It has been six months since I set out in my perpetually dusty Ford Escape, traversing the West with Ten, like the first explorers. Six months since I sunk my toes into the warm sand and watched as the Laguna waves crawled over my feet. One hundred and eighty days since I landed in a sunny spot in Pasadena, California and began turning a small, three-bedroom apartment into a home.
Last weekend, I took a little roadtrip up the coast to Santa Cruz for a wedding. Not only was it fun to revisit my past (I spent three years of high school in that town), but the drive gave me twelve good hours to reflect on what the past few months have meant to me. I thought I should share a little of these reflections with you, and also give you an update on where this crazy path I have been traveling has brought me.
Six months ago, I was a jobless, homeless, fairly broke college graduate, clinging fervently to my degree and a dream of magical things to come. Los Angeles sounded so appealing because it was full of the unknown. It had an air of mystery, and yet also a solidity (due to the fact that it had no shortage of movies and books portraying the “real lives” of people living in the city). Moving to Los Angeles seemed like an adventure, but it also felt like a place I could make my own.
The first two months burst with fun and excitement. Television show tapings, trips to Disneyland, Angel’s games down in Anaheim, a short roadtrip to Vegas. There was nothing that we couldn’t do.
Nothing, except of course, get a job. “Fun” only lasts as long as your worries stay far away. The creeping expectations of both my family and myself began to take hold. How was I going to make an income? How was I going to pay next month’s rent? Is this really the best way to be spending my time? Am I wasting my education?
At that moment, fate intervened. Out to lunch with some out of town friends, the restaurant owners practically offered me a job on the spot. I abruptly became a hostess at the Raymond: running the night’s dinner seating, stealing delicious bites from the pastry chef, and learning how to carry a cocktail glass without spilling the contents.
I could suddenly pay my rent. And the internet bill. And stop by Banana Republic on my way home.
Then, the golf course finally came through. Overnight, I went from zero work to pulling doubles two or three times a week. I ran around like a crazy woman, changing clothes in the car and eating protein bars from my stash in the glove compartment. I was determined to transform into a “working girl”.
But this high-paced reality could only last for so long. I began to putter out towards the end of November. The Lord noticed my waning features, however, and took pity on me. My boss at the golf course told me I was now going to work in the pro shop full-time. I would have a consistent schedule! I would not be spending ridiculously long hours washing golf carts and collecting range balls! Hallelujah!
At the words “full time” I immediately began to plan my departure from the Raymond. I loved the restaurant dearly. The staff had begun to treat me like family! But having a full-time job meant I didn’t need to pull the double shifts anymore, I didn’t need to function on two paychecks.
So, I told my boss I was quitting.
That was six weeks ago. I am still working at the Raymond. I told my boss “I’m happy to help through the holidays, if you need me,” and then, as I went down to one or two shifts a week, I realized how very manageable it all was. I could work five shifts a week at the golf course and two at the restaurant without overwhelming myself. I actually enjoyed the pacing of two very different jobs.
It is now settled: I’m sticking with both!
And as for the film empire that our Wheaton coalition is building: things are going quite well! We wrote, planned, filmed, and edited a short film during the last two months (it should be released promptly). We also have a web series and several other shorts in development, along with a potential feature. Ten, Tim, Nicole, and the Barkley brothers are all involved in film internships and various other outside projects.
So much is going on in the film department, in fact, that we are discussing plans to form an official production company! I must admit, at first I simply assumed we were looking for a name to plant on our latest productions. But the more we have looked into it, the more nuances we find that we need to address. While it can feel somewhat tiresome to plod through the details, we are very excited to create something with legitimacy in Hollywood (aka controlling rights).
There you have it. My life, for all it’s worth. I work a lot, but the hours I am off are completely free of any serious responsibility. I am continuing to do artwork (just decorated two canvases with melted crayons for our living room), work out at my local 24-Hour Fitness, read lots of good books (oh! I’ll update my book recommendations list), and meet tons of interesting people.
Some upcoming adventures: epic concerts, snowboarding rendezvous in Park City, Ellen DeGeneres, Lakers games, playing some nice golf courses…
Part of my New Years resolution was to blog once a week. I really appreciate those of you who keep up with all my news and I hope to step up my game a little bit in 2013. And Happy New Year to you!!
With lots of love,
P.S. I know, I know. I told you all that my “Price is Right” episode would air on January 10. Well, so much for that. CBS emailed me last week to say that they were changing the date on our show to JUNE 25! Gross. I’ll remind everyone then!