Phrases to Live by: Get Up, Dress Up, and Show Up

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Get up, Dress up, and Show up.

I’m not even sure where I first heard this phrase. I seem to remember it from childhood, though I can’t remember my mom ever saying it to me. “Put a sweater on” when I complained of cold, yes, but not this one. I seem to have just taken it from whoever or wherever I heard it from and repeated it over and over until it became a part of my inner monologue.

Lately I’ve been seriously lacking in motivation. Since I finished school in December I’ve been filled with ideas, but all I’ve WANTED to do is sit around and watch TV. I’ve been slacking the most here. Even though we’re more than a week into the new year this is my first blog post of the year.

Looking back I remember a time when I consistently put out four blog posts a week, but now I don’t even know how to begin. It’s been so long that inertia has rocketed me into inactivity.  The unfortunate thing about inertia means that once at rest, I’m likely to stay there.

Thankfully, it only takes a little push to start building inertia in the other direction. So this is my promise to myself. Even when I’m not feeling like doing anything I’m going to get up (hopefully before 9am), dress up (even if only in yoga pants), and show up (to whatever the day has in store for me).

I have a long list of ideas of people to contact and emails to send. What I need sooner rather than later is a job. But until then get up, dress up, show up. To job applications, to exercise, to friendships, to church, to blogging.

Nothing ever happens if you don’t show up.

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Moving Through the Ages

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I don’t remember the first time I moved. Memories of swimming in a kiddie pool with neighbors in Chicago runs together with running around the crazy daisy with my sister in our yard in Milwaukee. Playing tag with my mom runs in our condo turns to teaching myself how to dribble in the driveway. I have no memoriy of packing, moving, and leaving. Only vagueities of both places.

I remember when I was told that we were moving to New York from Wisconsin. I was wearing a red dress and I sat in my moms lap and cried my eyes out. When I finished crying we set off the library. We checked out stacks of books on New York. Eloise, and Lyle, Lyle Crocodile. We got sticker books with bagels and hot dogs, buses and subways, guide books that told about famous landmarks in the city. When we arrived in New York we were greeted by a doorman, a balcony, and a phone that cackled like a roster. Maybe it wouldn’t be as terrible as I had envisioned.

When we went house hunting in DC, I announced to our doorman that we were going to Washington. “Which one?” I hadn’t realized there were two. I wanted a house like in my favorite books I imagined a place covered with ivy like in the Secret Garden and a well in the backyard like in Little House on the Prairie. We got a colonial-esque house on a street lined with cheery trees. After a two year contract we were out and on our way back to the New York tri-state area.

I don’t remember much about moving from Washington to New Jersey. At that point, with moving every two years I had become desensitized to moving paraphernalia. I do remember laying on my sisters bed, facing that wall and crying a little bit. I quickly dried my tears, not wanting anyone to see my feelings.

We had only ever really spent two years in any city at that point, so I went into friendships in New Jersey with the idea that we would move again in two years. Two years past, then three, and four and I came to the realization that I was stuck in the suburbs. At least for the foreseeable future.

I had just gotten back from camp when I was told we would be moving again. I wanted to tell everyone as soon as I knew. I was so excited to explore a new city and learn a new place. I was adamant that we live within walking distance to the bus or train. Even with three homes in less than two years, I was so ecstatic to be in the middle of it all. When I graduated high school I spent my last days in San Francsico planning to set up in Chicago for the next four years.

Since starting college I’ve lived in four apartments and returned multiple times to the house I left in San Francisco. The process of moving quickly has turned from large-scale production to small-scale to do. At one point I finished moving the last of my belongings into an apartment with a granny cart and a backpack.

Now this sea-saw of transitions is settling into equilibrium. I just signed a lease for a year. A whole year. And I’ll be living here the whole time as opposed to going home to San Francisco for extended summer breaks and thinking of it as a sloppy second. I am amazed that this new home is not in Chicago, but in Los Angeles, a city of traffic and heat I don’t even quite fully understand yet.

I have to keep telling myself that I’ve found a place to live in Los Angeles. And somehow with everything, I have decided that I will make this place home. It’s been a long time coming, but I’m excited once again to get started in this new city where I can begin to build the kind of community that I will thrive in. Are you ready for this? Don’t answer that, because ready or not here I come.

Good-Bye My San Francisco

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I have a “Book of Lists” dating from probably the beginning of high school in which the first list is places I want to go. When I wrote it I was living in New Jersey, watching too much TV, and not really enjoying school. The list is full of domestic and international cities on every continent, and the first place on the list is my San Francisco.

When writing this list I had no way of knowing that that far-away place would become my home. I am so glad and grateful for my family’s cross-country move, for all the people I have met though church, school, and happenstance. And as I move to LA (again), I am saddened to think that an era may be coming to an end. Soon I will be not only moving myself and some of my belongings to a new city, but within the year I will also be changing my official address with the state to say that I live in Los Angeles. This is a bitter-sweet moment.

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I remember very clearly my first time coming to San Francisco. It was November 2008. Our six hour flight got in very late, and we took a taxi from the airport to our hotel. I remember looking out the window as we flew down an empty Market Street and thinking to myself, “Soon this will be home.” The next day I went to a Waldorf Open House where I met Allason, still one of my best friends.

In January I packed two suitcases, got on a plane, and came home. San Francisco was home almost immediately. My sister and I shared a bedroom in a temporary apartment we called the IKEA showroom. The place had no decent knives and everything was either white or black. It was an awkward layout and we never invited anyone over. But all the same I was home in this new city like I had never quite felt at home in suburban New Jersey.

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I took a bus and a rail-line to get to school, quickly deciding that my MUNI pass was my ticket to freedom. I could go anywhere in the city. The electric buzz of the bus lines took me to my first In and Out. The bell of the California cable car took me to the Farmers Market. I could ride the bus for hours at a time, I didn’t even care where it took me.

The heat wave that April happened to coincide with our performance of Once Upon A Mattress. Of course, the week that we spend in tights and long dresses under hot lights rehearsing and performing for hours, is the hottest week of the year.

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At the end of the school year my dad and I schlepped stuff from the IKEA showroom to a new rental apartment on Fillmore. My parents were very specific about what they wanted in a house, and we didn’t want to rely on the temporary apartment anymore. When I first saw the room sister!Emma and I would share I cried. The apartment was the same size as the IKEA showroom, but with more of our own furniture. With our pots and pans and table and chairs we invited friends to our home in the hood… Yeah, we had accidentally moved into the Western Addition without quite realizing what that meant.

For a year we spotted drug deals while waiting for the bus, and don’t forget my mom’s interesting interaction with a pimp while on the way home from the grocery store. I fell even more in love with the city and the fog, layering sweaters, jackets, and scarves. My senior year in high school included two plays and cast parties on the bus, Teatro Zinzanni, a trip to Joshua Tree which ended with me sitting next to my backpack on the 31 bus, and a re-introduction to rock climbing.

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On my last week as a senior we bought a house that is walking distance from my school. Yes, really. And so I spent a summer in my beautiful San Francisco and then left for Chicago. I love Chicago too, but it’s a completely different kind of love. In the past three years I have had the privilege of calling my San Francisco home. San Francisco is the smallest of the large cities, a place where you can run into your high school drama teacher at the Farmers Market. It’s a city of hills and fog, of bonfires so windy it forces us to retreat. Of free knit cap night at the ballpark in mid-June.

San Francisco is a city that will forever stay in my bones. A city that I never want to move away from, but can’t help but leave. Because as wonderful as it is, it isn’t the city that holds my dreams. Somehow, inexplicably, my dreams seem to be held in Los Angeles. Despite the traffic and the sun, I am drawn to the studios and sprawl. My place is in a writers room I have never been to, next to writers, producers, camera people, and talent, most of whom I have yet to meet. And so I say a sad good-bye to my San Francisco to cautiously enter a new world. Good-bye San Francisco, we will meet again, this much I know, I can only hope and pray that it is on good terms.

What’s the Big Deal?

As of right now I have registered for classes for the remainder of my academic career, these classes allow me to finish my degree requirements while staying here in Los Angeles.  I applied for graduation, checking off the box to say that I will walk May 2014, and gave them sizing info for a graduation gown (over a year from now, am I really going to be the same size?).

This whole process is surreal.  A few months ago I was stunned to tears at the idea of this move to LA being permanent  but as it’s beginning to take shape my only thoughts and feelings on the matter are gratitude.  Overwhelming and thanks for all the opportunities I’ve been given and the people who’ve helped along the way.  I am so blessed.

Graduating college will probably be one of the biggest milestones of my life to date.  I’ve graduated from brownie to junior girl scout, graduated middle school and high school, gotten accepted to college and survived the years of school, and in some ways that’s a huge accomplishment.  But it doesn’t feel like it to me.

Maybe it’s just because it’s not unexpected.  I am finishing school on track and beginning the process of looking for proper work, but this whole process seems like a big hoopla over not much.  Of course I was going to finish school.  Of course I am looking for a job.  None of this seems extraordinary to me.  It’s simply the next step to get where I want to be.

When I look back on my life and marvel at my achievements  I hope with a fervent passion that graduating college will not make the top five.  I have hopes and dreams that go so far beyond that.  When I look back on my life I want the big deal moments to be the launch date of my own series, buying a house I love, climbing literal mountains, and traveling the world.  Maybe marrying the guy of my dreams or raising my own kids.

While I’m glad to be able to say I’m going to graduate college, I don’t see it as an accomplishment.  I see college as a stepping stone.  A small, probably necessary, step in getting to the things I truly hope to accomplish.  Am I totally missing something here?  Is graduating college a lot bigger of a deal than it is in my head?

What about you?  Is there something that is a big deal in society, but you don’t see as a major accomplishment?

Looking for… A Place in LA

You know that thing where the more you learn about something the more you realize that you have no idea what you’re doing?  Yeah, my “search” for housing in Los Angeles has been a lot like that.  I started out thinking it wouldn’t be a big deal, but now I’m in a little over my head.

In a little over a month I am starting to take full time classes (like 40 hours a week) in a city I know virtually nothing about.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m so excited.  Buuuut, there isn’t likely to be copious amounts of spare time to find the nearest Trader Joe’s or make sure I have internet access.  It would probably be good if I had some of that in place before March 4th.

There is a fall back plan.  But I don’t really like it.  It’s far from my classes and more expensive than I was planning on.  I guess it’s good to HAVE a fall back plan, but at the moment it’s not super comforting.

So internet, I turn to you to help me find a place.  And if not, at least I’ll have collected all my housing wants in one place.  I have a few lists of what I’m looking for and what I’m like.  If you or someone you know lives in Los Angeles (I’m especially interested in the Hollywood area) then link them here and we’ll see where it goes.

In a Single/Studio Space, I would want…
-washer and drying on site
-furnished space if possible
-air conditioning
-parking available (street parking fine, if usually available in neighborhood)

In a Shared Space, I would want the above and…
-wifi availability
-kitchen access
-my own desk

Move In and Business
-Hollywood, Los Felix and adjacent neighborhoods preferred.
-Available March 1st at the latest (earlier availability welcome).
-I can afford about 800 a month for a single/studio or 400 for a shared space.  If you have a higher or lower offer I’ll still hear it, but that’s my ballpark.

Me (cause if you have someplace in mind, you’ll want to know who you’re offering it to)
-21-year-old, non-smoker
-quiet and relatively clean
-television writing student looking for networking opportunities
-willing to cook at least once a week/pay part of rent in cookies
-references available on request

Help a girl out?

Falling Into Place

This week was a good week.  And a bad week.  I handed in a script that was ten pages shorter than it was supposed to be, and I went to a few classes without the homework, but this week is still a really good week.  Because everything seems to be falling into place in a way that makes me really happy.

I had a long chat with my boss/advisory about a huge range of things (including the most recent episodes of Fringe and Once Upon A Time) and I realized that I have a lot more figured out than I realized, which is really exciting.  Last weekend I signed up for another class which fills up my course load to the maximum sixteen.  I realized that I have a few options for where to live next year and none of them suck.  Then, near the end of the “meeting” she pulled my other boss in and we had my what-are-you-going-to-do-next-semester conversation.

Granted, I’m still not sure the class I registered for is the right one, and I haven’t actually picked where I’m going to live next semester, but I certainly feel a lot better about my life right now.  And even though what I handed in today wasn’t quite what I would have wanted, it’s actually really nice to not have to worry about it anymore.  Meanwhile, I still have ten pages to write over two different papers, but I’m actually starting to look forward to next semester.

Especially with work next semester.  I was stressing out over the uncertainty of what I was going to be doing for work next semester.  Not that I was in huge fear of my job, just that I know there are a lot of new people coming in who would be great for the show I’ve been working on and I had a sense that I wouldn’t be do it come next September.  I found out this week that I’ll be working with a show that is basically how I became interested in Frequency to begin with.

Meanwhile, I’m taking guesses as to who the new hires are going to be and getting super excited for the summer.  Nearly four solid months worth of not having a direct responsibility.  The summer idea list keeps growing, but there are very few “chores” that have gotten on it.  Besides applying for study abroad and trying to figure out a pitch for the fall, I’ll mostly be catching up on TV, reading and hanging out with friends… in Berlin.  No big deal.  (by which I mean, really-big-i’m-so-excited-i-could-die deal)

Finally everything is falling into place.  Now if I could only finish these papers…

Sunshine, Springtime, and School

I know, it’s been a while.  I am unapoligetically sorry for the crazy few weeks that have become my life.  Since I last updated there have been parties, late nights, and lots to do.  While I haven’t been updating, I have been thinking a lot about how I want to organize my blog and be more consistantly blogging.  Yesterday I sat down with my roommate and we had a chat about it.  She’s in a web development class, so she’s going to be helping me out with a bloggy revamp.  I’m excited, but a bit nervous as well.  I also don’t know what I’m going to do with myself next year without this girl and our late night discussions.  I guess we’ll have to conduct them over Skype.  Yup.

Anyway, in the meantime, here is a picture of the sun seting in the South Loop.  Daylight savings time has finally let me see sunsets again, which in turn makes me nostolgic.  This time two years ago I was spending a week in the wilderness, trying to figure out my life.  Springtime is a time for planning.  Planning, reorganizing, and revamping blogs.

Right Then

{This week instead of doing a Right Now post I’m doing Right Then as an end of the year reflection.  Hope you like it.}

I tried to spend my time more wisely this year and was continuously trying to see where I could be doing things that would better myself.  I’m not sure that this directly lead to more activity, but I think it did make me more aware of the ways that I could be wasting my time less.  It’s a start at least.

I took on more responsibility this year, work-load-wise and financially.  It was really comforting to be able to say that I feel prepared for being financially independent.  I know that I’m nowhere near that now, but I’m working with the stepping stones of it.  I also feel more confident in my ability to keep house.  It’s strange how domestic I am sometimes, but I really like having a nice place to live in.

I started planning and organizing differently.  I’ve always been a pretty organized person, but when I moved into the new apartment in Chicago I kind of took it to a whole new level.  This has lead to more health contentiousness and more budget contentiousness.  Awesome.

I learned a lot about myself and how I deal with leadership (not well) by being a leader in InterVarsity.  I didn’t really talk about the process and reasons for me leaving on this blog, and may never quite be comfortable enough to explain it on here, but suffice to say I learned a lot and grew in my faith and in knowing myself.

Overall I’m really happy with 2011, and I’m looking forward to what 2012 will bring.  Travel, planning, new projects, and new possibilities are all on the horizon.  Bring it on.

Right Now I am…

nostalgic of Thanksgiving.  It’s always my favorite holiday and this year has been no exception.

tearing up over the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.  I don’t know why I get so emotional over this parade.  I love parades.  Yesterday I watched bits of the Chicago parade from out my window while eating breakfast.  It was beautiful.

dreaming — for no particular reason at all — what life will be like after school.  I know I will never be done learning, but I wonder what form learning will take.  I also rue the day where I don’t have to do homework at night and can just sit at home and watch television.

planning for next semester.  I’m applying for on campus jobs, and recently registered for classes.  Organizing myself for more organizing and planning for studying abroad which will be happening a year from next spring if all goes as planned.

feeling thankful.  For all the family and friends that I didn’t get to see yesterday, and for the one’s that I did see.

“baking”.  It feels wrong to say that making peppermint bark is baking, but I can’t quite think of what other verb to use in that situation.

beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.  Breaking out the Charlie Brown Christmas music and making lists of who needs presents and things that need doing.

getting ready for Chicago Tardis!  I can only afford to go Saturday, but I’m super excited.  My old roommate and I are going together and we’re getting together to make costumes today.  I am planning on creating a masquerade mask from paper plates and construction paper.  It’s going to be awesome.  Expect pictures.

Muffins and Tea

The calm before the storm this week is.  Or maybe the storm before the calm depending on how the next few weeks turn out.  Next week I start my second year of college.  I feel like the time has flown by at lightning speed and I don’t even know what to expect out of this year.  For now I’ll just sit at my little IKEA table, eat my muffin, and drink my tea like a normal girl.  I have no idea what comes next, but I couldn’t be more excited for the unknown.

Bring it on.

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