How Does Motherhood and Feminism Work?

4.25.2017
... How did I get here? 

I've been auditioning like a mad woman for months now. This is the easiest, quickest sentence to write but the act of auditioning with a kid means DAYS of stress. The juggling act of finding childcare...the missed time you needed to study and memorize lines...the inability to show up to an audition 100% ready to perform...the tears, the fatigue, the body issues because you haven't had time to work out in months (ex. no strength, fatigue, tummy pooch) compounded with casting directors who put descriptions in the breakdowns like "fit body...wear a swimsuit". The pressure to make that money so your kid can eat and have adequate childcare...

Months of that left me sitting in the dark last night, hands covering my face as I sobbed my eyes out. Moment of truth: I give 30% to most of everything. Nothing's getting 100%...nothing's even getting close to that. 

So now I'm left wondering what in the hell does a feminist mother look like? Are there rules for this shit? Because I feel I'm breaking some invisible, but strong guidelines. I don't know where the expectations come from...seeing women in the world mothering but also appearing on shows I watch. Seeing women prove you can have a career and be a mother... never seeing temper tantrums...never seeing a woman losing her shit when she's hit her breaking point and just can't. 

My brand of feminism has always been I get to make whatever choices I want. I should have the same opportunities, but how in the hell do I apply that to mothering in Hollywood? Because I can tell you right now folks in casting offices have judged me with disdain openly. When I say I haven't taken an acting class since my daughter was born... When I answer that my workouts consist of running after a two year old... When I show up to the audition that they clearly said you didn't need to memorize lines for because they'd be written on the board but then they ask why you still couldn't find the time to memorize... BECAUSE I WRESTLED A TODDLER TO PUT ON A BREATHING MASK AND SUCK MEDICINE FROM A NEBULIZER THEN GOT HER BUTT READY FOR BED WHICH TOOK AN HOUR THEN ATE MY COLD DINNER THEN CRIED AND THEN PASSED OUT AT 9 BECAUSE MY KID WAKES AT 6AM MOST MORNINGS (SOMETIMES EARLIER. THAT'S WHY.) 

...they look at you like you've just said the dog has eaten your homework and you see their thoughts "Delete this tape. She clearly doesn't want this bad enough. Excuses...excuses." 

When I got knocked up I experienced the worst kind of knocked down. 

Yesterday I listened to an old podcast of the Friend Zone and they were discussing transparency, asking listeners how much should we should share about our trials and tribulations on social media. My answer: I see nothing wrong with sharing my truths. All the good and the bad so you can see the whole picture. The truth implies balance. You share it all; filtering not a damn thing. 

That is why I'm sharing now. Nothing scares me more than when someone approaches me about the commercials they've seen me in or the snapchat story they've watched that shows me freshly showered in and assume I've found some secret to peace and harmony. I'm not the mother I thought I'd be. I'm rarely patient. I cry and snap and scream and roll my eyes and cry a lot. I worship Doctor Google to help me with diagnose shit. 

And that's just the mom part of me. In regards to my full time job and my acting pursuits it's even more messy. For every commercial you see me in you should calculate at least four dedicated hours of worry and stress. Am I a terrible mother for leaving my kid? Am I providing enough for my child? Pulling out of the driveway as Mark holds Z while she cries "Mommy! Mommy!" is the worst damn feeling. 

Then there's the speed with which I now move when it comes to pursuing my dream. The amount of time it takes to inch a micro centimeter towards tv and film work.... Woooooo! I make sloths impatient.  

This is where I am today. There's this pressure I've put on myself at some point. I'm not sure when I created this weird rule I've imposed: a feminist mother can do it all, equally and well. But the rule is about to break me. I need to see more feminist mothers in the struggle sharing the losses and the wins... the oopses and the pelvic thrusts. 

Shonda Rhimes came close. Her Dartmouth speech was so incredibly helpful, but it also was a story told by someone who had already made it when the kiddies came. Who out there had kids while at the beginning or middle of the journey? 

This isn't a plea for my misery to seek company. I just need to know that this is normal. That it is hard. I want guidelines to help me navigate casting directors with dumb expectations. I need more mama meetings that consist of encouraging and glowing up together. I have helped mamas out with childcare while they audition because I get that stuff. I send pictures of their smiling, happy babies so they know they can focus on their work and suppress some enough of the worry to get through the taping. I need a transparent village. I need a spiritual cleansing... I need something magical to clear all this damn hard stuff out. I need a break. Maybe a clue...or two.

Pretty soon I'll be able to announce a fun project I'm working on for TV. I'm shooting my first demo reel this spring. I had four callbacks last week for commercials. This is the stuff people that tends to stick in people's minds. When I share the successes now you'll know the prices that came with those moments. 

I'm doing what I can with what I've got. It doesn't feel like it's enough. I don't know if I'm moving in the right directions. So when you see me in a commercial and you're thinking I'm doing the damn thing know that I am, but I've paid for that moment ... my family's paid for that moment. 

It takes a pro-women village...folks who aren't afraid to see and help through it all and not hold that shit against the moms.




When You Ask The Universe for a Reset

3.22.2017

When you ask the universe for a reset expect fire...HUGE CHANGE, SUPER QUICK.

Holy shit, friends. Remember when I got into crystals and started setting intentions; asking the universe for thangs???

(It wasn't that long ago.)

Within days I had a crazy, dramatic conversation with my manager and faster than I could say "bad pimp" home girl was terminating our toxic contract and I was free.

IZE FREE! IZE FREE NOW!

I left for a birthday bestie vacation soon after. I rode off into the sunset feeling new and hopeful. Then vacation ended and reality slapped me in the face.

Current mood: I am back at square one, post-manager.

I didn't even move that much! I was still waiting for the manager to help me navigate my way through tv and film audition doors.

I've been scared shitless for two days now while working in full mom mode--doing things for Z's upcoming second birthday. This has helped me chill out some...

"It's good that my auditions have dropped down. You need this time for doing life things...start working out again. Do home shit. Do life. Slay at life!"

...but I'm still feeling scared. I was auditioning twice a day, every day. Now I'm lucky to get two a week. I still have to work on my demo reel...I'm hoping to get that completed by the end of April so that I can start the scary ass process of finding a better, kinder, more successful manager who sees my dang potential and wants to help me work towards my dang goals.

Now I just need a crystal for helping me navigate fears. Anyone?


Setting Intentions Like a Pyro In Dry Grassland

3.03.2017


Hello my name is Tish and I am hippie-ish. 

If you've been following my Instagram stories you may have caught my subtle hints that I'm annoying the shit out of my husband when it comes to possessing some black tourmaline + quartz in order to ward against negative energy. (I love how it just sucks in all that bad juju and flips it like a pancake into something positive.) Can't a girl believe in the power of a stone?! Can't I live?!?!

(Note to the reader: We can all thank Elaine Welteroth from Teen Vogue for planting the idea in my head. Officially on team hippie thanks to a casual crystal mention.)

So...I've been on this quest, right... been asking around, checking hippie-esque stores, but haven't found the stuff. Out of the blue my acting coach/mother mentor/guru goddess  asks if I can read a short story of hers and edit it if needed. So I agree because everything this woman writes is amazing. She's magic. Her words are spells. I shit you not. 

I DEVOUR the story and promptly fall in love with the characters, edit it and send it back; gushing over the work she's created. We get to talking and she learns I'm looking for the black tourmaline and BLOOP! Here comes some black tourmaline in the mail as a thank you gift. I have to share her words because this woman put me in the best mood today and when I love something I tend to spoil it...Since I currently love the world (read: you) I give thee a teeny bit of this woman's magic: 

Dear Tish,

The tourmaline and the other crystal are to grid you and your house and family.  I wouldn't walk around with them.  I will find you little chunks of tourmaline and other stones to have when you are traveling.  I have little chunks I keep in my bra.

Now that was powerful that you bonded the tie in blood!  I would keep it by my bed or an altar or someplace where you set intentions or pray/meditate.  If you don't have a meditation corner place it near the family table where you all convene.  It will protect any gnarly or sticky energy from coming into your home.  That crystal from the "recorder" crystal will clarify and communicate your intention/wishes/dreams manifesting into reality without you having to live old patterns to do it.  It carries the knowledge of all your times being on this hunk of rock.  I always say when stating any intention with grace and perfect ways.  I have struggled enough in order to learn a lesson and I don't want to do that anymore.

The Tourmaline will absorb all the negative and transmute it to positive.  It is a most remarkable stone.  I loved that it ended in a pyramid with three distinct divisions at the end like a wand crystal.  A point of manifestation intention clarity for Zoey , For Mark and For YOU!!! It chose you more than I chose the rock for you.

I placed Himalayan salt around it to clear it like the ocean because lord knows those who love us most carry the most energy towards us and sometimes good intentions become manipulations.  Like Rumi said we come through our parents and teachers we are not them nor beholding to them, we are not their possessions.  So you blow on your stone and set your intention for it.

And so it is!

xoxox
mi

Okay can you SEE why I crave this woman's correspondence? I mean... SHIT. Quoting Rumi and thangs...

I've been working silently like Kunta over here trying to make moves with my career. Working on that post... it'll come soon. I'm now editing the mentor's novel (a 400 page one!), preparing for Mark's family to come into town, preparing for an upcoming birthday trip...all while "balancing" commercial auditions, motherhood and sanity. Sanity always comes last. 

So...it could be awhile, but it's all super exciting. Stay tuned! 

ps I'm in THREE commercials right now y'all! THREE. I'm feeling like I'm putting in Beyoncé hours over here. 




I Knew Beyoncé In a Past Life

2.02.2017

No this is not another Illuminati theory. (They won't get mad that I wrote that, right?)

I have reason to believe that Beyoncé and I may be soul sisters...knew each other in our past lives... need to be besties in this one.

Proof of our connections discovered while viewing her pregnancy pictures on her site today.

I HAVE THREE HEARTS

I.Can.Not.Get.Enough.

Back to the topic at hand, though!  Every conspiracy theorist worth her salt has proof so I give thee

"Parallel Lives: The Why and How I Knew Bey In a Past Life" :


As you can CLEARLY see we both have an affinity for backdrops and flowers. 


Tina, pregnant with Bey, writing her unborn daughter's name in the sand. 


...And BAM! Me on a beach with Zoey's womb name written in the sand. 


Not to mention I listened to her album throughout my entire pregnancy and Blue was playing when Z was born.  

I don't know how we've become disconnected in this lifetime, but I see you soul sister. I see you. 







Spells

1.19.2017

Some songs remind me how much I love love. They cast their spells and the trance begins.

I dare you not to float.












An Ancient Love Letter

1.10.2017



An Ancient Love Letter
by: Tish Arana



Yesterday I was sugar tobacco cotton and gold

Still I saved breast milk for my own child, a move they called bold

I was the woman who learned letters by the light of the moon 

I was the man dancing, training via secret fight tune

I chose to love and jumped brooms; embraced words as our rings 

And with that same honest love drowned my precious offspring

I buried both hammer and hair pin simply to mess with their days

And put oleander laced tea on missus’ morning food trays

I ran through the night; found my freedoms in tracks 

I escaped from the monsters who grew roots on my back

I gathered my stories; swallowed all of it whole

Let it seep in my blood, absorbed better than coal

Asked Oya to protect it, to bind the magic to bone

For a new generation to remember and own

It took all of my lives, all the grit all the fight

To bind the spell, let new magic take flight

So now my sweet children you must remember my gift

You must remember each struggle that I carefully stitched

The stories in your veins are a roadmap to hope

Stories that will help you do more than just sit by and cope

You resist in your own way but you resist all the same

You remember that no one can take your damn name

Life is not easy. And there are dark days ahead

But like all the mothers have told you a closed mouth don’t get fed

Read. Speak up. Hide hammers and fight

Show them who you are; show them your darkness and your light.  

Centered

1.05.2017

I grew in Texas. I'm Texan grown.

I am programmed to recite isms such as "The stars at night are big and bright deep in the heart of Texas" as well as phrases like "Everything's bigger and better in Texas."

Texas enthusiasts (aka teachers) are good at their jobs.

Texas was life as a kid. It was my everything. I remember the day I learned Texas wasn't our country. You read that correctly. As a child, I literally thought we lived in the country of Texas. California was on the west side of Texas... you get the drift.

I always chalked up my crazy Texan thoughts to Texan influence, but then I watched the below interview with the beloved Zadie Smith and now I'm thinking it's not so much a Texas thing. (Although they still could make a case.)

I love the idea of children centering...creating the boundaries of their worlds...creating geographic cushions of comfort. Thought I'd share the warm and fuzzies. I'm on the wait list at my library to read NW so I'm in Zadie mode right now.


Babe Ruth Moments

12.29.2016


Here goes my Babe Ruth moment for 2017. (Explanatory comma moment: when you, like Babe Ruth, point to the sky and alert the Universe that you're about to score a home run and then you, indeed, score the dang home run.)

So, yeah,  2017 this is what I have planned for you:

You're gonna work with me and the Universe and together we're gonna book 20 commercials. I've already got one down for 2017. We can do this.

You're also gonna find me some beautiful magical story and I will become the actor/story teller for said magical story. It shall be Moonlight, Atlanta, Insecure, Hidden Figures, Stranger Things, The Get Down, Queen Sugar, This is Us and Chewing Gum all rolled into one unicorn-like film/show and it shall be magnificent.

I shall have my *Whoopi moment. 2017, I have plans for you.


*A Whoopi moment...like in How Stella Got Her Groove Back when she stands and faces the ocean and says "God's here."  or one of the million moments from Color Purple or Ghost... You feel me?

 





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