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Wednesday, August 24, 2005


My Life The Way It Is

Last night someone asked me, "If you could be doing anything in the world, what would it be?"

And I said, "I'm very happy with my life the way it is."

I'm very happy with my life the way it is.

This is profound. For years if someone had asked me that I would have said:

Living in San Francisco.
Living in New York.
Making films.
Writing more.
Something else.
Anything else.
I wish I knew what else.

And now: I'm very happy. With my life the way it is.

I feel like I'm shedding my 20s like old skin - emerging fresh and ready for life without the constant churning angst of what does it all mean. For so long I felt like a little ball of energy casting about in the wilderness, desperate for something to hold onto; like a rogue plug looking for its outlet; like a small part of a big world waiting to be glued in. And now, a little more than six months before the big 3-0, I feel a new peace setting in. Meaning is no longer an elusive gift; instead, it's imbued in every moment. Every day.

I used to think that "meaning" meant affecting "the world," something remote and big and far away...affecting "people's" consciousness, as though people were a planet you could travel to. Now I see how big the world is right at my doorstep. And I can dive right in.

The rush of an improv performance. The connections made with new friends over beers on a Tuesday night. The joy that comes from standing on my new front porch, from snuggling my dog, from practicing yoga, from meeting a dear friend's new baby girl. The inspiration that comes from a sunset. The satisfaction of solving a problem at work and serving the public better as a result (I work in public service media). The bliss of having my dad over to our new house and offering him a sandwich and beer as he spackles a hole by our new front door.

Connections. Right here, right now, and very real, as real as real can be. This is the world. This is life. And I'm very happy.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005



"Be more vulnerable," my improv teacher said, miming the peeling away of a protective layer in front of the heart - "let the audience in, and you'll have them in the palm of your hand."

Be more vulnerable -- that's a new one. I'm more accustomed to, "toughen up." I've been told I wear my heart on my sleeve. For God's sake, I blog about my personal life. So why would I mask myself on stage?

Do I mask myself here?

Don't worry, I'm not about to dive into a series of existential pontifications about the meaning of blogs. But I'm reminded of my struggle early on to distinguish personal from private, and to maintain that distinction on this site. I acknowledged that to the extent such things were under my control, I would only let you, the reader, in so far...I would write about myself, but some things would be off limits. And come to think of it, my reasoning was: I want to express myself without being vulnerable.

Ok. But there's vulnerable, and then there's vulnerable - right? I mean, if I logged in and posted every time I had a doubt or felt sad... that would be pretty lame, and not really artistic expression, in my book. Just raw neurosis and emotion. Which isn't to say I should "act" happy and strong if I'm not, but I don't think that's what I do. I'm honest - I write about things that matter to me, or interest me. In doing that, aren't I making myself more vulnerable than a lot of people?

But it's not about comparisons. The question is really one of authenticity, not vulnerability. It's about making sure that in improv, and in this space, I am not masking real feelings and reactions. I don't need to reveal the depths of my soul but if I only write about how happy and strong I am, or if the characters I play get too clownish and refuse to break down... then I'm just skimming the surface. And I'm much more interested in what's underneath.

I'm not motivated by what will get the audience "in the palm of my hand" - but I am motivated by a desire to be authentic, always.

Thursday, August 04, 2005


Our House

This week we bought a house.

A house!

We found out Wednesday afternoon that the house was ours. That night we walked over to see it with Cosmo, and then walked to a park nearby, where we found a dog run (where dogs can play off-leash). A friendly young couple said, "You look new," and we introduced ourselves, and chatted, and they welcomed us to the 'hood. My husband picked up pieces of trash ("this is our neighborhood now"), and Cosmo sniffed and pranced, and I basked. We walked home and celebrated with champagne, giddy and stunned and happy and scared. I couldn't sleep.

I still can't sleep. This morning I woke up at 5:30. At 6:20 I finally got up, made coffee, wrote in my journal - and spent an hour surfing kitchen design Web sites. I am running on adrenaline, like a ball of caffeine, like the Energizer Bunny, only exhausted - exhausted but thrilled. I want to do it all at once, to press a button and be in there, house decorated just to our liking - perfect spaces, colors, moods. But I know we can't make a house our home overnight - and a girl needs sleep - so I need to slow down and savor this: one step at a time...

Step one: take a nap. Step two: more napping...

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