Wednesday, January 09, 2008

'Fessing Up

I've had some people ask/ wonder what is going on to me. Apparently there are quite a few people who read this blog (who knew??) and have commented on the fact that I used to post a lot, and now it has become sporadic. There are a few of reasons for this, the first being - I haven't been auditioning as much, so I haven't had those auditions to talk about. I have no doubt that it will pick up - it's cyclical, but it is what it is right now.

Another reason is that my life is changing direction a little bit. No, I'm not giving up acting or anything like that, just expanding my horizons. Looking at the big picture. For about a year from the end of 2006 until the fall of 2007, my every waking moment was about advancing my career. I really believe that those who fail to plan, plan to fail. Yes, some of them get LUCKY, but I am not one to wait on miracles. If miracles are coming, they are coming anyway - in the meantime, I'm going to be doing what I can to set the wheels in motion toward making my goals (not "dreams") a reality. Near the end of 2007, with a GREAT year almost behind me, I started thinking about the other things (outside of acting) that I would like to have in my life, as well as some stuff I DON'T want. Now I am making some changes so that my life is more balanced, because it got QUITE lopsided for a while. And having an acting career (FINALLY, after all these years), having health insurance, and having enough money to pay my bills and put a little bit away is nothing to sneeze at, and it was enough for a little while, but since we each get to determine the meaning of success for ourselves, I have determined that it isn't enough for me right now. I'm an actress, but I'm also a writer. I also REEEALLY, REEEEALLY want to do more international travel. I want to study more foreign languages. I have a whole list of things (call it my personal "Bucket List") that I would like to do before I die. Since tomorrow is not promised, what better time to start than the present? So...my blog posts aren't JUST going to be about acting anymore. They will be about my life, and my journey as an individual.

I have neglected to mention this third reason for the infrequency of my posts because, although I'm not particularly shy about sharing information with people, I don't put ALL my business out in the street. I've been kicking this one around a bit, and I'm going to disclose it because it might A. help someone who is in the same boat, or B. keep someone from getting in this boat with me.

In past posts I've mentioned that I am a bit high-strung, and tend to wear myself out sometimes. Well, that's the truth, but only part of it. The whole truth is that I have lived with anxiety (and we are not just talking 'butterflies' here) for many years, and if I don't manage it, there is a whole host of nasty consequences. This industry (or quite possibly, just running one's own business) takes a L-O-T of hard work. There is always something to be done, and depending on the type of person you are, it's easy to fall into to the trap of "If I do just ONE MORE THING, it will move me ahead." And whether it does or doesn't is irrelevant right now, the fact is that staying up ONE MORE HOUR, driving ONE MORE MILE, going to ONE MORE EVENT... it costs something: energy. It's fine if you manage your energy correctly by getting enough sleep, eating properly, exercising, and taking time away to replenish yourself. I have never been good at managing my energy. If I want something I go full speed ahead until I get it. I ignore the clock and stay up until 5AM, I eat whatever is available b/c I can't be bothered to stop what I'm doing and make myself a proper meal, I don't exercise as much as I should because it's hard and I don't really enjoy it. This has been my way of life. I began having panic attacks when I was 19. I have been on and off of medication for anxiety since then. I go on, the side effects get to me after a while, so I stop taking it, then the anxiety symptoms get bad, so I go back on again. I was also diagnosed with fibromyalgia several years ago. I never really relax, and the tension takes up residence in my body - even when I sleep. My back and shoulders hurt every day, but some days my entire body hurts. MDs are more than willing to give me a handful of pills to allay the symptoms, but I really don't want to be taking a whole smorgasboard of (habit-forming) drugs that put me in a fog, so I take only a minimal dose on my roughest days. I took a half-dose yesterday, and all of my senses were so dulled that I then gave (what I thought was) a bad performance at a casting director workshop. Unacceptable. Completely. That just ain't how I roll. And this is a drug that the doctor wants me to take 3 times a day everyday. Not a chance.

This post has already gotten WAY longer than I intended. I just want you all to know that I'm still here, I'm still me, and I'm still going to do my thing. I just have to do it differently so that I have some longevity. I am currently not taking any anti-anxiety medication, and it is my goal to manage my life in such a way that I never have to take it again. It is also my goal to eradicate the body pains. This requires me to make some major changes, and it's tough. I will keep you posted, and you all please keep me encouraged. Hopefully those of you who have been/ are headed down this road can learn from it, and those who HAVEN'T been down this road can recognize warning signs and stay off of it.

Talk to you soon!


--Nicole

2 comments:

Sister Ivd said...

I agree wholeheartedly that if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. You are supposed to go to bed at night knowing what you're gonna do when you wake up. You can also plan to do absolutely nothing for a couple of days and not feel guilty. Remember that even God rested and reflected on all that He created and made. Remember to stay close to the Lord and He will stay close to you, and talk to Him often and you'll be pleasantly surprised at all the "God" ideas that come your way.

Nicole J. Butler said...

Well, I guess if God rested, surely I can stop and smell the roses every now and then.

;0)