So, I haven’t written in this in years, and I think it is God’s will that I keep thinking and spewing out… fragments of ideas…
I’ve been creatively and intellectually crippled since leaving college three years ago. I turned off my passion and curiosity when I jumped into entertainment and started to “pay my dues” and enthusiastically take on all the menial work and coffee runs that my poor little body could handle just so I could get my foot in the door…. I felt so under utilized, I had so much passion and such a capacity to create that it killed me to not use those skills. I died a little bit each day when I didn’t feel like I was challenged or I didn’t feel the rush and excitement of gaining knowledge. The rational part of my mind knew I had to temporarily extinguish that passion, and push it below my subconscious so that I could learn the game, and someday rise to a position where I could unleash my creativity.
I knew that I was blessed, but the realization that life as a student is luxury became a hard, cold, lesson that struck to my core. Since the age of 16, I’ve always had a job while also being a full time student. I’m not adverse to labor but, the predominant focus of my life was learning. After, what is it.. 16 years of schooling and living that very self centered life, the tables shifted and I had to WORK for a living and THINK as a extra-curricular, and extra-curriculars, hobbies, and explorations became extra-extra-curricular. Time rarely afforded me the luxury to fulfill all of these…. What once was the center focus of my life, became marginalized.
You pay a university to listen to your thoughts and entertain your thirst for knowledge. In reality, you are paid to just DO, and not necessarily think. And, in entertainment, you are paid very little to do very very little, and if you think, well….. you’re not paid at all. It’s hard for a generation ME person to accept that you have to be a cog and learn before you can have ideas that contribute. Or, that’s the trajectory I thought I had to take to “make it…” Anyways…. All another topic to explore at a later time. Moral to this rambling is that IF I had a better sense of self, I would have lived my life, not the life that I thought I had to live in order to live the life I really wanted to live…..
I just wanted to start off by recognizing my absence from using my brain, and contribute my awakening critical mind to my awakening spirituality. I was baptized at MOSAIC church in Hollywood on October 27th. WOW, who comes to LA and falls into a Church? As someone from the east coast, it’s expected that any woman who moves to LA will become a kombucha drinking yogi who eats raw, develops an eating disorder, becomes wildly obsessed with her outer appearance, moves from “spiritual” usage of Peyoti at Burning Man to cocaine at Supperclub while wearing a skimpy dress and extensions and seeking to hook up with a producer who will hook them up with a commercial gig, because oh, now she wants to become an actress….
I’ve had my fair share of trials, luckily I didn’t succumb to that existence, but I did find God in Los Angeles! After spending three years here, I finally feel home, and alive. I have found a community of beautiful people who are teaching me how to be a better woman, friend, sister, artist, mentee, trustee, philanthropist… everything… In summary, they have taught me the power of Jesus and how to walk in faith.
So, yes, my liberal friends at drama school, or my bluebloods in Connecticut, I am now a Jesus person. I’ve come to terms with the fact that it’s a total paradigm shift- I thought that, as an artist, I was always going to be an outsider, an observer. But, actually, I’ve dove into something I knew nothing about. The power of God moves me to tears and joy and it feels like a dizzying high… but it’s not drugs, It’s God, and it’s everlasting! (Yeah, I know you still think I’m on drugs…)
I was and still am an adamant feminist, I despised the Bible as a seminal literary piece that marked an anthropological shift from a matrilineal society to a tyrannical patriarchy. The concept that Eve was created from Adam’s rib that she was not made from dust like an equal of man, but was formed from a rampart of man was so offensive. I’m still struggling with that one…. Why can’t God be a woman? Why were Jesus and practically all the prophets men? Why wasn’t Mary “the chosen one”? She was just a conduit, a human encasing for the Lord’s son. Why is it a “good thing” that all the Bible is, is a bunch of battles between GOD’S PEOPLE and BAD PEOPLE. That is a reductive Male world view fueled for a desire for violence.
I was and still am an adamant environmentalist. I used to see Genesis as the basis for an entirely WRONG world view. It preached that Man was created to rule over the world, that it is our divine right to OWN land, and CONTROL the Earth. Just as Christianity spread like a cancer across nations, killing people who believed in other manifestations of a higher power, the prevailing sentiment of mankind is that WE are more important than the earth, and we can pillage and take whatever we want for our own narcissistic pleasure. (That’s another issue…. Since the industrial revolution, people began to worship consumerism….)
I used to look into the history of Christianity and only see oppression, artistic and cultural stagnation, a systemically biased faith that preached “love” but practiced hate… I saw the inquisition, I saw missionaries telling people that they were dirty and wrong and had to come to their God.. I saw narrow mindedness, I saw weakness. Do you really need a God to shame you into doing good deeds? If you’re acting and going through life, checking off boxes just so you can get into heaven, isn’t that missing the point? God isn’t here to save YOU, how dare you be so selfish? God is just an excuse.
This is what I thought. I was living in cynicism, I despised so much of humanity, I despised self-centered self-righteous practitioners of faith and blamed religion for all the pain and suffering in the world. I recognized that there are so many perversions of the book of God. There are so many “bad reps” out there for Christians, much like how the tea party has made a laughing stock of the entire republican party.
I chose to be baptized because Mosaic spoke in a language that was accessible, that spoke to my soul. If I were Indian, or Afghani, I might pledge myself to a different God if I found a pure practice of altruism, learning, humility, and love. I do believe there are many manifestations of God and he can take on a million different names.
What is so revolutionary, or different, about Christianity, is that Jesus walked among men, and he forgave us for our sins. We all are flawed, we all are human and make mistakes, and in the face of the Almighty, it is easy to think that we are unworthy of love, we have failed to live out our purpose, that we are alone in these struggles…. What I’m finding different in Christianity is that, in it’s unadulterated form, it’s preaches forgiveness, serving others, respect and love for God, but also other sinners. It teaches us to be tolerant, patient, and loving.
I think I still feel guilty every time I hear someone say, Jesus died for your sins. Great, he died so that I can whine about my actually terrific job in Hollywood? No! He died so that you can stop ruminating on your own suffering and look beyond self and into selflessness. As I become more intimate with God, I am recognizing all of the times the bible says “thanksgiving.” At first I thought it was hilarious, HEY! TURKEYS! COLUMBUS! KILLING INDIANS!!! But it honestly is finding ground and humbling yourself before God, before your colleagues, your enemies, your family, and recognizing the gifts in your life and learning how to give that awareness of God’s grace to others.
So, yes, I am still on the proverbial step ladder up Hollywood, but I have stopped lamenting my lowliness, and focusing on what’s more important. The most important “step ladder” is the expansive 4 dimensional matrix of truth that you can only find in God. I am hopefully turning on my mind, and living in the now, living and learning because each rung is a lesson from God, and I must recognize how blessed I am to be here in the first place. For that reason, I must awaken my creative mind- hard work and intellectual rumination are not mutually exclusive. I can be the person I want to be now, while still aiming for a higher purpose.