Tarreyn Land

Friday, October 16, 2015

27 Before 28

A little over a month ago I turned 28. 

It feels pretty good so far. 

The past few years I've created a goal list to accomplish with each new year. (See 26 before 27 HERE and 25 before 26 HERE - keep in mind I was a baby back then. I'm MUCH more worldly and mature now.) 

I'll write more about all the changes I've gone through and what I've learned at some point soon, but I thought I'd share how this year's goal list shook out. 

1. Get a job in the entertainment Industry - Half Check 
Literally a week and a half after I turned 28 I got hired by Nickelodeon. I'm stoked. Since it wasn't technically within the year I won't give it full credit, but it deserves a shout out. I'm a Social Media Coordinator for 2 shows on Nick animation and my inner 10 year old is flipping out. 

2. Go kayaking - Nope
Yeah... this just .... didn't happen.

3. Read the Harry Potter series - Nope
This was a goal Jake and I made together for the year. He's read the first 5.... I haven't touched one.... 

4. Learn 'You Belong to Me' on the ukulele Nope
As this song is a duet, this was another joint couple goal, but at least both of us dropped the ball on this one.  

5. Start doing improv - Check!
When I moved to LA, I knew that starting improv classes was something important to do. It's been a fantastic outlet, a great way to meet people, and I love learning a new skill. I'm halfway through the program at UCB where I've also started their sketch program, and I've been accepted at the Groundlings where I hope to start classes soon. This year I plan to complete UCB, start Groundlings  and try my hand in the "indie" improv scene. I don't think I'm a die-hard improv person, but I'm really enjoying it. 

6. Try to learn some Spanish - Nope
I thought with all the driving and I've done that I'd be into learning Spanish in the car, but my commutes have become reserved for long phone calls and loud music. 

7. Cut back on alcohol - ...
No comment. 

8. Make toning workouts a regular thing - Uhhhhhh
I WAS doing pop physique regularly for a while... then I just... stopped. 

9. Travel somewhere exciting - Check!
My cousin and his new wife planned a spontaneous small attendance wedding in Hawaii, where Jake and I had never been, and we jumped at the opportunity to be there for it! It was a really special weekend filled with a lot of cool adventures (hitchhiking (?!), luaus, hiking to the summit of a volcano, beach days) and so many Mai Tais I never need one again. 

10. Get an apartment with wood floors - Check! 
We totally lucked out with our tiny, perfect hillside bungalow. Wood floors, rent control and 2 parking spots - we're never leaving. 

11. Write a web series - Nah
I've filmed some videos for Hello Giggles and my friend and I have made some stuff, but no web series to speak of. 

12. Write a short play - Not at all. 
I literally don't even know why I made this a goal. 

13. Learn how to change my own oil - Check??
I haven't done it .... but I learned how. 

14. Try something new with my hair - Check! 
Not that this is a deep or meaningful goal, but I really wanted to shake up the plain brown hair, blunt bangs, everyday look (WITHOUT cutting or dying). I Started wearing it curly, which I love and am so happy I'm letting it fly free more. 

15. Get fun nail art done - Check! 
Another highly deep and meaningful goal. One of the many pros of LA is the nail art scene. Its a little way to treat myself and I love it. 

16. Complete 365 photo project - Check!
This was a really fun one. And as anyone who follows me on instagram knows, I was pretty obsessive about it. It was an important year for me to catalogue thoroughly and I'm so glad I did it. I even printed all 365 photos and put them in an album, and I love it. (So much in fact that I'm attempting it again. Follow it at #TVS28. I'm already two weeks behind. Oops.)

17 Practice Meditation - Check! 
In March I did Oprah & Deepak Chopra's 21 meditation challenge & loved it. I'm a pretty antsy person and I didn't believe I could truly focus and chill for 20 minutes a day, but I managed ok, and enjoyed it so much I tried it again in June. I don't really have that much time in my mornings any more, but I'm looking for shorter meditations and trying to apply the general mindset in my overall life. 

18. Get a hot stone massage - Nope
I got a Thai massage, I got a Swedish Massage, but no hot stones. Spa goals. 

19. Make the perfect beach picnic - Check!
Screw top or canned wine, Bag of peanuts, pre-sliced cheese and crackers, inner peas. 

20. Hike up to the Hollywood sign - Check! 
As an LA newbie, I wanted to make this happen. My best girl and I created a hiking club that lasted exactly 2 weeks before we decided it was too hot. BUT week 2 we accomplished the Hollywood sign. It was pretty cool. 

21. Spend less meaningless time on the Internet - Not at all. 
I went in the total opposite direction and got a job that's all about the internet. 

22. Find a podcast I love - Check!
Serial! Mystery Show! Reply All! Death, Sex & Money! WTF! New Yorker Fiction! This American Life! I went from someone who never listens to podcasts to loving them. Perfect for long drives and project time. 

23. Better Skin Care - Nope
I am terrible about my nightly skin care routine. I always take my makeup off, but that next step of washing my face and putting on night cream is still inconsistent. 

24. Write pilot  - Check! 
My writing partner (best friend) and I have completed a pilot we're pretty proud of. We've gotten some good feedback from people we respect and are working on the next draft to start submitting, along with several spec scripts. 

25. Be more positive - ?!
This year has been incredibly challenging at points. I've been really broke, really lonely, really scared, and struggled in a lot of new ways. And while I think I've stayed fairly positive through most of it, there have definitely been spells of defeatism in me that were new feelings and hard to wrestle with. Positivity and enthusiasm are choices, and that can be really hard on days when you don't even want to get out of bed. This is a goal I want to just maintain as a permanent thing to strive for in my life. 

26. Watch Seinfeld  - Nope
Much like Harry Potter - I just can't get into it. 

27. Write a spec script - Check! 
See 24. I didn't think I'd have so much fun writing in other people's voices, but it ended up being a blast. Writing a script for a show I love was challenging and exciting, and a great exercise. To any and all writing agents reading this - Yes, I am seeking representation. 

So that was my year. I love having these goal lists to check in on throughout the year, even if a lot of them change and I wonder why I ever thought I needed to do something. (But I'd still like to kayak.) 

Friday, July 3, 2015

How a Dance Party Saved my Soul

I've been having a pretty shitty week. 

Nothing epic or major, all uptown problems, just your run of the mill what-am-i-doing-with-my-life?I-am-lost-and-lonely-and-broke-and-stressed-and-miserable type thing...
Jake is out of town for the summer and I'm missing him desperately (ugly cry), paying rent completely wiped out my finances (seriously. I've got 11 dollars.), and I'm feeling like a very small fish in an overwhelmingly large pond (full of really attractive, well dressed, successful bigger fish). 

The entire week I've felt like a glass doll, ready to shatter at any minute (excuse the poetic lament - mental instability makes me lyrical.) A very thin layer has been holding back tears, and they've been coming in waves all day.
8am cry into a glass of iced coffee.
9am cry while running the reservoir loop and attract pity stares
9:45am cry in the shower
10:15am cry while sitting on the floor watching a video of Kermit and Debbie Harry singing 'Rainbow Connection'
You get the idea. 

So last night when friends from my improv class invited me out, it was the last thing I wanted to do. (Sticking to a strict crying regimen takes discipline.)
However, they worked at convincing me to go (mostly by offering to buy me drinks), and I agreed. 

We went to Akbar, a well known bar on Sunset. What was not well known to us, however, was that it is a well known Gay bar. With a well known dance floor. 
It. Was. Awesome. 

I don't know what came over me (vodka), or what sparked it (vodka), but I completely let go. 
I danced for three solid hours to disco and early 00's hits and everything else you could think of. (The Gay community has amazing taste in general, but they wrote the effing book on dance music.) 
I didn't care that my hair was getting frizzy, or that my white Keds were getting scuffed up. I didn't care if my dancing looked stupid (it did) or if I was gonna be hungover the next day (I was), all I cared about was being in that moment and having the best time. 

It was exactly what my weak and weary little soul needed. 

Looking around the disco ball confettied room (did I just make that word up?), I was reminded why I moved here. To try new things, to meet new people, to collect new experiences and adventures.
Being brave and pursuing lofty dreams is not easy, and I'm learning to deal with that. 
There are days that suck. And then there are days that really suck. And then there are days that don't suck at all, but you are just going through something, so they end up sucking. But the best sucky days are the ones that end up being simply the best. 

Bryan Ferry (my love) sings about dancing away the heartache, and that's my official new philosophy. I know there's science behind the benefits of dancing and social interaction and all that, and I know that there's logic behind the recharging properties of social outings for an extrovert like me, but all I can tell you is that the next time I'm in a funk I am heading straight back to that bar to dance that shit out. 

So, basically what I'm saying is - next time someone wants to buy me a drink, I have the perfect place. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Summer Intentions List

WTF, 2015?
JUNE already? 
I thought this was the year I was going to get my shit together and conquer the world
I thought by this point in time I would be dominating
But once again, life has consumed me and goals have slipped through the cracks. 
It's not too late. 
The glass is six months full. 
I've still got half the year to get it together. And that's what I'm gonna do. 
I've made a list of important things to try to integrate into my life. 
I'm no longer calling them resolutions because that word is aggressive and connotative and makes me feel like a failure. I read the term Personal Intentions the other day, and I'm way into it. That has a better ring. 

So. Here are my mid-year personal intentions:
  • More water. Less wine. 
  • More writing. Less Hulu. 
  • Stop talking about all of your hobbies and actually do them. Your ukulele is gathering dust, your DSLR is getting rusty. 
  • Perpetuate positivity - be the nicer version of yourself I know is somewhere in there. 
  • Take classes, meet people, go to seminars, try new things. 
  • Hunt down another pair of Eddie Bauer 90's cut-offs. If they really are the only thing you're going to wear all summer, (which it looks like they are), ebay the shit out of them. 
  • Start putting money into your savings account again. Seriously. 10 bucks a check. 
  • Have the bank reinstate your savings account. 
  • Call your grandma at least once a week. 
  • Find a way to get images printed really really big (for really really cheap) and hang a cool gallery wall. 
  • Get off the fucking internet. 
  • Get a fucking oil change. 
  • Buy a damn dresser & get rid of half your clothes before filling it up. 
  • Embrace hiking and eat fruit. 
  • While you're at it, pump the breaks on the breakfast taco habit. 
  • Go to the beach and actually go in the ocean. 
  • Buy peonies as much as possible
  • Exercise for sanity, not vanity. 
  • (But also, drop some pounds.) 
  • Sing and dance more.
  • Learn how to make GIFs (of you singing and dancing) 
  • Stop dilly dallying over every single decision in your life. When you're presented with an opportunity, trust your gut instinct, go with it, and don't look back. You're just wasting time and energy lamenting over everything this much. 
  • Read. 
  • Have people over. 
  • Have people over for a fondue party. 
  • Learn how to make fondue. 
  • Join a club. 
  • Invest in a really nice scented candle.
  • Invest in a new pair of shoes.
  • Invest in your career. 
  • Say No. 
  • Say Yes.
Let's do this. 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Whole Foods is the Enemy

I don't shop at Whole Foods. 
But the people I work for do. 
So I find myself going there a lot - searching the aisles for specialty Thai spices, organic Ghee (don't worry I didn't know what it was either), and whatever other ingredients I don't remember because I can't afford them.

And there hasn't been one time where I didn't come to the precipice of a mental breakdown. 

In a land where carnations cost $8, jars of fresh juice remind you that you need to detox, and the man running the organic cafeteria resembles your ethnically ambiguous middle school crush, it seems an appropriate place to have a crisis of self. 

Surrounded by designer kombucha and propaganda advertising 'Americas Healthiest Store', I begin to feel it - that dreaded of all things: Less Than
That feeling where even though you have everything you need and then some, you become consumed by the feeling that you might not.  

Whole foods makes me feel all of my insecurities at the same time. 

Everything overflows. 
Somewhere between the mangos and the macaroons I evolve into all my insecurities: poor, fat & misunderstood. 
Wearing the same pants I've worn every day for two months, (from Old fucking Navy), I spiral into a tornado of all my anxious sub-thoughts:

I can't afford that wine! 
I look disgusting! 
That iced coffee costs more than my cable bill! 
That woman twice my age looks better in Lululemon yoga pants than I ever have!
I'm never even going to be able to afford Lululemon yoga pants! 

You know. The usual. 

Sure. They might have the greatest paleo cole slaw ever imagined. And sure - I might try 5 samples of things every visit. And ok, they sell those fancy bread and butter pickles that I can't find anywhere else.
Let us not be fooled by their shiny appearance and designer chia seeds - they are evil. 

(These people are not average WF grocery shoppers. Or hikers. Or farmers. Or melon-eating goddesses. They are models. That girl's never held a chicken before in her life. These people are hired by casting agencies & CEO's to make us think that if we shop at their fucking store we will look like this. We won't.)

It's not just the perpetuation of idealized results from shopping there that's hard to swallow, it's basic, corporate bullshit. 
Based on my copious knowledge of cheap wine prices, they are overcharging by an average of 4 dollars a bottle. Thats like 2 entire bottles at Trader Joes. (Although I hear 2 Buck Chuck is made with animal blood so don't buy that.)
They train their employees to only know about their specific sections, so they basically are rendered useless and leave you wandering the aisles like a drunk child. 
The store is designed to make you think you need things that you never even knew existed. It's a lot like Sharper Image that way. (Sharper Image, I realize, is an outdated reference and something I will always associate with the karaoke scene in When Harry Met Sally).
It's a destructive place.
One that affects my psyche and sense of self. 

I guess this has nothing to do with Whole Foods and everything to do with me. 
If I didn't feel those things about myself somewhere deep inside, then a fancy grocery store wouldn't bring them out in me.
If I didn't carry with me a permanent sense of lingering guilt over how many beers I had yesterday or how I should be doing more, then a row of designer condiments wouldn't look like they were mocking me. 
But as it is, we all have that side to us. That seed of doubt that leaves us staring at a jar of literal or metaphorical vegan mayonnaise thinking why am I here? (Not in a big meta why am I on this planet way, but in a literal why am I at this place feeling this way way) 

Whatever your Whole Foods is, the thing that makes you feel less than, I urge you to ignore it. Nobody is less than anybody, including you and me. (Actually, I saw BeyoncĂ© in person the other day and I'm pretty sure she is an actual goddess, but that's the exception, not the rule.) 

Buy the pickles, drink the wine, and go kick ass. 
That's what I'm gonna do anyway. 
(Right after I finish my bowl of paleo slaw.) 

Friday, April 10, 2015

What I Learned from Losing Part of My Thumb

OK. - Not part of my thumb. Just some flesh. 
(But it got you to click, didn't it?)
I was however, engaged in an incident involving scissors, 2 well-intending small children, and a trip to Urgent Care. (where I cried like a baby while the beautiful, stylish Asian doctor who's probably my same age and has her whole life totally together and frizz-free, burned the shit out of cauterized the wound.)
The thumb is fine. It's in recovery.
(And by that I mean I made a splint out of gauze & bandaids and drank away the pain.)

The point of this post is not that I am accident prone, or that I have a low pain tolerance, or that sometimes weird shit happens (although it definitely does). 

The point of this is that I learned a lot from having half of my thumbprint cut off. 

I learned that I need to slow the fuck down. 
That I need to stop stressing about "perfecting" my life and enjoy the messiness that is the present. 
It's ok to have boxes that are still unpacked. 
It's ok to get in fights and express emotions.
It's o-fucking-k to not have written the next great American screenplay yet. 

Time is relative. Don't compete with anyone but yourself. Comparison is the thief of joy. 

All that kind of shiz.

I've been listening to a lot of Oprah Deepak Chopra lately, and it's been really helping me take a step back and accept calmness. To accept myself more and be open to the universe. (Insert crystal healing hippy joke here)

I've had an epiphany recently that I think appropriately applies to my current situation:

Hard does not equal bad. 

The same way leading an easy life doesn't necessarily make it a happy one, going through things that are hard doesn't mean that it's negative. 

My life has gotten significantly harder in the last 6 months. 
I make less money and have bigger bills. I don't know where I'm going half the time - both figuratively (I don't know what I'm doing) and literally (I don't know where shit is.) 
I've become a succulent mother. 
I get overwhelmed a lot. 
But that's not bad. It's just hard. 
And it's hard to do things that are scary, but that's what growth is. And that's good. 

I read a quote the other day that said "someone else would kill to have your worst day." 
And that's super true. There IS someone out there who would hear about my day of bank notifications, relationship stress and thumb blood and think "Must be nice." 
(I picture this person to be a strong, stoic mother of 3 in an impoverished country, but in reality it could be someone who passed by me at the grocery store while I was crying silently about the cost of tampons.) 

If you're willing to do things that are hard, it means you're passionate and determined to get somewhere. It means you're focused. It means you're pursuing your effing dreams. And that's not bad at all. 

Sometimes you have hard days that are actually shitty. And those are just the days that you buy a box of canned pink wine and watch 10 Things I Hate About You. Twice. 
And then you take a deep breath and know that everything can't get done today. Or tomorrow. And you cut yourself a break. (get it? Cut?

(Portrait of me by one of my unintentional attackers. Wine by Pampelonne. Drunk by me)

Also - you don't realize how much you use a thumb until it's incapacitated. You can all now take a moment to be impressed at my mad typing skills.