Most days you can find me ranting in a corner about how obnoxious and detrimental social media is for the human spirit. I mean it's a daily grumble, but then I have days like today and I realize I can put up with the demons if it means we get to keep the connections.
Backing up a bit.
Today I was scrolling through Instagram when I saw this beautiful picture of a blonde woman breastfeeding her son with her young daughter in her other arm and I just had to click. I was fully expecting a caption about freeing the nipple. Instead, I found a eulogy to the mother featured in the picture. She passed away yesterday... 37 years old with two small children...her son only a year old.
To say I lost my mind is an understatement.
I burst out in tears and sobbed for a woman I do not know. It didn't matter that I had never heard her name before; I found myself crying and saying over and and over again, "I'm praying for you Tori. I'm praying for your family."
I couldn't stop devouring the pictures on her account. The milestone moments of her son getting older...all of the sweet moments of her with her children. Her love for her family is splashed all over her page and the pages of her friends and family.
This morning I hit the ground running. Z is sick so I had to nurse her, give her a breathing treatment, feed her, dress her and get her out the door to her nanny's by 7:45am. I was patient and kind when she was with me (I say that because it's not always the case and when I do explode I feel terribly guilty), but the moment I was home alone I collapsed into a grouchy slump on the couch; totally pissed at my circumstances.
I know we should never discredit our feelings. Yes, my morning was overwhelming for me, but I couldn't help but feel guilty after reading that mama's story. She was sick for a year. She learned of her cancer when her son was born. She only had one short year with him. I'm sure she had days where she was in pain. Days when she felt like giving up and here I was kicking rocks because I was unable to eat breakfast before doing all of that. It put it all in perspective...really damn quick.
I lost my father when I was young. I've only had that perspective of loss in my heart: that of a child who has lost a parent. Now that I am a parent I feel my father's passing in a whole new way. What it might be like being the parent and knowing you'll have to leave your child soon. I'm grieving loss in a whole new way and I just can't deal. Figured I'd write and see if it made me feel better to get it off my chest.
Tori's story touched me in a really raw and powerful way. I have a feeling her story will stay with me from this point on. Years ago I interviewed Heather Armstrong from Dooce.com. She mentioned how motherhood had changed her...how it had connected her to every animal on the planet...every mother. I understand that connection now.
It's beautiful, but man is it painful.
I hope that father has endless amounts of support. I know she has a sister who was very present in her and her children's lives. For those who want to help...There's a GoFundMe for the family.
I'm going to hug my child just a bit longer...kiss her a bit more and not feel one ounce of regret when I document my love for her on social media. Those children will have their mama's account information one day and they'll see just how much she loved them. I never thought I'd say it, but I am so very thankful for social media.
Shonda Rhimes named it. She was talking to the youth in the audience...the black girls still in school who are all dreams; dripping in future potential, but I listened just the same.
She was describing me. Someone who doesn't yet know her path. I haven't done anything that's noticeable...impressive...noteworthy.
I'm not gonna lie. I feel it. I constantly sense the fact that I haven't done anything yet. Shit. I feel it and I can't wait until I can put that crap to bed.
Can this just be the year I put the crap to bed?
Can this just be the year I add some actual work to my stinkin' IMDB page? Yes, I actually have one of those.
I wait for the characters I need to come alive to pop up and start talking to me. (I tend to get random inspiration right when I climb into bed...or when I hop in the shower...it's sensory deprivation. I'm not crazy. That's a thing.)
At the end of the day I just wanna make it. I am so frustrated with stagnation. If I turn up soon with a buzz cut dyed green you'll know why. #ThangsGottaStartHappening
I recently read this essay and pelvic thrusted one too many because that's what I do when I whole-heartedly witness someone sharing helpful truths. I mean...
“Artists frequently hide the steps that lead to their masterpieces. They want their work and their career to be shrouded in the mystery that it all came out at once. It’s called hiding the brushstrokes […] If you don’t get to see the notes, the rewrites, and the steps, it’s easy to look at a finished product and be under the illusion that it just came pouring out of someone’s head like that […] I always swore to myself that
HELLO! No one ever shares the process. Trust me. I've been asking for a really long time; trying to find a way to walk through that door I'm constantly talking about. I'm obsessed with the door. I want shirts made with a door and a light bulb. I'll rock it all the time and finally retire it the moment I book my first film. (I tend to over document urrr thang so don't you worry your pretty little heads about missing that most momentous moment.) Operation Door Hunt is MY LIFE.
Anyways, I thought I'd share some of my brushstrokes because I figure it's a good idea to share the optimistic days just as much as the hard ones. (wisdom poke: listened to this podcast with Nia Vardalos talk about whiners and took it as a sign to get myself to a laptop.)
I am waiting for a book to come in from the library so I can begin the process of writing my first pilot. I did a pitch for a contest...which is wayyyy different. For this endeavor I have to go legit. I need to go grasshopper student on this ish and figure out how to execute this extraordinary idea I've had bouncing around in my head.
So once I get the book I'll get to work, first reading and then writing. Hopefully my brain allows me to check back in from time to time. Why am I doing this? Because Hollywood is witnessing a shakedown. I've finally learned how actors I know kept getting auditions and finding the doors I've been searching for: they were attending workshops with casting directors. These casting directors were then booking them based on their workshop performances...Light bulb moment followed by lots of "ahhhh mannnnn" sulks because basically that ish is illegal. No mo workshops... The door hunting game became that much harder.
Back to the pen! Back to writing my own stuff and hoping I can pull some magic door out of the situation.
Happy door hunting and brushstroke sharing!