Boxes are for squares

About once a year I find myself in a spot in need of… something.

A couple years ago it happened after the whole Food Network thing didn’t pan out, and I just sort of felt without direction.  I tend to go all in on something and then when it ends… it’s almost like I wake up and look around and have to re-learn how to be.  Oh, and ‘the whole Food Network thing’ just means I was on hold for them a couple years back… ‘on hold’ just means they liked my video, asked for an on camera interview, we shared emails and I received positive feedback, they said to stay available for the next 3 months…. So I did.  And when it didn’t work out, I found myself with 3 months that felt a bit wasted- having turned down a writing assignment trip to Dubai, and a few other things that landed in my lap during that holding period. Once I was released from them, I was a little sad, yes.  But also, just a little bit lost, if I’m being honest.  I had been told to have one goal in mind and stay seated for that one goal for months, so I just stopped making plans or having any other dream.

But the funny thing is- after I sat in that lost-ness for a bit, I realized I wanted to do theatre again.  So, I auditioned for something that ended up being one of the greatest experiences of my life.

See first FN video:

Then the next year, Food Network showed up again.  I thought it was important to take the opportunity again, since the last one was such a close call.  So I was a good girl, and took what they liked about me the first time around and built on them…

See second (and final ever) FN video:

Something that came out during the interview process the first time around was the inability to label me.  The inability to put me in a box, seal me up and ship me off to network. For the record, I pride myself in being a lot of different things rolled into one (short) package.  In high school, I wasn’t part of a clique, but I had friends in all of them.  I play sports and lift heavy weights and can’t sit like a lady, but I love makeup and high heels.  I’m a mom, and proud to be one, but that does not define me.  I have multiple tattoos, but know my alphabet.  So, having worked in the film business for a bit, I can see how the network just looked at me and went, ‘Well, hell.  She’s not ‘mom’ enough, she’s not ‘dumb’ enough, she’s not ‘professional’ enough, she’s not ‘jock’ enough…what the hell is she?’  And that’s basically the outcome of my Food Network experience.  It’s funny… the things we’re most proud of about ourselves can sometimes be the things that keep us from getting the things that we want.

Or thought we wanted.

And that can make you question a lot about yourself.  When different things end up giving you the same outcome, it’s fairly normal to think inward about it all.  So that’s what I do- about once a year, I have myself some Abbey Reevaluation time.  But here’s the problem with that- once you start digging deep into yourself, you can get stuck there pretty easily.

And being stuck inside of anything, especially oneself, is never a healthy, or productive thing.

But once I figure that part out, I snap myself out of it and go down a different path.  So right now, once again, I’m finding myself at a crossroads, so to speak.  And I’ve realized I have been focusing on what I can do to please other people more than what I can do to just be the best Me I can be.  Food Network wanted to label me, so I tried really hard for months and years to give them that.  I was polished and smiley and perfect and cute.  For them.  Not for me.  And if you haven’t noticed- I’m none of those things.  I am rusty and tarnished and I laugh too loud (a lot of times at myself, because yes, even I am shocked at the things I say or do sometimes), I am imperfect and incredibly weird…

Sometimes without strong purpose…

And I mess up.  A lot.

But I don’t edit my mess-ups, or stop filming.  I keep that camera rolling and see how I can get myself out of that mess.  Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t.  But you know what?  It’s real, whatever happens.  And we live in a world where people are so uncomfortable with Real.  Even the Real we see on tv isn’t really Real.  But it’s the Real we have chosen by popular vote, and the Real that continues to exist.  People want to look at polished and perfect and filtered. They don’t want to see mistakes, or blemishes, or wrinkles.  And they certainly don’t want to see their women be funny, or emotional, or tough (Ammiright, Hillary?) Whenever I post something on Instagram that has anything to do with showing my humorous or silly side, the comments are hilarious.  I get actual direct messages, numerous amounts, every time, saying they are shocked at how funny I am.

My internal response it always, ‘…why wouldn’t I be?’

I am unscripted and unpredictable and sometimes very difficult to follow or understand… but I don’t think I need to change that.  I think as long as I’m doing all of it with good intentions and kindness and authenticity, then anyone who isn’t comfortable with it can move on to the next box and ship her somewhere.

Once I climb out of myself and realize that all of those Abbey things are not faults, I can make things happen.  I just need reminders sometimes.

Thanks for being a part of my reminder, y’all. xox

(And now, off to work on the next video where me and my blemishes show you how to (naturally) get rid of yours.)

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