Sunday, August 15, 2010

I'm Taking It With Me.

Over the past year, I have had to rely on the kindness of family and friends to help me stay afloat financially.  As someone who doesn't like to ask anyone for anything, and who would much rather be a giver than a taker (or, even worse, a borrower), this has made me a very unhappy camper.  I am working to move from anger to thankfulness in a graceful fashion, but my bus seems to have broken down in Salty-ville.  I have no intention of setting up camp here, and the driver of my bus won't budge until I learn whatever I'm supposed to learn, so I'm trying to figure out what that is.  Yes, I have an attitude.

A friend of mine texted me a few days ago, and I didn't respond.  She texted me again a couple of days ago, and I didn't respond.  It wasn't personal - I just didn't feel like talking about my "feelings," and all that other fluffy stuff.  Eh.  Just wanted to be left alone in Saltyville, pissy as all hell, waiting for the clouds to lift so I could resume my voyage back to the sunshine.

She texted me again this morning, saying she was "concerned."  (crickets) *Siiiiiighhhhh.*  I responded because I certainly didn't want her to worry about me.  What I said was tantamount to "I'm fine, just a little pissy right now - send chocolate."  (Okay, I didn't say anything about chocolate, but I was thinking it.)  I ended up explaining what was wrong, and told her that so many people have helped me out lately that I just feel pitiful.  She went on to tell me a story of the time a friend had to bring her a chicken leg, a biscuit, and a potato in a Ziploc bag because she had no money to buy dinner (it's okay to laugh - I cracked up at the image), and texted back "U ain't pitiful at all gurl... hell that sounds like u r loved."  Maybe that's the lesson I'm supposed to learn.  (Can we go back to the sunshine now??  Stupid bus driver.)

Circumstances dictate that I move out of my slightly-expensive apartment that I L-O-V-E.  I loved this place the moment I saw it 3 years ago.  I tossed out all of the cardboard dressers and crates that I had been using for storage, and bought big-girl furniture for the first time.  With the exception of the fact that my downstairs neighbor smokes on her balcony and it blows right into my apartment, forcing me to slam my windows closed with just enough force to display my righteous, asthmatic indignation, I love it here.  I started looking at apartments a couple of weeks ago and discovered that I could find a comparable apartment for at least $200-300 less a month.  I looked at 16 apartments, chose one, discovered that the apartment below it had a roach infestation (I don't even wanna look at roaches on commercials, okay?), then looked at 2 more apartments, and chose a different one (sans roaches).  I signed the lease on Thursday, and started packing on Friday.  The new place is a block away from the apartment I lived in before I moved where I live now.  It feels like going backward, and that's hard to swallow, but I'm doing it for good reasons.  I also just paid off my car, so that will buy me some relief.

The new place is cute, light, and airy.  It doesn't have as many amenities (what do you mean, "no dishwasher??") but it has a certain charm.  It's quite a bit smaller than where I live now, so as I pack, I am downsizing.  I trimmed most of the fat the last time I moved (I had lived in that place for 7+ years), so it's not going to be too bad.  I'm only keeping items that I really need/ use/ or cherish.  Everything else goes to the trash bin, or to charity.  It's funny how you find ways to get along with things you thought you HAD to have at one time or another.  And the more I downsize, the more I realize that everything I really need (I'm talking really, REALLY need), goes with me everywhere.  Stuff is just stuff.

What does any of this have to do with acting?  Nothing... except as it pertains to maintaining a living (and sanity) while pursuing a career doing what you love.  This is one of those lean times.  I'm not a "starving artist" only because loved ones have kept me fed in all of the ways that count.  I owe them all, literally AND figuratively.  I've re-traced my steps a thousand times, all the while asking "How did I end up here?" and "What could/should/ would I have done differently?"  I'm frugal, I don't shop a lot (anymore), and I don't party.  There is nothing I could have or would have done differently if I had it to do over again.  Yesterday my mother told me it was just "life."  Perhaps it's just that simple.

I now have 3 commercials (and a couple other projects) "in the can," (possible) pending production work, and am expecting this situation to turn around very soon.  'Til then... I'm still here.  And for someone who moved to L.A. with $222 dollars and a dream, that has to count for something.

--Nicole

6 comments:

char said...

everyone's had to borrow money sometime. instead of being in saltyville, be so grateful and happy that people love you. the more love and good energy you feel, the more good things the universe will grant you. you know you're gonna make it big one day, and you'll be so stoked to be able to pay these people back - and then some. can't you just see it? i'm excited for the day, myself.

Shani said...

From reading your blog I know you will never give up...But sometimes you need some inspiration for your soul. Enjoy! :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDgVske63cY

Nicole J. Butler said...

Char & Shani - Thank you for sharing and being an inspiration to me today! This is how we fill each others' cups. I think the lesson is being reinforced so I never forget it, and I do believe that the bus will leave Saltyville soon in search of sunnier climes. ;o)

XO

Minou said...

Take it as a fresh new start - sometimes we're forced to leave our comfort zones, which we didn't realized were comfort zones until we are forced to change our lives.
You are blessed with lovely friends & family who support you.
Kick this b*** of a bus driver out right now and enjoy your BRAND NEW Life! :-)

Devine Diva said...

Bravo! Well said. Simple truth (wisdom) and joy in the midst of a situation is a thing of beauty. Although the bus driver wanted to keep you parked in "saltyville" CHP came and made him move the bus. I am so excited for you during this time of transition and look forward to exciting things on the next leg of your journey

james said...

"And for someone who moved to L.A. with $222 dollars and a dream, that has to count for something." AMEN.