ribcage. Thumb and forefinger of "nope" and "not yet" wrapped tightly around my torso. I stepped out into the sun. In stark contrast to my ripped denim, the midtown rush of expensive suits and uncomfortable heels was on hyper speed around me. Midtown was not my usual spot, but I had been running around from thing to thing. Entrepreneur/actor/girl-just-trying-to-make-it-work... I had been them all that day.

I sat down on a step at the side entrance to Radio City, and just watched Manhattan unfold in successful mechanism. The people passing each other like the teeth of well-oiled gears. I felt like a glitch in the machine. A mistake in the assembly line of city-life.

Recently I've been tired. Literally and figuratively. My legs are definitely moving, but gaining traction is (and, for a long time, has been) tricky -- both professionally and personally. Part of my anxiety is time. Somehow it's September. I feel like months have been stolen. They say that time heals, but there's a lot of hurt that can come from the pressure brought on by the tug of a ticking clock. It morphs things, too. Time swallows history and digests it into bits of memory and broken down truth. Half real life, half opinion. A bit of imagination peppered in at the end just for flavor.

There's a very specific feeling in my bones around this time of year. The onset of the fall brings out left over vibration that's stuck in my DNA from when I was young. An odd, and no longer applicable, mix of back-to-school excitement and nervous energy. I can't help but feel like the walls of pencils and Trapper Keepers at the drugstore are still somehow meant for me. It's time to pick out which design I might want on my 1st period folder...

The same day as that fateful midtown shopping trip, I ran into a girl I hadn't seen in a very long time. Well, not in person anyway. Apparently our social media upkeep was quite on point. After a hug and some pleasantries, she said excitedly, "So, you're doing amazing! You're killing it!"
I was very confused. I knew where her information was coming from, but I've always tried to remain so authentic online. Not falling into the trap of social media's tendency to create false gods. With a smile, cheeks ruddy from embarrassment, I said, "Ohhh. (*awkward laugh*) No, not really." Then, like a living resume, she proceeded to list off my various accomplishments from recent months - a few commercials, published writing, assistant directing my first film, running a business, taking up spoken word poetry... I mean, her list was all true, but she didn't seem to understand that none of these things are making for a wild success. Definitely all parts of my life. But, the same life that earlier brought me down in the middle of a buzzing town with feelings of inadequacy.

A few days after the girl listed my activities in scarily accurate succession, I opened up Facebook to a few new messages. They were all pretty random. People that I hadn't heard from in years that had somehow found my posts. After some words on their connection to what I had written, they all ended their messages imploring me to keep writing. Some were direct, "Please. Don't stop writing."

A few days after that, a homeless-looking man stopped me mid-run on my way back from yoga. It was early, and while usually I would have just waved politely and kept going, for some reason, his motioning hands slowed my feet. I de-earbudded and the music faded. He sat on a bench, his bare feet covered with a cloth. He had a thick, old school Italian accent and claimed to be a famous painter. After some talk about art and history, he cordially invited me to his birthday party on September 26. I smiled, thanked him for the invite and said I'd do my best to make it. He cocked his head, looked at me weird, like he knew me from some distant past. "Hm." He said. " Don't worry. You're... going to do okay." It was random. My eyes narrowed. "See you at my birthday." He concluded nonchalantly as he leaned back on the bench. "It's going to be a damn fun party." He started to hum letting me know the conversation was over. I said goodbye and walked away completely confused. But also completely covered in an odd sense of calm.

A few days later I was venting to my mother on the phone. Explaining my continued frustration with my life's choices and the power that persistence was holding over me. In the middle, she came out with, "You can't quit." Definitive. The words sounded unfamiliar. Like a curse word she should have been scolded for. I have a pretty decent vocabulary, but this was one word I didn't recognize. And I didn't even realize it, but it was that exact one whose definition had been knocking around in my head for the first time in my life. The Q-word: "Q*it."

I had actually been thinking about quitting. About what would happen if I stopped building this wellness business I've worked so hard on. Stopped acting and performing. Stopped writing these posts. Stopped being so open about my inner-most things. What if it all just went away?...

But... between the above interactions and a few other similar ones, it seems that the world is talking. And who am I to challenge the world? With my thoughts thick with self-doubt and frustration, and the loud noise of inner voice clamoring inside my head, the world is telling me that it's time to shut the hell up. To listen. Like coded information, find the right station, dial in so that the words come in clear. The season's change is here, and the Pollack of freckles on my skin is fading like memories of this summer's events. It's a good time to change perspective. See problem as opportunity. Dig in my heels.
2015-09-22-1442948327-7406151-work.PNGThe starting point for everything is where you are. The past, I guess, should be used like plans found in a dusty attic that speak to potential, but are not a blueprint for the future. The work is the point -- in both the professional and the personal. The words typed, the dates with boys (even the ones that "aren't"), the meetings with potential clients... Life is moments - the perpetual in-between. I need to reinstate faith that if I focus on that, all these points of pixilation will somehow come together to bleed into a recognizable picture.

I guess that back to school feeling never leaves us for a reason -- life is the lesson. We're all still just scared kids sitting in the back of the classroom, sure that everyone else is smarter, afraid that if we're called on, our lack of answers will prove it.

When it comes down to it, I may not know the answer, but I still absolutely do have a response. And maybe it's not really about that anyway. Instead it's about the work, about keeping my eyes on my own paper, and persisting in raising my hand and asking more and more questions.