One year ago today, I sat in the kitchen after dinner, holding my father’s hands, and crying so hard I couldn’t breathe. It was a gorgeous, blazingly hot day in midsummer, and I wanted to die.
It had started simply enough. Dad had asked me a few questions about my life in the city. I glossed over most of the harder to admit things and just breezily informed him that everything was good, fine, wonderful, love my friends, the city is fun but big, walking around is hard in my legs, yada yada. Talking about everything but work. When work did come up, I waved it off. Auditions are crazy difficult, but I think I’m getting better, getting up that early sucks. More yada. Nonstop yada.
Dad saw through it, of course. He could tell I had been different when a month earlier he’d made some harmless jokes about me while we were out at dinner and I got so upset I didn’t talk to him for two days. He knew I wasn’t happy. He poked. He prodded. Slowly, my writing came to the forefront. I talked a little bit about how I couldn’t wait to come home in the evening and write, and it made the nights more bearable. He slowly suggested that maybe I would be happier writing, instead of being onstage.
And when I burst like a balloon, he caught my pieces.
We sat there quietly (or not, with all the snorting and choking sounds I was making). I decided to go back into the city, just to give it a few more months. I lasted three, and came home that October.
In this year, my life has gone from tortoise to hyperdrive. I’m working three jobs. I’m teaching acting to children. I’m hostessing. I’m helping people find their inner calm at the yoga studio. I see my friends. I prefer to stay in and write than go out, so I mostly keep to myself. And starting in the fall, I’m going back to school to become an author.
There have been personal things, too, that I’ve had to overcome. NYC, along with a stronger sense of self, imported onto me a sense of anxiety unlike any I have known in my life. Over the last year, I have had sporadic panic attacks that lead to near fainting. Life can overwhelm me, and I am easily overwhelmed. My body just goes until it stops.
My body, too, threatens to rebel sometimes. I am slowly, painfully, but indeed healing after a short but intense battle with an undiagnosed eating disorder, as well as numerous stomach issues that plagued me as a result of my extreme anxiety. Yoga has calmed down both of these problems tremendously. If I hadn’t moved home when I did, I would still be in ‘gerbil on wheel’ mode. I’m still there, sort of, but the speed has come down.
I remain grateful to my family for helping me through this time, when everything is open and nothing is certain.
Literally anything can happen right now in my life. That terrifies me.
And thrills me.
All in a year, after sobbing into the countertop because I thought my life was over. And I hate to be cliche…but that was the moment my life began.