I used to be a hustler. I had a boldness that was indescribable. I didn’t fear much. If you knew me before I had children you know I was different then. I had an “it” thing. If I wanted something I pursued it hard. The ideas were usually only half thought through and I almost always worked it out along the way. Did I fail? Yes. All the time. Did I care? No. Not at all.
Then I had my daughter and the weight of being the woman she looked up to weighed me down. Hard. I started to second guess and doubt every move. She was watching me. What if I failed? I cared more than one person should. I didn’t want her to see that. Instead she saw a person who was a faded legend. Someone who when she got older people would tell stories about and she would never believe them. That hurts because I was a legend and now I am just a wife and mom (on paper at least).
In high school I decided I wanted to get out of there early so I took night school and extra classes so that my senior year I only had to go half a day. The other half of the day I spent working at the Enzian Theater and Florida Film Festival which became my home off and on for going on 20 years. In 1998 I decided that I wanted to do a triathlon and so I started training, and I completed my first (and only) triathlon a few months later. I was dead last, but I finished. After high school I wanted to go to school in New York City to study to be an actress. So I made a list of my top three schools, got on a plane stand by with very little money to my name, lied to NYU and said I was a perspective student so I could crash at the dorms, and boldly walked into each school and told them I was auditioning. Each one let me in. Three of the most prestigious theater schools in the world let me walk in and own it. I was accepted into all three and offered two different scholarships. I quit school a month prior to it ending because I needed an agent to work and only had so much rent left. I walked into an agency and got one immediately. After that I decided I wanted to move to Los Angeles, so I got in a car and drove there. I may have lived in a KOA camp in a tent across from the LA County Fair, but I was there. I wanted to make my first documentary short and I did, in three days. Then I sold it to Current TV. I always wanted to be a programmer for a film festival since I admired the long time FFF programmer Matthew Curtis so much, so I did remote film selection for Slamdance Film Festival while undergoing cancer treatment and taking care of a newborn and toddler. I admire him even more now. I would take cancer treatments again before watching that many bad films at once!
I would say the list of all of the ways I made bold moves and took what I wanted is endless, but it did start to end. The day I met my daughter. The fear of failing her was so powerful. Slowly I got less and less bold. Took less risks and weighed my options and moves more and more. Now I don’t really risk much. I plan. I plan more than one should. I have lists and lists of plans. Dreams of what I will do someday. I don’t tell people about my plans because I fear not accomplishing them and being someone who talks a good game.
I am not someone who talks a good game. I am someone who does great things. Have I failed? Lord yes! Embarrassingly so on many MANY occasions. But it has been a while. I just don’t risk much anymore, so there isn’t much to fail at.
I did something bold and I think it paid off. I have about 10 creative projects stored up inside of me. Something had to give. So I started writing for a wonderful site called Real Advice Gal (www.realadvicegal.com). Amee has given me so much confidence to go after my dreams again. She has encouraged my ideas and helped me to go for them. She took a chance on me creatively and it got everything going again.
So moments after publishing my very first blog post and letting the world see the little site I was working on telling the world I am back, I went big, bold, and brave. I emailed Arianna Huffington. I sent her my post. I told her I wanted to put it on her site. What?!
And guess what? She wrote back.
Now it is official, I am a Huffington Post contributor.
How is that for hustle?
Check out my first post here.