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Combatting “Adulting” With “Living”

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Confession: I’ve lived in LA for 4 months now, and I still have not made my rent. Because of my planning, I have enough savings to keep me afloat, but no one wants to dip into their savings month after month. Here are the cold hard facts:

 

  • LA is expensive.

 

  • Any survival job I’ve come across pays significantly less than anything I dealt with in Chicago.

 

It doesn’t take an economist to know that lower income coupled with higher bills isn’t sustainable. In fact, it’s the exact opposite.

 

Furthermore, I’m exhausted. It seems like in order to make any progress in this town in finding supplemental income, there are several roadblocks. Here’s one example regarding my attempt to drive for Uber:

 

  • I applied online only to find I needed to register my car in California.

 

  • I registered my car and spent 5 hours at the DMV.

 

  • I applied to Uber again, but because I’m 30, they needed a previous driving record from Illinois. I had 7 days to get it to them.

 

  • I applied for the record, but the IL DMV said it would take 2 weeks.

 

It seems like Murphy’s Law is in full effect with becoming a substitute teacher, too. Fun Fact: It takes 50 business days for out of state credentials to transfer to California, not to mention it costs about $75 to get fingerprinted, which is necessary for every district. I’ve been fingerprinted 4 times so far.

 

I get it, adulting sucks for everyone. I know I’m not alone. So what can be done when it feels overwhelming? If you know me at all, you know how strongly I feel about honoring – not suppressing – your feelings. That being said, I have a tendency of relishing in my own emotions. I’ve joked about this in previous posts, but the reality is it becomes a compulsion. The “What If?” game I play causes unnecessary worry and anxiety, and I’m only hurting myself. Again, this is normal. Life can be a bitch sometimes, and it’s normal for that to get you down, but when is enough, enough?

 

Because this is a real and present struggle for me, I wonder if I’m fit to tackle the subject, but let me throw out some ideas and practices that have been helping lately:

 

Note Your Feelings: Just that. Note them with no judgment. Use your words to label them. Bringing your “Zero-IQ-Emotions” to your conscience allows you to find a little balance. When you’re in your car and turn on the GPS, you automatically know where you are. It’s the same with noting your feelings. It’s important to know where you are in order to get to where you want to be.

 

Practice Mindful Thinking: Sit for 10 minutes and focus on your breath. Any thoughts that come into your head are noted, not judged. Cutting out the clutter and noise of life will help you note what you’re truly feeling.

 

Use What You Have: Ok, so I’m not working as many hours as I hope to be in the future, so what’s that mean? It means I have time. I use this time to work out more, cook more, keep in touch with others in the industry more, call my mom more, sing more, submit myself to audition notices more, etc. It’s easy to sit on the couch and wallow. Don’t do that. Instead, use what you have. Celebrate what you have. You’ll be wishing you had more of it down the line.

 

Manifest Hope: I need a more stable job, but I know I will find it. This is the energy I’m putting into the universe, and I believe it to be true.

 

Noting your feelings while staying proactive seems to be the key. A good friend of mine recently asked me if I ever give myself a break. The short answer: No. I’m not proud of this, and I know if I want to stay healthy, I need to work on it. Fortunately, I believe in the ideas listed above. I believe I am where I am supposed to be right now, for better and for worse. I believe in me, and that’s a start.

 

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