1:37 pm - Sat 11/27/04
I'm thankful, during this holiday season, that I am not hungry, or homeless. If I get too sorry for myself for being alone, for being poor, for having to struggle too hard here in L.A. all I have to do is step out of my apartment and take a walk down the street, and I'm going to see someone begging in front of the supermarket, or sleeping in a doorway, and be reminded of what it really means to "struggle".
I'm thankful that I have a job, a job where I work with people I like, around things I like, a job where I've gotten a lot of support and encouragement for doing what I want to do (I've lost track of how many times people have asked about my auditions, and how things were going in my career. And it's been particularly fun lately to have people ask, "So when are we going to see your Jack-In-The-Box commercial?"). I'm even thankful, in a way, that the job does not provide too "cushy" of an existence, but instead, spurs me on to accomplish something (I've always avoided a "fallback career", out of fear I would indeed "fall back on it").
I'm thankful that I've demonstrated more strength than I knew I had out here. I might have had "issues" with the quality of my efforts from time to time, but it's been over three-and-a-half years in LA now, when I doubted at one point I'd make it three-and-a-half weeks. I'm still here, and I'm not going away. And I like what that says about me.
I'm thankful for my friends. I probably have more people I think of as "friends" right now than at any time in the past ten years. I do get lonely, and spend too much time fixated on the lack of romantic love in my life, but I'm also very appreciative of the fact that I have a number of good people solidly "in my corner". I don't really "get it", and don't think I really deserve it, but I appreciate it nevertheless. I wouldn't have gotten here without friends, and I wouldn't still be here without friends (And of course, Jane "leads the charge" in that regard).
I'm thankful for all the great movies I've seen, particularly over the past year (And by extension, I'm thankful for the Los Feliz 3 and the Vista theatres, my "cheap matinee" places). They've distracted me when I've felt down, given me something to look forward to in a given week, touched me, amused me, inspired me, made me think, and most recently, reminded me that what I want to do with my life is not a silly or frivolous or selfish thing, but a gift I've been given that I want to pass on to others.
I'm thankful for the Internet, which, with emails and instant messaging, has given me an unprecedented ability to keep in regular touch with the people I care about.
I'm thankful for Diaryland. It's become very important to me out here. I like that friends can "check in on me" (And that I've made new friends from it). I like that I have an outlet for self-expression that doesn't depend on me "getting the part". And it's fun to feel like I have "a story to tell"; I know people don't lie awake at night wondering if I'm going to "make it" (Or if I'm ever going to find love, or "get over myself", etc and so on), but I like that people are "following along". I can't exactly explain why that should matter to me, but it does. So thank you, my small-but-devoted readership, for making me feel I have a story worth the telling.
I'm thankful for the weather. I've begun to make something of a "running joke" about it–"If there's nothing else to be happy about here, at least there's the weather"-- but it's been a critical element in keeping me going out here in LA; You can only be but so depressed when you go outside and are greeted by another perfect day (I've said it before and I'll say it again–If I had chosen to go to New York or Chicago instead of LA, and everything happened exactly the same way, the only difference being the weather, there's a very good chance I'd be back in Lansing by now, saying "Well, at least I gave it a shot...").
I'm thankful for the commercials I've booked this year. Practically, since I don't make much money at the bookstore, it's been much-needed supplemental income. But beyond that, it's given me a good feeling to actually make money, and good money, doing something very much like what I want to do with my life. And I can't over-emphasize how much I liked booking that union spot, when I said at the beginning of the year "I want to book a union spot before the year's out". It made me feel like my "plan" is working (I wanted commercials to lift me out of my life as a retail clerk, and that's starting to happen. I wanted commercials to lead to my getting into the union, and now that's happened. It makes me feel like the other things I want commercials to do for me–Lead to a theatrical agent, help me land a tv or movie gig, etc–could happen as well).
I'm thankful that I have hopes for the future now. I have a goodly amount of fear, to be sure, but I also have moments where I think how nice it'll be to act with people I've admired over the years, how satisfying it'll be when what I want to do and what I do for a living are the same thing, how much I'll enjoy feeling that, when I finally "stepped up to the plate" in life, I was richly rewarded for finding the courage to, as the Nike commercial says, "Just Do It".
I'm also thankful for...
I could go on, but I think you get the idea. Whether I'm wearing "shit colored glasses", a blueberry-pie hat, or nothing at all, there is much to be thankful for in the world.
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