I have been talking about this on social media and in my membership program, Fuckiteer Academy.
I’m making it sound a little bit like a joke, just to amuse myself, but it’s not a joke:
I’m on two years of rest.
Let me explain.
I just realized, not long ago, that for the past 15+ years, I have been stressed out of my mind.
I have been ruled by the subconscious pressures to: Be a successful actress even though my heart didn’t want to have to do all the business bullshit that it takes, to fall in love even though I didn’t want to have to do all the bullshit that people do to seek it out, to constantly be doing everything I can to heal my health and hormones, and of course, before the Fuck it Diet: to be beautiful and thin.
Reading that back, it doesn’t look like much. But when it rules you, it’s too much.
I’ve been constantly exhausted, and constantly just pushing through.
I’ve been drinking. I’ve been stressing. I’ve been trying to juggle every kind of career and squash them all together into some big magical perfect career thing.
I had a notebooks where I wrote all the things that I was trying to put together: The Fuck It Diet + Solo Comedy Shows + Comedy Songs + Writing a Web series + Regular Acting/Broadway + LATE NIGHT IMPROV + MISCELLANEOUS WRITING + PERFORMING + BABYSITTING + COACHING + MAKING MONEY + NOT GOING CRAZY + LOTS OF OTHER BULLSHIT
And I would go cross-eyed trying to figure out how it was all going to fit together.
I would feel guilty every day when I’d stay home to write (what I craved doing) and not out going to auditions for Brooooadddwaayyyyy because I live in New York and I shoulllld because I am only going to be this young and miserable once and if I poop on my dreams and they never come true I’ll only have myself to blame when I realize I’m a failure and it’s all my fault.
Look, I don’t think my life is harder than yours. It’s not. It’s actually probably easier. Which is why you probably need two years of rest, too.
All of our lives are hard. Especially when we put years and years of miserable subconscious pressure on ourselves and are ruled by elusive, societally dictated “shoulds” that make us feel like we are constantly inadequate and falling short.
That’s what we all have in common: subconscious, miserable, judgmental dialogue, running as a constant open program in the background, telling us for years we aren’t doing it right.
Well it made me tired. It makes us all tired, I think.
I’m tired physically from all the adrenaline, constant social drinking, and worrying. I’m physically tired from the rigemroll I put my body through, and the environmental and genetic stuff I didn’t have the wherewithal or time or rest to heal from.
I’m tired emotionally and mentally from all the anxiety I always had while I believed I wasn’t doing enough, and that I had to make everything work together, and had to make people think I could do it all and that I never, ever failed.
And I am tired existentially, because I have been anxiously thinking I’d end up alone, and it was all my fault. And every year that went by just proved this more and more: I was going to die alone. It was my fault.
The pressure of that was a lot. And all totally subconscious.
Well, I’m fucking done.
I’m tired and I’m not sorry.
And I am going on two years of rest.
Why two years, you ask?
Because one year isn’t fucking enough.
Why not 5 years?
It probably will be. It will probably be my whole life-long. But 2 feels like a nice start.
What am I doing about rest? Like how am I applying rest?
Well, first of all you don’t DO rest. You BE it. DUH.
But actually, actively, I’m letting myself off the hook in every way. I don’t have to do anything. I don’t have to accomplish anything I don’t want to. I will say no until the cows come home. I will say no AFTER the cows come home. I will do what I need to do to preserve my fucking life force that I have been bleeding and sacrificing for years.
I will do the things that bring me joy, feed my soul, and everything else, forget it.
I do not have to be anywhere else in two years. I don’t have to get anywhere.
If I am in the exact same place in two years, great.
No pressure. No need for advancement or glory. No nothing.
And when I feel that familiar twinge of pushing or groping for things or worrying that things won’t work out and that I’m doing it all wrong, I pause and remember, Fuck That.
No really, Fuck That.
Also, I’m on two years of rest.
Inevitably and paradoxically, I am working a shit-ton, doing things I love. Isn’t that nice? But it is now clear as day what is worth it and what is not. And I expect that will continue to become clearer as it morphs and changes.
And I feel great about it.
Join me… come on two years of rest. Your adrenal glands will thank you.