Seven Months

lessons learned.

My fingers are killing me.

I finally had it with these ho nails, having dealt with them for about a week now, and I spent the earlier half of the day soaking my hands in some acetone. The thing is, I was having a very difficult time typing with the fake nails.

Okay, the real thing is I could no longer take the constant teasing with my friends asking how much I charge, now that I’m a nasty L.A. ho.

Anyway, I don’t have the patience for soaking my nails and two hours later I was digging at them with sharp objects, peeling sections of acrylic back with an orange stick, flicking pieces of nail across the room, clipping and scraping and filing away until all I have now are raw bits of finger flesh trapped under chunks of fake nail.

It looks like I just scraped myself out of a coffin.

Oh, man. Now it hurts even worse to type because my tiny fingers are all exposed and there are no nails to protect them anymore. Just bits of painful flesh banging away at my keyboard. Here I am in tears, just to keep you updated on my life. I do it all for you.

Then what I like to do once my fingers are all raw exposed flesh, I like to then do some shopping and some heavy cleaning. I like to get bleach and Ajax right on my swollen, pink, sensitive skin. Otherwise it feels like I’m not really living. I like to scrub a toilet with my numb fingertips. Makes a girl really feel like she’s doing something with her life.

So, I’ve been in LA for seven months now. Can you believe it? The time has gone by so quickly. It seems like I’ve only been here for about three months. I’ve already gone through winter. I’ve celebrated so many holidays. I’ve had visitors and lazy days and money problems and car woes and all the normal things that you do in your home.

The other day as I was flying home I looked out the airplane window during the landing. I saw the lights of Los Angeles and I actually thought, “It’s good to be home.” And then I realized it was the first time that I thought of LA as my home. It was a good feeling.

My life has changed quite a bit since I moved here. I knew it would. I don’t think I was ready for just how much my life was going to change. My self-confidence has certainly improved. I’ve written more than I thought I would. I know more about this business I’m trying to be a part of. I’ve stayed in touch with friends, made new ones and learned a bit about trusting people. I’ve had my heart broken. I’m living with a roommate now, and not someone I share a bed with.

My expenses are only my own for the first time in a very, very, very long time. I was in a small scene of a movie. I’m performing with a respected comedy school. I’ve written a play that was performed. I’ve written teleplays and I’m gearing up for even bigger things. I’m ready to do them. I’m ready to try. I’m having lots of fun.

I’m really having so much fun. That’s the best thing about my life right now. It’s fun. I don’t know if that makes for great writing. I don’t know if my journal has suffered because I’m having fun. Actually, I’m sure it has. I started Squishy in a very secure, safe, sturdy place. Every day I was in an office for several hours and then I went to rehearsal and I performed on the weekends. My friends all hung out just about every night of the week and then I went home with Eric. The setting was always the same, just like a good sitcom. We had different funny situations that I relayed here because everyone knew about my webpage and didn’t mind me writing about our funny stories. Now I’m in a less sturdy place and some of my stories I’d like to keep for myself. At least for now. It’s not so much that I don’t want to share them, but rather I’m having too much fun to stop and reflect. I don’t have the eight hours in a row forced here in front of this screen to sit down and hash out what’s been going on. I sit in front of my computer and I try and get my work done as quickly as possible so that I can go out and have more fun again.

I’m going out for maximum fun right now because I know it can’t last much longer. Things can’t stay this way. Eventually I’ll have to get some sort of blah desk job because that’s the way things are supposed to be, right? Eventually the fun will run out and I’ll look around and try and figure out what to do next. Eventually I’ll want things like family and a house and a stable income. Right? I can’t have tater tots and chicken nuggets for dinner all of the time, can I? I mean, eventually I’ll have to have a 401K program and stocks, bonds, investments, dividends, mutual funds and carpools, right? Eventually the fun must stop and the planning for the future has to begin.

Or, I just sell some screenplays and everything works out happily ever after. Isn’t that how it works in this city? That’s what they told me in the brochure, anyway.

I’m just happy to have survived the past seven months. I wonder where I’ll be seven more from now. I remember a year ago I was full of stress. I was working over twelve hours a day to save up money to move here. I thought it would be impossible. I worried about every step of the move. I didn’t know if everyone was going to be happy with the move. I didn’t know if I was making the right decision. I didn’t know if I was going to be strong enough.

If only someone could have given me a picture from the past couple of months. Images of me with friends, sitting on the porch, talking and laughing. If I had an idea of what my day was going to be like. If I knew I was going to laugh this hard and feel this much and be at peace. If I knew I was going to quit smoking and have it be no big deal that I reached an entire month. If I knew that everything would be okay, at least for a few months. Not perfect. Things were going to get much worse before they got better. But if I could see myself over the past couple of months, then I wouldn’t have been so nervous.

I think it took over the past year to get where I am emotionally right now. So many things built up to this place here. I went through some incredibly painful things. That’s what happens when people break up, people die, people move and people say goodbye. But at each one of those events I learned something about myself. And I think I took the best parts of those things and put them into what I wanted to be. The person I’m hoping to be. I’m not exactly everything I want to be just yet. But I’m enjoying the woman I’m becoming.

She’s fun. Just take her out shopping and you’ll see for yourself.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to take my ho ass over to the television to watch lots of episodes of Sex and the City. I can’t be glamorous every night. Sometimes I have to stay in and make chicken wings.

Ow. Dammit, my hands hurt. My fingers. Pain. So stupid. That’s the most important lesson I’ve learned here in Hollywood so far– do your own nails. You’re only fooling yourself if you think those ladies know anything about a damn manicure.

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