Monday, December 31, 2012

how long till next year? three and a half minutes.

Why hello there, good people of the internet.

Somehow, sneakily and unnoticed by just about everybody hopefully more people than just me, the year is about to end! Wait, what?

I write from my parents house and childhood home in San Jose, California, where I absconded early this week for an extended hiatus to do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

By and large, I have accomplished this! I've been doing a lot of eating my dad's cooking, drinking red wine with my mom, going to bed early (YES I'M OLD AND I AM NOT ASHAMED), playing with my puppies, shopping, and catching up with old friends. And in the interim, I've been doing quite a bit a smidge of reflecting on the year that's passed.

It's an open secret that 2012 was not my best year. I started that sentence by writing that 2012 was not kind to me, but in truth I think it's more accurate to say I was not the kindest to 2012. For reasons I'm still not quite clear on, 2012 was a year of personal struggles that took more of a toll than I was willing to admit at the time on my self-image, relationships, and general happiness.

You might recall that my one New Years' resolution from 2011 was to be more positive. I think it's safe to say that I failed. It's okay - I've made my peace with it, because I picked back up with that effort in August of this year (listen better late than never okay?) and have been doing reasonably well since then. But I bring it up because it's been emblematic of the really sort of, well, out of character year I've been having, where I've come since then, and most importantly, where I want to go. In short, I've been negative, I've been self-doubting and best and vaguely self-loathing at worst, and in the interim developed some really charming habits to deal with all of that. And none of that sounds like me, nor did it feel like me at the time. It was like spending 8 months on a particularly sucky vacation with the worst version of me. But it taught me a lot, and most importantly looking back, I finally, finally learned that it's okay to not be okay. Because when I realized I wasn't okay was when I had my psuedo-epiphany about how to work on being happy in the middle of the ocean in Edisto (true fact! whee I'm kind of a hippie), and that was kind of awesome.

So without further ado, my year in review! That wasn't supposed to rhyme but I'm totally okay with it that it did.

In January I joined a theatre company, did a concert featuring the music of the Carpenters, and got fired for the first time! After that I realized that I am still ill-equiped to deal with free time. It is what it is.

Funemployment 2012, part 1. That would become a theme this year! (Fortunately, only one such party was mine. But it did ring in the year of the Tortilla Flats Funemployment Party.)

In February, I became the first recipient of what would become known as the "Ellie Rubin Rule" which basically guarantees your friends' support when you make really really fucking stupid decisions with respect to boys. It was a low point. But THEN, it was Caribbean vacation time! My roommate and I decided to wisely flee the grey misery that comprises New York City in February, and we flew to St. Thomas. A highly highly excellent choice, and one I hope to repeat in 2013. The first of my 2012 beach trips. Serious win.

Hey there, paradise. Don't mind if I do.

In March, I got back on the audition train and geared up rehearsing for my first NYC premiere! ANd also fell more and more in love with my crazy Bizarre Noir theatre family. I also re-taught myself to play the guitar and played with turquoise eyeshadow. Heyyy, East Texas in the 90s.

As Bitsy Mae Harling in Del Shores' Sordid Lives. New York City premiere!

I also finally conquered my fear of Broadway Dance Center, and briefly rediscovered pole dance at my former workplace (where I managed. So we're clear). I also searched mostly in vain for a new job, got one, and then learned to listen to my instincts by uh, not taking it. Hey, you live and you learn.

In April, after 22 years I finally visited our nation's capital! And got cast in a reading of a new musical playing a 14 year old gymnast. Totally true to type. And based on P!nk's Missundazstood album (appropriately the show was called Misunderstood the Musical) so that's clearly awesome. And maybe actually did help me channel my inner 14 year old.
Obviously this is from DC... I have no pictures of me from Misunderstood, unfortunately.

In May, Misunderstood performed (the day after Drinko de Mayo), I began rehearsing for summer's Miss Robusta Lays a Bomb with Bizarre Noir and joined the cast of the first stage adaptation of the film Imitation of Life. Miss Robusta of course, ended up being one of the highlights of the summer. Imitation of Life on the other hand ended up being the first and only show whose cast I've ever joined that I did not see the show through to production and left the cast during the rehearsal process. (This didn't happen in May, so my recap is slightly out of order. Sue me.) It felt shitty at the time, but taught me a lesson you'd think would have sunk in by now but still hasn't - trust your instincts. If it doesn't feel right, it's because it's probably not. Also, I got a tattoo. And celebrated my favorite New York holiday, fleet week.

In June, I spent an inordinate amount time at the Manch and even more time daydreaming about my upcoming vacation. At the end of the month, someone very near and dear to me departed our beloved city of New York, and so we got very drunk celebrated/cried a little (or a lot, if you're me) over the end of an era.

In July, the aforementioned vacation and very near and dear person to my life came together as my roommate and I descended upon Bermuda for Bitches, Beaches, and Birthdays: Bermuda 2012. Hooray, using my passport in 2012 and double hooray 2nd beach vacation of the year! And I turned 23 in Bermuda which was pretty freaking great.

Mmm, more beach.

July also saw the performances of Miss Robusta Lays a Bomb, which were all kinds of fantastic, and a great week spent with my family who came out for the show. July also saw some drama come to a head, and began to clue me in to the fact that something had to give... more on that to come.
"On the Verge" from Miss Robusta Lays a Bomb. I continue to impress myself with the myriad ways I incorporate my senior prom dress into my adult life.

In August, I shot my first episode of a TV show on Biography Channel's "Celebrity Ghost Stories" playing a dead college student, and traveled to, of all places, Edisto Island South Carolina for what turned out to be one of the best, most relaxing, most fun vacations of all time. It also was the week that, standing in the ocean, I had a strange moment of revelation about how my life had been going up to the point and the realization that I desperately needed a change. I was reminded of the resolution I made for myself to be more positive... and that I was failing miserably at... and that I was sick and tired of being the sort of volatile, unpleasant, generally unhappy person that I had been living inside of for so long. It was a really, REALLY good feeling to leave so much of that behind quite literally to float away to sea, and was a desperately needed wakeup call inside of a GREAT freaking vacation.

Home sweet Dunworkin.

Mmm, EVEN MORE BEACH. YEP. That makes 3 beach vacations inside of 7 months. Serious, serious win.
Toto, I don't think we're in New York anymore...

In September, I kept my jet-setting streak alive by sneaking home to California for a week of family, puppies, and San Francisco Giants baseball. And then returned and promptly sold my soul to the bar to make up for the summer of running away from my real life responsibilities, and enacted operation get my shit together, aka back to audition-land.
No place like home sweet NorCal.

Which brings us to this fall... October with Mika and Giants baseball and the WORLD SERIES and Hurricane Sandy, November with audition epiphanies DC again and Friendsgiving 2012 and Welcome to New Yawk, and December leading right up to the second to last day of the year. WOAH.

The point I'm making, mostly for myself here, is that while I thought of it as kind of a shitty year - and it was, in the emotional/spiritual sense - I did and saw and experienced a lot of incredible things this year, both personally and professionally and in spite of all the aforementioned emotional/spiritual bullshit, I would not have traded anything in my 2012 for a year that I ultimately came through healthier, stronger, and certainly a lot happier.

Cheers, 2012. We did not see eye to eye, and yet in a way I'm still a little sad to see you go. Thanks for the memories.

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