You Don't Need Permission
I was raised in a conservative, New England family with a lot of structure and rules about right and wrong. Seriously, I was homeschooled so I wouldn't be "tainted by the worldliness of non-believers". And you'd better believe there was a chain of command for everything from how the dishwasher got loaded to what kind of books I was allowed to read for fun after my schoolwork was done. At some point, like many overly repressed Christian girls, I rebelled and that pendulum of my moral compass swung about as far in the opposite direction as I could ride it! But no matter how far you go, your childhood and your
home tend to follow you. So, even though I'm a total wild child and lived life on the edge in many ways, I still carefully overthink almost every decision I make, and I still often wish there was someone to tell me what to do. My teenage rebellion was a dramatic break away from extreme structure that left me wondering what was real and who was really in charge of my life, and I've struggled ever since to boldly own what I want and what I decide.
This challenge with decision making has played out most redundantly in my life as putting off decisions that I don't feel ready to make. But, as my Mom used to tell me "to not decide is still to decide". Putting off moving to LA meant staying in NY longer than I meant to. Putting off ending an unhealthy relationship meant staying with my abusive ex longer than I should have. I even put off deciding what to do about my unplanned pregnancy for a few MONTHS because I was waiting to gather everyone else's opinions and thoughts before I decided that what I really wanted was to be Cali's Mom regardless of who was going to be involved (even though I knew that the moment I peed on a stick! I was just way too scared to admit it and went looking for answers in all the wrong places).
Well, recently, I've hit a new plateau of adulthood. Or maybe I've just been through enough fires and enough bullshit to be over it. But I'm not asking for permission to live my life anymore! And I started this new chapter by getting a nose ring and chopping off most of my hair. (It's the little things that symbolize the big things, people!) I have literally been talking about wanting to rock a pixie for about FIVE YEARS, and thinking about it since childhood, same with the nose ring. But I always thought, what if it makes me less marketable, a casting director can always tell me to cut my hair but they can't ask me to grow 5 years of hair in 3 weeks, I'd rather be more versatile, because I'm edgy but sometimes I don't want to be too intimidating. F88ck that! My life, my rules. If it's intimidating, too masculine, too butch, too niche, too whatever, it doesn't matter! It's just hair. And it's me. Expressing yourself how you want to is part of authentically BEING yourself. And I have felt like I have been playing parts my ENTIRE life. Choosing a life path as an actor and artist probably hasn't helped with that conundrum haha. But the truth is I don't need to always be playing a role. And choosing to do that as a profession should free me up to be more authentically me in my day-to-day life. As a mom, I want to live authentically as an example to my daughter. And as an artist, I'm not going to be able to act authentically, write authentically, sing from the heart, dance from the soul, or anything else, until I am living each day unafraid to just be me. So that's what I'm going to do. And I want you, reader, to do the same. And if anyone else doesn't like it, well, let them live in a box. You don't have to. Give YOURSELF the permission.