Friday, March 28, 2014

Change your life (& do the work)

Part of what I pride myself on is being that person that people call when they're deep into a rough negative place, really struggling, they need guidance, and are ready to change their lives.

I love that people trust me to walk them through that. That regardless of anything I'll ever do with my career in the film industry - I am and always will be that person at heart. I know how to pick people up when they don't think they have anything left in them, or any reason, to do it anymore.

I got a call tonight from a woman I counsel. Of course, a great friend too.

Well, I'd gotten a couple alarming texts first, then she followed my recommendation to call me. Here's what I'd received:


This woman is a fucking trooper. Might not seem like it there, but we're all human. 

Truth be told, she's one of my bitches. She's one I'd call if I needed someone to fully and completely be there for me. 

You certainly wouldn't ever want to fuck with her either. I'm not scared of anyone or anything... & I know better than to ever get on her bad side. She's one bad bitch that ain't nothing to fuck with.

Surprising?

Nah. Human.

She's in her 40s, single Mom, abusive relationship after abusive relationship. Never can quite see how to make ends meet, has dreams and goals she can't get started... Everything seems to keep spiraling down the shitter. 

She would give you her last penny, the clothes off her back, a place to stay - anything for the people she loves and cares about. Friends or romantically. She's that woman. 

Her problem is - she's been doing all those things for all the wrong people.

She feels so alone... And when I was counseling her through her struggle tonight, I was reminded of the many times I have been upset about feeling alone. Hell, I've blogged about it. 

She's given so much of herself to all the wrong people, that she's totally and completely drained herself of any and all confidence or self worth. She's handed the key to her soul, her happiness, to the people carrying the 50 foot tall red flags.

Life taught her the hard lesson about bad people the tough way. Hey, it had to happen. She knew better, she's said so herself. She saw all the signs and stayed with this particular man anyways. Life hit her with a semi truck to teach her that particular lesson... Twice. Second time seems to have been her charm.

It hurt, hearing her pain. Her confusion. She kept talking about, "What the fuck do I do?" & "I have no confidence, I don't know where it went." & "What did I do to my kids?" Gosh, I hurt so deeply for her.

But I've been there.

Minus the kids, anyways.

We all have, haven't we?

I knew the semi truck life sent would hit her from the first time law enforcement got involved in her relationship. Knew it. I told her tonight, "I knew the whole time. I knew you'd go back, I knew it wouldn't change. Nothing I would have ever said or did would have mattered at all. I knew life had to teach you this lesson."

It all goes back to the fact that you and only you can make your life good, or make it bad.

Only you can prevent forest fires.

Have I use that phrase yet? Forgot. 

Anyways, I believe in the power of lessons. When they're severe enough, you either change or you crumble. 

Best part about lessons? You can learn them by watching others experience them. You can avoid the lesson, the pain, completely if you learn from others. 

I'll leave it at that. I'll give you some things to ponder... Where was I going with this? What lessons did she need to learn? What good did this do for her? 

What good can this do for you? Does this apply to you, someone you know?

Finish this blog in your mind. Where does it take you? Why? 



In the meantime - don't worry about the woman above. She's actually doing really good for now. 

Zzzzzzzz.....

Thursday, March 20, 2014

My Bitches

One concept I talk fairly often about is 'ride or die'. I've mentioned it a couple times I believe. My day 1 bitches really taught me what family was, what it was supposed to be, and what the phrase 'ride or die' means. 

When I was in elementary school, I had no one. Not a single soul. Maybe a girl named Ashley who was picked on, too. She frequents my website and blog, so if you pop in Ashley girl I see you! You were my only bitch, really. 

So I was picked on, badly. I had no concept of friends, no one to have my back, I was shoved around and taken complete advantage of - and had no idea how to stand up for myself, how to stop it. 

Then I got to middle school. New people filtering in from everywhere, and I met my first ride or die bitch - Danielle. 

Danielle, I will always and forever have love and respect for. I will always be there for her, because she was there for me countless times.

I remember I got to the lunch room, first day of school. A group of girls walked up to me and shoved me around, telling me to find another place to sit, watch my back. 

Here comes Danielle, with a group of girls. Danielle, Kari, Kelsey, Lindsay, Jessica (she pops in too sometimes, hey baby!), and maybe one or two other people I don't remember. 

Danielle shoved this girl to the floor, and got right in her face. "If you ever touch her again, I'll beat your fucking ass."

This girl and her friends took off. They never bothered me again.

Danielle and everyone sat with me and introduced themselves. Danielle looked at me and said, "Don't let people fuck with you, April. Stand up for yourself. Be tough."

"I can't fight groups of people by myself."

"You won't have to." She gestured to everyone else, "You've got us."

Over the years, they proved that they meant it. Really, and truly. 

Her bitches were their bitches, my bitches were their bitches. Simple. 

'Ride or die' is basically, I'll ride with you. I'll ride with you when you need support. When you need backup. When you need a friend. When you need anything, because you have done the same for me. I'll die for you. I'll die for you in your battle, I'll die with you in your struggle, I'll fight beside you and risk that because you have been willing to die for me - you have done the same for me.

I'll always be grateful to Danielle and all those girls, all my bitches, who always had my back. My ride or die bitches.

Or, best friends, if that phrase makes more sense. What a best best best friend should be.

Caylee was my main bitch, too, for a long time. I still talk to her, too, every so often. One girl tried to fight me, a big girl, outside in the woods at a party. Her and another girl. Caylee jumped in front of me a pulled out a knife, calmly warming them to get the hell away from me. They did.

I would mention that someone said something to me in school, and I'd see Caylee in the hallways cornering the girl warning her to never pick on me again. I'd do the same for her. 

There was a girl Jill, who was older - another girl Lindsay, different girl than the one from middle school, both older - who both followed a girl named Melissa who would stand outside of a particular class I had in high school and scream at me. She'd tell me I'm fat, ugly, order me to come outside so she could beat my ass, tell me to kill myself - everything. 

Without asking, not once, Lindsay and Jill walked out of class and followed this girl to hers. Waited for her, and warned her to knock it off. She didn't. She started coming to our class and screaming at all three of us. My suspensions were so high, I couldn't fight her. School wouldn't take care of it, nothing would work... So Jill and Lindsay, now additional targets of her bullying, followed her in the halls and beat her ass.

Bullying is a whole different topic, for a totally different blog post... But those girls, all of them, who would ride or die for me... They were my bitches.

They would do anything for me, and I would do the same for them.

Another girl, one of my bitches - my friend Amanda - she got into a fight at lunch. Girl walked up and punched her in the face. Another girl we were with, Sarah, and I, looked at each other and jumped up. We knew the unspoken code. Amanda had been there for us countless times. 

Our turn.

We jumped up, and joined. The girl had two other girls with her. Amanda brawled it out herself nice and good, but of course all three of us were called into the office.

Still, my suspensions were high. I knew the risks, but I wasn't about to bail on Amanda then. No way. I risked it, and I wasn't surprised when the principal threatened expulsion. 

Sarah jumped up. "It was me, it was all me. April never did anything, she just stood there."

Which was primarily true, because the majority of what I remember was Amanda's brother holding me back. 

Amanda supported that theory. Her brother supported it. All of our other friends supported the notion that I did nothing. Sarah knew she would get the week suspension by taking all the blame, but she did it anyways. 

My bitches.

Later that day, I remember Amanda, Sarah and me at Amanda's house. Amanda cried, and hugged us. "No one has ever done anything like that for me before, guys."

We weren't just gonna sit there and let her get her ass beat, no. She basically handled it, but still... We didn't leave one of our own.

My friend Candiss, she was and actually still is another one. I still keep in touch with her closely. We've been to battle with each other, for each other, and everything between. 

I love and have deep respect for all those girls and everything they've ever done for me. My bitches.

We're all older now, grown. Most raising children of their own with families, we've mostly been long out of touch... But it's nice to know that most of them aren't without that knowledge. That if I really needed something, really - for some reason - needed to put together some million bitch march - I know who I would call.

I'll never forget... Once, in high school, that same girl - Melissa - wouldn't leave me alone. Just wouldn't. Bullied me for a long time... But it's cool, me and all my bitches bullied right back. Danielle, Nicole (she pops in sometimes, too), Jill, Lindsay, Alecia, Missy, Kari, Caylee, Nicki, Sam, Amanda, Sara, Sarah... So many people would jump on her the second she even mentioned doing something, it took her some effort to make it to me.

We didn't take bullying one of our own too well, at all. This girl was nasty, sneaky, conniving and downright evil. Our mindset, which I've always supported, was - bully me? I bully you. Bottom line.

Of course I'm an adult now. A grown up, and way out of school. I don't have to have that as a way of life in 'real life' anymore. I've got business to handle, and things to do where not only is that mindset unnecessary... It's infantile. 

It was what had to be adapted to survive. Period. And I did. 

Here's a fact: Someone hits you, pushes you, verbally assaults you every day, beats you up, takes your stuff, knocks your books around, whatever... Beat the living shit out of them once, just once... And they're never, ever, bully you again.

Fact. 

Again, that's not what I use as an adult, but it proved true in school systems where schools do nothing. The parents of the bullies do nothing, either. My parents did it, my grandparents did it... I'm not talking about weapons - guns or anything, no. Just kids, punching it out. Solved it every time.  

Anyways, this particular time, I was walking to my math class. The same one I shared with Melissa. I saw a group of, swear to god, maybe 30 girls all standing at the door to my math class... Screaming at her.

All of my friends, my bitches, who Melissa had now made personal enemies of hers too - screaming, cursing, threatening - in the name of my safety. 

"I swear to god bitch, you so much as breathe in her direction we're coming after you."

"We hear about you pulling some hoe shit after this class, lights out!"

I remember being close to tears. Never, ever, had I seen such a huge display of love. 

Love. 

For me.

Never at home, never with anyone else. Ever. But my bitches had my back.

That's why I am the way I am. That's why I'm there for my friends, I would do anything for the people I keep in my life. As a level headed adult, of course. I don't just punch faces or throw threats anymore, not in school. But I will sit with you and talk for hours. I will drive wherever you need me to, give you anything I can to help you... I've got your back. 

Because I know what it's like to have no one. I know what it's like to need someone to stand tall beside you, hold your hand, and walk that road with you. I also know what it's like to have people stand beside me, hold my hand, and support me when I need to walk into any kind of battle.

In school, and outside.

Those same girls were the ones who would be there for me with anything else I needed. Anything, I could call them... & they could call me. Whenever any of us were needed, it was unspoken that we were all always on-call. Day or night, rain or shine... And we showed up. 

My bitches. 

Been listening to one of my new favorite songs, remix actually, that inspired this particular blog post.

Here's some lyrics. I edited them because I'm white, and a girl, and the edits are more fitting for this post... but I love this song... And I love my bitches. You know who you are. Male & Female.

As I've moved into adulthood, I've realized how truly rare us types of bitches are. Ride or die bitches. How those people and the close friendships we had don't come every day. The types of people willing to have your back the way we did, the way I do, are one in a million. 

I appreciate that I've known what a blessing it is to have day 1, ride or die bitches in my life. 

Nothing else compares. 

Thank you all for everything you've ever done for me. You have no idea how each one of you, regardless how long it's been since we've talked, shaped the person I am. You were my family when I had none. You were my shoulder to cry on when I needed it. You were my hope when I couldn't find it. You made school easier. You made bullies non-existent. You were my first line of defense, and wouldn't ever let me ride out by myself. You girls were my family. You taught me what it meant to really, truly, wholly and completely have someone's back. You taught me what being a best friend is supposed to mean, and that protecting and taking care of the people who protect and take care of you is one of the most rewarding things in life. Family isn't always blood... And you bitches were my fucking family. Thank you. 

#RealTalk...

"I'd die for my motherfuckin' bitches
Jump in front a bullet for my motherfuckin' bitches
On the stand I'd lie for my motherfuckin' bitches
Rob a bank, I'd drive for my motherfuckin' bitches
Real talk, 
I don't really fuck with too many bitches
Cause bitches drop a dime on you like a couple nickels
I be laughin' to the bank like the fuckin' money tickle
Drivin' somethin' that you ain't, top boss, suck a nipple
And I never put a bro before my ho, don't beef over no bro
And my bitches sell them keys if you can't open your door
Hope you ride for my motherfuckin' bitches
When it rains it pours, it's dry for me and my fuckin' bitches, he-heh
I kill for my motherfuckin' bitches
Vice versa, 
Eyes red from the kush I blew, white person
Got my middle finger on the trigger and with my little finger to you bitches
I swear it's fuck all y'all bitches... except my bitches."


I ride for my bitches.

XO.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Dear Kyle (pt 2),

**WARNING: Image contained below in this blog that may be upsetting and disturbing to some readers. Viewer discretion is advised.**

-

I'd give anything to be able to call you right now.

I want nothing more than to share all these exciting career opportunities I've been blessed with with my best friend.

Today, I walked past the hair product isle in the drug store and saw the Axe shelf. I stopped and laughed to myself, remembering all the times you comically tried to kill me in closed rooms by spraying too much of that stuff. 

I had a new script idea today. It's a pretty good one, I think. I want to tell you all about it, and ask you what you think. I need to hear all the right questions you'd always ask me. Storylines, characters, all that good stuff... I wish I had your clear, present guidance.

I'm wearing your shirt. Your Mom, Dad and Emily gave to me when you killed yourself. I've got a couple, but I'm wearing the one your Mom and I picked out for you what now feels like so many Christmases ago. 

Is it weird that I can still smell you? On all your clothes. No matter how many times I've washed them. They all still smell like you.

I saw you a couple nights ago. Sitting in my car, as you always did, when I was driving home. I saw you, and you saw me see you. You pointed up to the sky, and I looked up - only to be met by a full moon, and a clear blue sky. 

I didn't cry then. I still saw you out of the corner of my eye. I heard you when you told me to keep my eyes back on the road, then felt the tingling on my cheek where you obviously kissed me goodbye. I turned back and you were gone.

I don't know why sometimes, when you're around - when I think of you - the world stops spinning. Colors lose their vibrance. Words, music, sounds muffle and fade out. Foods looses it's taste. I cease to exist - for however long. 

Then I think of what you did as you were dying. What you were thinking. Were you crying, like I was when I took all those pills? Did you wonder how it would feel? Did you have a last thought, like, "Shit, I changed my mind?"

Mom had said when her and Dad went to identify you, your face was covered in what looked like scratch marks. Mom thought you had changed your mind at the last minute... The doctor said they were just broken capillaries. 

Ya know, if we were still as close as we were before... I would have found you. Probably. You know that, don't you? I would have probably been the one to find you.

Only because you know how we were. I always walked right on into the house, all the time. Especially since Dad was on vacation, I would have been coming in and out - invited or not - all the time. 

You didn't tell Mom your plans, and she had been on her way over. If you weren't presently caring about your Mom finding you, you certainly wouldn't care if I did either.

I wonder what I would have done. I've been in a lot of fucked up situations, but I really don't know how I would have reacted. I don't know if I'd revert to panic - scream, cry, shake you... Or if I'd be calm enough to call 911 and take appropriate steps... Or if I would bounce between the two.

Is it weird that I wish I had been the one to find you?

That's probably really weird, isn't it?

That maybe, just maybe, if I had found you... I could have done something magical for you? Maybe somehow, some way, been able to do something to ease the pain of your family? Take some kind of burden for them? Shoulder something, so they didn't have to?

I know you planned it for your Mom, but of course I wouldn't ever have wanted her to have to see that. Her son, no. That's not right. 

The world made that right, when your friends that heard your 'Goodbye' voicemail message sent the ambulance to your house before Mom even got there.

Thank God.

Maybe I could have gotten there before anyone hear that message, before Mom was even on her way. Maybe I could have gotten to you as you began, or as you were recording your voicemail?

I know, there's no point in thinking about anything other than what is. I know.

We're already planning the big events for the films. Company needs to have them mapped out early, sponsors and all those things. It's moving along at a pace I know you're partially responsible for, and am beyond grateful. For everything. Gratitude is felt within me toward everyone and everything every second of every day.

The problem is... We had promised each other that the first big event either of us did, we would bring each other... 

...and you're not here. 

Part of me thinks it would make one great #StopSuicide statement to bring your ashes with me. I know you laugh at that thought. The other part of me just wants to cry... And scream... And beat the shit out of you.

Why did you do this to everyone?

I'm so hurt and lost... For so many reasons. I know you were with me last night, too. As I fished through my purse while I was driving, then yelled at me to keep my eyes on the road. Again. As always. 

I looked in my rear view mirror and saw a full moon. Again.

You've got my back. I know you do.

It's a shitty day today. I wish we could go get take out and spend the day playing video games, or writing scripts, or mapping out some fantastic new film idea. 

Like we used to do.

Or just drive somewhere. Anywhere. 

After all, it's never about where you're going. It's about the company you're with. 

I just want to be with you. Get to sit and talk to you. Or say nothing at all, and stare at you.

I just got off the phone with your Mom. I asked her, as I have a million times, "Is it weird thinking this is all still just some big joke? Is something wrong with me?"

She took a sad breath before responding, "No, honey. It's been almost 3 years and I still feel the same way. Like he's gone researching some new movie, and he'll come back and tell me all about it."

Come back, Kyle. Please. Can you do that?

I heard this saying before, "What if RIP meant Return If Possible..?"

Return If Possible. 

When you were alive... Everything, for me, had this air of peace over it. Calm, maybe. You know what I mean? Like, as long as you were in the world... Nothing mattered as much. The bad stuff, anyways. Who cares who did me wrong, not a big deal that I didn't get whatever job, not a big deal that so-n-so lied or business didn't seem to be perfect... You were still here. As long as you were here, it would be okay.

Because no matter what ever happened, no one would ever come close to the super-duo that would forever be you and me.

I'm not sure how to move through, or past that now. 

You're gone. Forever. That's a concept I can't really grasp. I have my, "Holy shit this is not a drill, this shit is real." Moments, but... Overall, I just can't.

How do I, in a way, mourn the loss of myself? 

You took huge pieces of so many people with you when you killed yourself. Huge. I don't think any of us will ever get them back.

I really wish you hadn't started smoking pot, Kyle. I really, really wish you hadn't. We would have been closer longer, and you would have stayed longer. Maybe. You wanted to kill yourself before then, too, I know... But it's a depressant. You weren't in a normal frame of mind to begin with. When you smoked it, it took you deeper and deeper into a dark place where regardless of what kinds of medication you were on, you just sat around. In the dark. By yourself, usually. And ceased to exist in a way you never had before. 

Your creativity was gone, your fun and energetic side went away. You weren't the Kyle I used to know, and it broke my heart.

There's no point in rehashing all that now. Nothing could have changed it... I just want my best friend back. 

I have often wondered how the hell I'm supposed to go on with my life knowing what we had. What we were. It was a weird opposites attract fated soul connection that most people will never know. You know that. Even when we were angry, or upset with each other. 

Remember that time you first tried to kill yourself? After you got home? I ransacked everything you owned for a good two months. All the time. 



The first time, I remember I walked into your room before you did and I went straight to your files and folders. I pulled them all out, and sat on your bed. 

You just stood in your doorway, "What the hell are you doing?"

"Well, seeing as how we just took a trip down never-again lane, everything you own will be inspected by yours truly whenever I deem necessary."

You sighed, "April, stop."

"Sorry, can't do that."

"April..."

"Kyle, you just tried to fucking kill yourself. Okay." 

I remember looking at you, looking at me, looking at you. You put your hands in your pockets and said nothing. Just stood tall. Waiting.

"I will NOT go through that again, Kyle. I can't."

I began opening files, notebooks, and you sat down at your computer chair slowly. After a moment, you swiveled toward me. "There's nothing in there. Just stories and stuff."

"Excuse me if I don't trust that anymore."

You said nothing, still. Just pulled out a bag of those huge sea-salt chip things you kept in your room, ate them, and watched me. 

After awhile I looked up and you had this grin on your face. 

"What?"

You shook your head. "Nothing."

I stared at you. "Do you understand what happened?"

You nodded. "Yeah, I tried to kill myself."

"This isn't some joke."

"Who said it was?" You waited a second, "You gatta calm down, okay?"

"You're going to be amazing, Kyle. You have fucking plans, okay? You're an amazing writer, an amazing director. You've got a family that loves you, and you're headed somewhere. For real. Don't fucking throw that away."

You said nothing, and turned on your computer.

"What the hell was I supposed to do, Kyle? How do I do anything if you're gone?"

You laughed, "You don't need me, April. You never did."

I threw your stuff at you and stomped out, taking refuge in the kitchen downstairs with Mom. It was only a couple minutes later when I had calmed my emotions, and you appeared in the doorway. 

"Smoke?"

"Yeah."

We went outside, and you began this huge explanation of a new script idea you had. Energetic, hand motions galore, smiles and emotions, acting out in great detail scenes and characters. 

I thought you were back. You were okay.

We all did.

I remember when you, me and Emily played games and stuff. I remember how we all hung out while your parents were in vacation. I miss that. I know Emily misses you so much, Kyle. So much. I'm so mad at you for leaving her.

...and so many other people.

I wish you were here. So badly. I wish you were still here. 

God, Kyle, any one of us would have done anything to help you. 

I would have sat up with you all night. I would have did anything you needed me to do. No questions. 

It doesn't matter what I have, or don't have. Who likes me or doesn't like me. Who I piss off or who has whatever opinion of me. What I say or don't say....

...you're not here. 

So fuck it. Everyone can kiss my ass. 

I felt safe with you here. Emotionally, physically, in business and everything else. 

It's taken me awhile to get all that back. Some of it I'm still working on.

I always thought you were so strong. I know you didn't think so, but I did. After you killed yourself, I know you know I thought for awhile, "Well if Kyle couldn't do it, what makes me think I can?"

Your future was fucking guaranteed. You were a god damn genius. The kind of creative genius people rarely ever come across. 

*sigh* I just, I don't know. I wish you were here.

I miss you so much. Crying doesn't help, and words seem to blur together after awhile. Emotions and meanings have no purpose, no explanation. No point.

I have spoken with your Mom about the fact that no one, not even you - certainly not me - really ever understood what suicide meant. What it looked like. Ever. How I had envisioned it for myself so often when I was younger, when I would go through pain, and picture it as the perfect idealistic way out. No one, not I - not the kids thinking about it - ever got anything beyond what the magazines and articles showed and told us. No one got the real picture of what it is. I didn't even understand until I saw you there, in that casket, what I could have done. 

Hopefully, by sharing this image, it will do something life saving for anyone out there considering doing what you have done. Maybe, hopefully, by sharing this - it will do something positive, hopefully shock some people - that 'scared straight' concept. 

This, is an image from Kyles funeral. This, my friends, is real. Suicide isn't a fucking joke. It isn't a fucking game. It's permanent. It's forever. 


Suicide isn't something to take flippantly. So often, so many don't really acknowledge the seriousness of it. The reality. Well, there it is. My best friend, someone's son, someone's brother, someone's grandson, lying in a casket. By his own hand. That, is suicide. 

Please, for anybody reading - please don't do that to your family. Your friends. Please don't. You don't understand how horrifying not only that image, but certainly that event, is/was to so many. You have no idea. Don't put yourself there. Please don't.

The kid in that casket in that image is the same one in that photo with me. Most people only see the happy photos, leaving people struggling or considering to stay in the denial about what they perceive suicide to be. It's not sunshine and roses, people. It's not. 

It's fucking real. It's heartbreaking. It's final. It's upsetting. It's shocking. It's tragic. It's final.

God dammit Kyle. Why?! Why did you make a perminent decision for a temporary problem?! Why?! 

One of the things I hope to do in your memory is save others contemplating suicide. That's the reason I posted that photo... Because I know that's the shocking truth that may save someone. That shocking truth, what isn't kept behind a white picket fence can shock someone into getting treatment, or talking to someone who had mentioned it to them before in a way they hadn't previously. 

I know that is one of the things I told Mom. I told her that being one myself who has considered and attempted, I had absolutely no reality of what it really was until I walked into that funeral home. 

None.

...and in a weird way, seeing what you did to yourself - seeing the shock, feeling the shock, witnessing the pain first hand... Saved my life. 

As painful as it still is, will always be, I felt saved. Why? Because I had no fucking idea what I could have done. I had no fucking comprehension of how stupid I could have been. 

I feel that this quote from 'Girl, Interrupted' sums it up the best: 

"When you don't want to feel, death can seem like a dream. But seeing death, really seeing it, makes dreaming about it fucking ridiculous."

...Maybe if you had gotten to see it so real, so raw, while you were alive... It would have changed your mind, too.

I was watching 'Bully' the other night again. I couldn't help but hurt so deeply for that 11 year old boy whose best friend killed himself. This boy was being held up next to his best friends casket, was helping everyone carry his best friends casket. I couldn't help but think, "My god, he's 11. He has to carry that with him forever... And he's 11. I'm 25, and it's still hell for me." 

I miss you so much. 

Will this ever get any easier? 

We knew each other so well. No one knew me like you did. No one may ever, honestly. I feel like I've put this wall up to everyone else. I don't know if I want, really and truly, to let anyone in again. I'm scared they'll kill themselves or die somehow, too. It's too much, ya know? You did it, then Jared did it. I don't think I'd survive another one. Your suicide was bad enough. 

You know what else is weird? Anyone and everyone who is ever and will ever be in my life from here on out will know about you.

They'll know all about you. Your family. What you did. They'll, in a way, be forced to carry this with me. Not sure if that's bad for them, good for me, or what... But for someone who thought they didn't matter, you've sure made yourself someone who will always be talked about and remembered.

Ha. Ironic.

Death isn't the same anymore, either. Emily said it the best. She said something along the lines of, "Since Kyle, my heart just can't break anymore. Kyle and what he did broke my heart in a way it just won't break ever again." God, bless her heart. 

It's true. Nothing seems to be as painful. Next to nothing will be, ever again.

So how do I do this? Will you tell me? Will you help me? Everyone? 

Help me figure this out, Kyle. Please. Help us all. 

It's been almost 3 years. Almost 1,095 days... Can't do the math for the minutes... It's been too long. Way, way too long. 

I know I'm not going anywhere on my own accord, I won't. Especially after seeing what effect and impact your suicide had on everyone. That's no longer an option of mine, ever. 

I just really don't want to do this without you. Without you here, with me. With us.

I wish you were here. 

...think if I say it enough and click my heels together three times it'll come true?


..... Yeah. I know.


I just wanna be by your side...

I love you, Kyle. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Parents vs Problems

Something very common among the people I counsel are parental issues.

We all have them, right?

Mom did this, Dad did this... Blah blah.

It can, and usually does, mould you into the adult you become. Right?

...It doesn't have to. 

It's up to you how any seemingly negative experience with any other human being changes who and what you are.

Even if it's Mom or Dad who did you wrong.

Inside every adult, most every adult anyways, is a broken and hurt little girl or little boy who is looking for what Mom or Dad didn't give them. Or looking to continuously right a wrong from a parent.

Or sibling, or aunt, or uncle, or cousin, or grandparent... 

People have this wide misconception that just because someone is a Mom or Dad, that they are supposed to be perfect. That they're supposed to be the perfect vision of what a Mom or Dad should be. Protectors, providers, friends, whatever - all rolled into one.

What people fail to realize is... Mom and Dad are just regular people. 

Mom and Dad were normal human beings, just like you and me, before they ever became Mom and Dad. They had lives just like ours. They had hurts and pains, heartbreaks and lessons they had to learn. 

There is no test that requires any kind of passing grade to be a parent. There is no official handbook they get. There are no new sets of personality traits that are magically handed to them upon the birth of you. It doesn't work that way. 

So, they take you home. A brand new screaming, crying, pooping infant. They try and take care of you in the best way they can - the only way they know how - and adjust to a completely new way of life. With all the same concerns, issues, and life things as before you were born.

Some rise to the occasion. The few and strong become that amazing, shiny example of what everyone envisions a Mom and Dad to be. 

Some... Don't. 

It's not their fault. It really isn't.

It's not yours, either.

My Mom and Dad abused me often. Physically and verbally. My Dad would knock me around, challenge me to fights, and has basically told me he wants nothing to do with me. My Mom has done her fair share of abuse - from telling me I'm a freak when it was shown that I cut myself, to critiquing everything I ever wore for most of my school years. 

Kids, to them, were seen and not heard. You had to look perfect all the time - always keep up that perfect 'white picket fence' image, regardless what was really going on. 

My siblings and I weren't allowed to laugh and play. Only sometimes. Dad hated hearing the noise, and Mom was too busy cleaning and making sure everything looked as perfect as she wanted it to be.

I began cutting myself when I was 8 or 9. Emotional pain within myself become too much to bare. My defiant nature and aggressiveness adapted to survive, in a house where I had to throw bows - or take them thrown at me. Not to mention, screaming - yelling - and overall negativity was all I ever saw. 

I can't even count the number of times my Dad would get right up in my face, shove me around, and provoke me. "You think you're tough shit? Let's go then."

"Get the fuck out of my face."

"Come on." Shove. "Wanna talk like that, act like it."

"GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY FACE!"

"You don't want to mess with me, Kid. I'll teach you a lesson real quick. Let's go." Shove.

Insert me. Bringing back my arm, balling up a fist, and swinging. Ten minutes later, Das was left bleeding and bruised - and so was I. Blood always by my own hand, after the fact. Then, it was my fault. Mom and siblings screaming at me, Dad was mad because of me.

Repeat more of the same every day.

I never understood how it was my fault. I would always question how them coming at me made it my fault. I didn't get in their faces, and I always told them to leave me alone. I usually said, "I'm really fucking angry right now, and if you don't leave me alone I'll hit you."

That only provoked them.

So that all happened in my childhood, or early teen years. My siblings never got it as badly as I did. I'm sure that my Dad wanted a boy. He wanted me to be a boy, so he fought me like one. My Mom gave up trying to put me in her perfect mould, and I'm sure that because of the violence I adopted she saw me as she saw my Dad. Often treating me like it, or taking things out on me because of it. 

They never loved each other. Not unless love is constant verbal assaults and violence. They don't know how to love, really. I think they're one of those couples that only knows dysfunction. That's comfortable to them, after all these years.

Anyways, my pain got taken out many ways. Fighting constantly - at home, in school, outside of school. Drugs - self harm - alcohol. It all became a way to vent my anger with my life and the person I apparently was, or numb the constant wounds within myself. 

On my 16th birthday, I was supposed to have a party. Needless to say, that didn't happen - I said the wrong thing at the wrong time, sent my Dad in a spin. Choking, punching, throwing stereo systems around, tearing up skin and clothes - an all out brawl. Another reason I fought so violently and so hard was that I remember watching my Mom take it. Take the verbal and sometimes physical towar her. The fact that she stayed with a man who did this to one of her kids. I always vowed to never be her, to never allow that to be done to me and not defend myself.

So my party was cancelled, it was all my fault, I was a horrible person as usual. I cut, I cried, then on the night of my 16th birthday I took a couple bottles of pills. 

I was saved, thanks Jonathan, but I made a conscious effort to change my life. I was lying in my room, in the dark, cutting myself and crying for hours and hours. That turned into days and days. It got to the point where I was in my room - everything was still destroyed from the brawl. No bedding, no TV, no nothing. Everything scattered about, broken, wires coming out of the walls... Everything.

My best friend Caylee knew what was up. Her parents were the same way. She always looked out for me and had my back, and the same for her. She's one of the first examples I had of a ride or die friend. She really was that person - she would ride out into the battle with me, or she would die beside me. I always, and still, love and appreciate her for that. 

Caylee hadn't heard from me in a couple days, which wasn't normal. My other friend Alecia had been on the phone with me when my Dad started fighting with me and heard everything. Alecia told Caylee, and Caylee told our older friend Nikki. Caylee had Nikki drive her to my house, in the middle of the night, unannounced. She banged on the door till my Mom answered, and she ran straight up into my room.

Caylee tore my room apart. More than it already was. She found every pill, every razor, every possible sharp object I could ever use and confiscated them. She sat with me, on the floor, after putting all of my cutting implements in her pockets, and just held me. She held me for a good half hour, and I just bawled my eyes out. 

"April, you can't leave me."

"I can't do this anymore, Caylee. I can't."

"Yes you can. April we're almost 18, we'll be out of here before we know it. I'm going through it, too. You're the only person I have. We can make it together."

"I can't."

"Yes. You. Can."

More crying. More snuggles. 

"April, you're gonna be a star."

"No I'm not."

"Yes you are! You have to live. You have to make that happen."

"I can't. You don't understand!"

"Yes I do!"

Caylee's Mom and Dad were worse. Her Mom was an abusive alcoholic, and her Dad was overly verbally abusive. Her Mom set her stuff on fire before, and kicked her out of the car on the side of the road miles from home in the snow before. 

"April, I can't do this without you. We're in this together. You're my best friend."

When I got back to school with my black eye, my other best friend Kim at the time was a cutter too. We were working together to try and actively stop cutting. We would meet in the bathroom between classes and check each other's wounds, clean them up, and talk.

"April, if you can't stop... How am I supposed to?"

I decided to take an active step toward recovery. I can't tell you every step, or every thought - but I did. I recovered, and I'm all good and well now.

When I was moving through recovery, I had to peel back the layers to my problems - which directly stemmed from my parents. That's when I realized... 

... My parents didn't know any better. 

My Dad grew up in a horribly abusive household. My Grandpa would hit him with pool sticks, chase them with baseball bats. They didn't teach my Dad how to be any different. My Uncle left my cousins when their Mom died, no one held him accountable or made him be a Dad. No one held my Dad accountable for abuse, either. Ever. How could they? My Grandpa had to get it from somewhere, too. 

My Grandpa, my Dad's Dad - was screaming and cursing at my, at the time, 5 year old sister in a Wendy's because she didn't know what she wanted. I'll never forget it. My grandma said nothing to protect or defend my baby sister, and when I told my Mom about it, she laughed. So did my Dad. Hmm. 

Same situations, different people. It just traveled down the pipeline.

My Mom grew up in an affectionless family. No one hugged, kissed, said 'I Love You' or anything. My Mom was extremely poor, too. They didn't have food sometimes, having to eat ketchup sandwiches and stuff. One of her brothers, one of my uncles, was sexually molested by a female babysitter when he was young, he attributes that silently to his being gay. He also has always blamed my Grandma for that, saying she never did anything about it. How was she supposed to do anything about it when she was never taught how to handle any problems? That's why she married my Grandpa. He was the business owner, the man who presented a way out... He was a problem solver.

Not to mention, my Mom's Mom's Mom (follow that one) was an abusive alcoholic to her kids. So the woman my uncle held responsible for not taking care of him, certainly wasn't ever taken care of herself. My Grandma had told me before that sometimes, she was lucky if her Mom remembered she had kids at all. Period.

My uncle is an abusive man. Not the fun, happy, everyone loves to shop and hang out with him gay man. No. He's the angry, silent, stand offish, disgustingly arrogant and outwardly rude gay man. When my Grandpa was dying, I watched him scream and yell at him for every little thing. My Grandpa would scream and yell back. My uncle always attributed my Grandpas anger and hostility toward him because he was gay, and assumed my Grandpa just hated him because of it. In reality, my Grandpa didn't hate him at all. He just wouldn't stand for him rudeness, and never supported his obvious anger and hostility toward everyone else. My uncle would turn the lights out on my Mom and my aunt when they were little, and would scare them and hit them with shoes. He would kick around and abuse their dog they had growing up. He would steal from people and say the meanest nastiest things. My Grandpa never stood for it. 

My Grandma never said anything.

...neither did my Mom.

My Mom got it from somewhere, too. My Dad was my Moms problem solver. He took her out of poverty, and boom - all the cycles recycle over and over again.

So, really, I realized... How can I be angry with them for things they couldn't prevent? 

That's like expecting someone to speak a foreign language when they just don't know it.

If everyone just accepted their parents where they were, and how they were, instead of expecting them to be different people... Everyone would be happier.

Regardless what has happened to me, and what faults of my parents have been taken out on me because of a cycle they lived... I love them.

I love my Mom. I love my Dad.

I forgive them for everything. I hold nothing against them.

I even feel sorry for them.

I wish they had peace in their hearts and their minds about their parents like I do. I wish my aunts and uncles did, so they could be at peace with themselves. For everyone to forgive themselves, and start new. No matter what age. 

I know my uncle has taken out a lot on me, too. We don't speak to our extended family, any of them, because of what I know are their personal pains stemming from the way they viewed their treatment in childhood. My Grandpa was obsessed with me when I was born. He spent every waking second with me. Sung songs to me in Italian, and almost killed everyone on the freeway to get to me when I was born. My Moms brothers and sisters were jealous, of me.

He spent every penny on me. Toys and savings stuff. Parties and shopping. He couldn't get enough of me. My uncle always held that against me, and I know that was half of the reason he has always treated me like he has. He feels that he never got any love or affection from his parents, and then he saw all the love and affection he's always wanted given to me right in front of him. It wasn't because he was gay, or because he was a boy... It was because he was and sadly still is an asshole. 

He threatened to call the cops on me, for no reason, if I tried to go see my Grandpa when he was dying. He had no reason, none at all. I called my Grandpa crying, and my Grandpa almost killed him. My Mom called and gave him a piece of her mind and he agreed to let me see him. As soon as I flew in, and got there, I knew why he tried to keep me away. 

My Grandpa was doting on me. As always. "Get April this," or "Do this for April". "This is your niece, get off your ass and come over and talk to her. Don't sit in the corner and ignore her!"

My uncle hated that. "You show up and suddenly I'm your butler."

I had a deep talk with my Grandpa before he died about it, in his broken English. My Grandpa said, "It's not you, sweet heart. It's me. I didn't hug him enough or something."

"Grandpa, it's fine."

"No. It's not. He's always been this way. I don't understand. He's a grown man, he needs to get over it."

"Ignore it, Grandpa. I'm fine."

"No body treats my grandbaby that way. No body. Not even my own kids."

Italians. 

My Grandpa was so proud of the movies and things I was doing, too. He showed everyone my websites, played my clips and my demo reel a million times. There was one I had up that he missed... In it, I was swearing.

My uncle found it, and made it a point to show my Grandpa. "This is your granddaughter, cursing. What do you think about that?"

My Grandpa wasn't too happy with my chosen line of work after that, and that's exactly what my uncle wanted.

I was angry about that, bitter. As I could have carried with me. Then I realized, he's another one who is just upset about how he was treated in childhood. Allowing it to filter into his life as an adult, and tarnish his relationships with everyone.

Bottom line is - love your parents. Love them for who they are, not who you wish they would be - or would have been. They are they way they are, or were the way they are - because of how they were raised. With what they were taught. 

My grandparents didn't know how to love their kids through their problems, how to work through them with them. How to punish and love at the same time. Whatever. The adults and parents became who they are because of it. 

Our parents aren't guaranteed to be happy people, either. I know mine aren't. They're not truly enjoying life. They don't honestly enjoy the situations they're in, or have been put in. I feel sorry for them.

I love them just the same.

I could have been a better child, too, had I understood what I do now. "If I only knew then what I know now."

I know my Dad isn't happy with himself, and I know he loves me. The only ways he knew how to be, he was. Same with my Mom. Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different, and I forgive it. I forgive them.

They love and support me the only ways they know how. They are the people they know how to be, and that's okay. 

Here's a great Lifeclass clip. Bishop TD Jakes explains a little about loving 'pint capacity' family members:

Because when you grow into adulthood, blaming things on your parents or your childhood doesn't fly anymore. Childhood issues now become your own personal/personality problems. You are no longer the 10 year old, 14 year old, hell even 20 year old that can blame your parents forever.

Iyanla Vanzant calls it, 'living in pissiossity'. Pissosity? I may have spelt it wrong. 

Generally, if you're a 40+ year old living in anger and general personality problems, blaming things on people and events... You need to realize that you can't blame other people, any other people, for your problems anymore. Or your parents. 

You need to support yourself, love yourself, empower yourself. No one. Not even your parents, can hold you up forever. Even if they could. Self esteem is esteem that comes from the self. Your parents won't be raising your children if you're able. Your parents aren't working your job. Your parents aren't living your life.

You are.

Take responsibility for yourself. For the life you want to have. The love and friendships you want to have in it.

Your parents aren't responsible for that.

You are.

News flash: there's absolutely no self help group, no awareness training, and no cult that can magically turn you into your 'higher self'. They can't make you a better person, they can't change anything. They can either influence you for their own personal gain, give you tools to use in managing life and your emotions, or give you others to mope with. Only you can prevent forest fires. 

Literally. 

Only YOU can change yourself, your life, and your mind to be what you truly want to be. To become. With or without support. With or without family. 

I did. I did it all with no help, no support from anyone when I was 18-20. 

You can, too.

If you need any kind of help moving through a problem, or figuring yourself out, the only thing on this earth I would recommend is Lifeclass, on OWN. Oprah Winfrey Network. Lifeclass is exactly what a support/help/empowerment group should be. Free, empowering, uplifting, and always with generic easy to understand life tools. Freedom of choice, no thought manipulation, and absolutely 100% useable, open and understandable  to any age, gender, race, sexuality, or 'emotional pain'. 

Take my word for it. I've researched every single possible support group/awareness training/empowerment circle/project out there. Lifeclass is where it's at. When Lifeclass came on the air, I was floored. It's all encompassing everything I had to teach to myself in recovery. Largely in thanks to Internet searching and books, I don't think they had Google when I was 18? But I figured it out. Lifeclass is the golden show for anything you need. 

I do also tell the people I counsel what the huge red flags are for any 'help' they're looking for. If you can't do it on your own, and you do need some outside help - sometimes that's what you have to do. BUT BE SMART! Often times bad people prey on hurt, weak, broken souls. That's a sad fact. Be mindful.

If you walk into a group or class or whatever that's promising to help fix you or solve some kind of problem within yourself but is charging money, making you sign any privacy waivers, gender/age/sexuality specific (and regulated to be such forcefully, with psychical threats or those privacy waivers), guided meditations (anything other than generic happiness and peace),  encouraging violence toward a person or memory, encouraging 'killing' an 'event' or 'memory of person related to event' (not to be confused with anger management & release-training), constant 'stress encouragement' (it was bad, wasn't it? It was horrible. You were hurt. That hurt. It all was horrible), trying to give you a 'mission' (encouragement of a 'new path' or a 'new thing to do' with complete disregard for what you choose to do with free will), manipulation of your free will, making choices for you, encouraging breaking relationships and leaving family behind, asking for you to 'recruit' or 'invite' other people, being number-excited (we have 10 new arrivals! Now we have 15!), private and often secluded 'retreats' (usually in the boonies somewhere), refering to your body as a 'container' (making it easier for you to do what they ask, even bad stuff)... 

...Stuff like that... 

Run. For. Your. Life. Get the hell out of there. 

There's a comical yet very informative video I've found that basically explains what I have explained about the dangerous groups above. They used comedy to inform others. It's really neat. So if any groups seem at all similar, or do anything at all like the following video - RUN. They call it a 'cult' in this video, which it usually is - but it can be called a million other things purposely. Groups and stuff like this are often disguised as other things, so be smart and have common sense.

It's sad, really, to me. I think of the broken and lost 8,9,10,12,13,14,16,17 year old I was and how easily I could have been sucked into something so dangerous. The bad ones are truly designed to prey off the weak, and the broken. No self assured, level headed, at peace, healed human being could or would ever fall victim to those types of groups. I've seen a person or two that I know get trapped in groups like that, and before they knew it they were a totally different human being. So disgusting, selling happiness and destroying souls. So heartbreaking. 

Good news! There are tons of other books, books on tape, generic guided peace and joy meditations (Doreen Virtue, Iyanla Vanzant, Bishop TD Jakes, etc), and of course Lifeclass that is totally 1,000% safe and without any red flags. 

You can let your parents problems become your problems, forever. You can blame your childhood and your upbringing forever. You can turn into a person who treats them like crap for no reason. Or you can overcome. Realize they used what they were given, they did what they could, and did the only things they knew to do. 

Give yourself what they didn't give you, give yourself approval. Be positive and uplifting to yourself, to them, and everyone else regardless. 

Or live miserable. 

It's your choice. 

I love my parents to death. When they die, I won't have any 'coulda/woulda/shoulda's. I'll know I have done everything I possibly could, and I overcame. I didn't hold their human faults against them, and I loved them when they needed it... But wouldn't say it. Regardless. 

As a matter of fact, right now, I'm about to head over to their house and spend the day with them. Mom and Dad time. I look forward to hugging them, and telling them that I love them. 

Call your parents today. Hug them today. Love them, and forgive them. 

XO

Friday, March 14, 2014

Ready & Waiting


Mama Lucy always has solid advice.

It's true.

I've learned many valuable lessons in my time as a producer. Lots of valuable lessons in my personal life, too. How people appear, what they say vs their true intentions.

Often times painful. Always valuable.

So I've got this vision...

Not a dream. It's real. A vision.

...that every aspiring actor, screen writer, director - has a chance. An opportunity. A real one. That every aspiring creator in the film industry has a mentor, someone that believes in them. Wholly. Someone who will help them learn, and grow. Someone who has their back, can teach them. That they have someone they can take deep questions and concerns to, and always be in a safe place. They have someone who will listen to their ideas, and not steal them or only appear to help them to make money off of them. Somebody who will help them figure out what part of this industry they want to be in, and will always give them a place to try new things and grow - especially within themselves - while making films. Creating new ones. Being a part of the industry and it's art.

This industry is big enough for everybody. Every single one of us. My vision is to see everyone get a chance. A real, tangible, solid chance. Or, at the very least, the someone who will believe in their hearts and souls enough to work with them and find out if there's somewhere else they may fit. All the while, believing in them. 

Someone to not only help them write a script, or do image consulting, or teach them editing or marketing... But be a shoulder to cry on. Someone to provide the industry jobs so many are praying for. Someone to take problems to, someone to talk to. Human being to human being. Someone to not only teach them how to manage a budget, or work with acting techniques/directorial techniques and expect them to work hard and show it - but someone to notice when they're having a hard time. Or a bad moment. Someone to offer a hug, and encourage them to keep moving.

I want to be that someone.

I want to be that someone to as many people as I can.

I'm working on a legit plan to make that happen as we speak. I have been. It's been going really well, actually. 

I have many like-minded individuals working with me, on this dream team, to assemble this vision. Real time. 

I am so blessed. 

I am very blessed, grateful, thankful, and so many other empowering words for the opportunity/opportunities I've been given regarding this vision.

I've had doors open I would have never imagined. People come together with such patience and passion it's unreal. The people I now call my 'family' are walking, talking extensions of my vision.

I am so blessed.

It hasn't been without lessons. 

The world has tested my patience. Severely. I've been broken down to puddles of tears, repeatedly asking Jonathan and Lucy, "When will this happen for me?!" 

I've been angry. Mostly with life. Seeing people hurt, wanting the opportunity(s) I know how to provide. Wanting to fix their problems in the snap of a finger... Seeing how hard they've worked, having them about to give up.

Lucy is my go-to gal. As always. She constantly refers me to her quote above. She said, "It'll be worth the wait." 

We've had people double cross us. We've had people flat out say they don't believe us. We've had people tell us we were full of shit. We've had people laugh in our faces. 

We still stand tall.

This world won't be able to beat me down. None of us. If this is a test, we're all ready to pass with flying colors.

It's not easy. It does take time. Unforeseen life circumstances, also. Some things that life decided - without our approval - for reasons unknown to us. They will surely be for the best.

Lucy worked for years as an extra in over 60 films before ever getting a line. Once she did, they cut her out of a couple films. Then, Lela Rogers - Ginger Rogers Mom - noticed Lucy's persistence. Her hard work. She took her under her wing, and began speaking for her. Helping her get into projects, threatening removing  the studios best money maker, Ginger, of they didn't give Lucy a fair shot.

Lucy got roles. Nothing huge. Lucy says the roles she got, like 'The Big Street' and 'Stage Door', basically anything before 'I Love Lucy' was that decades version of today's independent films and short films. She wasn't a star. They weren't 'Blockbusters'. They were noticed, then forgotten. She kept booking roles under the studio system, but she still says they were the like independent films. Regardless the A-Lister they may have shoved into a role here or there. 

Lucy and Ginger explain it great here:

God, I wish I could have worked at RKO. Anyways...

Then, when she was 40, her and Desi got 'I Love Lucy'. They had the opportunity, anyways. She had connections who had connections and they were pitched to CBS. Lucy was years older than Desi, and the studios said, "No one will ever buy you being married to a Cuban."

Lucy, being one to never give up herself, decided that her and Desi should tour the US. Do a revival of Vaudville and see how the audience responds, that way they can turn to CBS and basically call their bluff.

They did a lot of stuff like this:

Their Vaudville act was a sell out. That was the start of their true success, the Vaudville tour. Both Lucy and Desi being in the business, Lucy with (at that time) an indie-grade name, and Desi with a fairly decent film/band following, they grew to be very VERY popular. 

So, CBS agreed to do a pilot. Desi, being a brilliant businessman, made some decisions. Lucy and Desi decided they wanted the rights to the show, they wanted a studio audience, they wanted it filmed on movie film, not that cheese-cloth looking film. CBS told them they'd have to finance most of it themselves, including build a soundstage and come up with how they wanted to use 3 cameras.

Lucy and Desi had to refinance - remortgage? Their house. Lucy had a dream one night with her good friend who had passed, Carol Lombard, and she told Lucy to go ahead and refinance the house. That it would all be okay. They woke up, and started making the arrangements. 

Desi was on the roof, building a soundstage. He came up with a technique for using more than one camera at a time - they both took solid hands on roles in production. Not because they wanted to, they did - but if they wanted this as badly as they did, they had no other options. No one believed in them as much as they did. 

So they learned as they went.

'I Love Lucy' hit the airwaves, and the rest is literal history. 

It wasn't some walk in the park for them. They busted their asses, they worked really hard and invented a ton of shit we use today. Thanks to them we have studio audiences, multiple cameras on one show/movie, reruns, the credits listed how we do them now, and so much other stuff.

No one really knows how much we as industry folk owe to them. I'm one to pay respects to those who made it possible - and they sure did.

Betty White did a little, too, with 'Life With Elizabeth', but it was short lived and not as popular. That was WAY before 'The Golden Girls'.

Lucy knew how to do so much, and she and Desi learned and taught each other as they self-managed the show. Learned how to produce, how to do so much. Day by day. Show by show.

One of the many reasons Lucy inspires me so much, and I am forever grateful to have her guidance and support. 

"What support?! You're doing it yourself! I'm not helping you!" She just told me, laughing. 

I just told her, "I always need your help, Lucy! I need you to throw your weight around!"

She made a funny face and did some kinda 'look at me' gesture. She's the best. 

So grateful.

But in times of discouragement, times of doubt or impatience... I think of her and her struggles. Her lessons. Her and so many others. 

I'll prevail in the end, I know I will. 

Really, that's another reason I'm waiting for someone else in the industry to get with. A guy who has similar interests, someone I can work with and build a relationship, a family with. My work is my life, I need someone else who is passionate about it too. Someone who can hopefully teach me some things, has some ideas of films we can make together... A Desi to my Lucy. Only, minus the cheating and divorce thing.

A Jay-Z to my Beyoncè.

Someone who's not bananas. We can work successfully, create amazing films, maybe act in one together?.. But still love each other, take some vacations, make out in public here and there, raise some kids, and still keep a relatively low profile. Neither party in clubs or on drugs, so low profile in this business shouldn't be too difficult. 

Not that I couldn't date/marry someone outside of the industry, but it's just impossible. That's a common ground I want. If I have an amazing script idea, and I'm off writing - and he's doing, I don't know, someone completely different - and I'm on sets, and he's not... That's not enjoyable. 

I want to be able to call him, wherever we are, and share script ideas. Go back and forth about it. I want to watch him write scripts, offer him help, watch him direct a movie, do fun stuff together, too. Like photo shoots and interviews. As a team. 

I don't know who he is, but that's my requirement. I have my standards I will not break away from, folks! It is what it is!

It'll happen as it's meant to, as will everything else. 

Lucy didn't have kids until she was 39 I believe? Second one at 41? Something like that? I gots time. 

Career comes first. So does friendship and patience.

Damn! It always comes back to patience.

Lucy's shaking her head at me.

I've taken my time between now and what is planned success, the real life movement of my vision, to continue to learn. Talk to as many others as possible about what they do, their process, pick their brains. Watch films, pick them apart, research them and the whole production. Check out editing styles, everything. Got a couple new script ideas I've been jotting down... Fun stuff.

I'll never stop learning. I love learning.

So, I continue to play my vision in my head and my heart. Always on blast in my soul. Until the world, the angels, and fate decide it's the right time to let it all start. 

I'm ready when you are, world. Ready and waiting.