Speaks To Me Sunday #78

12 Mar


Asking for help has always been a tough one for me. I have always been pretty independent and incredibly stubborn. Having to ask for help always felt like admitting weakness. Needing others made me feel like a failure for not being able to do it on my own. 

How ridiculous is that?!

We were not put on this earth to do life alone. Life is so much fuller, so much richer when we let others in. I don’t know what made up rule book I read that said success was greater if I succeeded on my own, but I have thrown that rule book out the window. 

We all need help sometimes, and there is nothing wrong with asking for it. Needs, wants, requests, wishes… just ask. The worst that could happen? Someone might tell you no. Why is that so scary? I think it’s much more terrifying to miss out on opportunities and to settle for less because I was too afraid to ask. 

I have found that, as nervewracking as asking for help can be, most of the time, the answer is yes. And those yeses can create confidence, build better friendships, and elicit a joyful yes when you are the one asked for help. I quite literally get by with a little help from my friends, and I am so thankful that I don’t have to do it alone. 

Be bold – ask for what you need. Be bolder – ask for what you want. The answer might just be yes. 

Speaks To Me Sunday #77

5 Mar


Fresh start, clean slate, blank canvas, next chapter, new beginnings.

It’s like inhaling a deep breath of relief and exhaling a world of possibilities. 

There certainly is something magical about beginnings, isn’t there? Anything can happen. The thought makes me completely giddy. 

I am at the start of a new beginning. It’s been full of excitement, heartache, relief, doubt, sureness, and joy. Mostly I just have a lot of feelings. 

Packing up and leaving Los Angeles behind was harder for me than I thought it would be. I created a life there, and I am incredibly proud of all I accomplished. I will forever treasure the relationships and experiences California brought me,  but LA didn’t end up being where I wanted to build my life, plant my roots.

Nashville has been calling my husband and me back for quite some time. We couldn’t keep ignoring the way this city tugged at our heartstrings. The possibility of continuing to follow our passion for acting in a thriving theatre community and the budding Southern film market was so appealing. Equally important was returning to loved ones, finding a church family to fellowship with, dreams of our own home and a growing family, and the desire to truly invest ourselves in the place we choose to call home. The possibilities are endless and exhilarating. 

So here we are. Back in Nashville at the start of something new, choosing to begin again. It’s been quite the journey, but I am ready. I am choosing to trust in the magic of beginnings. 

Hey y’all! We’re home. 

The Last Days

11 Feb

These are the last days. 

The last days I will be a Tour Guide, an Angeleno, a California Girl.

Saying goodbye is hard. It’s bittersweet at best. When you know you are about to leave, it’s like putting on rose colored glasses. Everything is amazing again. It’s fresh, new. Just like it was the day you unpacked your dreams and the Uhaul. 

We still stand by our reasons for leaving Los Angeles behind, but I am thankful for these last days. They have given me the ability to remember all this city has to offer with clear eyes and an open heart. 

We put together an LA Bucket List of all we wanted to do, see, eat, and experience before we said goodbye. I have loved exploring and truly enjoying the beauty of the mountains, the ocean, the thriving and active city. I have found joy in being at work, spending time with my co-workers, sharing the magic of making movies with people from all over the world. I have cherished every moment with my beloved LA family – the laughter, the hugs, even the tears. 

The last days have solidified just how wonderful the past five years have been and how thankful I am for the chapter we are now closing. 

It’s too easy to forget what life can really be. I get caught up in routine, making in through the day, and just living life. We should all get to live like it’s the last days. Seeing more clearly, smiling bigger, loving harder, breathing it all in… 

Here’s to living in the last days. 

And let’s be honest… I’ll always be a California Girl. ❤

Speaks To Me Sunday #76

5 Feb

Can I get an amen?!

This one got me right in the gut today. How often do I act from a place of fear rather than a place of hope? How many times have I let fear step in and determine my path? Too many. How about you? 

Fear wants to win. Fear wants to keep you in a dark room, head down, potential untapped. Your fear wants you to believe that you are correct… that all your insecurities are real, that all your doubt is well founded, that you are not enough. If we let ourselves live in that place, we will end up choosing a small life, we will end up choosing fear. 

I don’t know about you, but I want a big, beautiful LIFE! I want to dream god-sized dreams and to leap fearlessly into all the amazing unknowns that hope has to offer. I want to choose from a place of hope. Can you imagine what that world would look like? If every decision we made was expectation-based, rooted in hope, founded in joyful possibility… that’s a world I want to see. That’s a world I want to help create. 

I am choosing to act with hope. 

Speaks To Me Sunday #75

22 Jan

Oh, this is so important right now. 

We must have the courage to stand up for our beliefs. But we must also have the courage to listen to the beliefs of others. Communication is essential. Otherwise, we will always be divided.

It’s scary to put yourself out there, to be vocal about about your beliefs and convictions. Especially if they might not line up with the beliefs of people you love… so I am trying to have a little courage. 

I feel incredibly proud of the people I know that stood up for women’s rights at the Women’s March on Washington yesterday. I thought my heart might burst with how proud I felt seeing people gather all over the world to raise their voices together. It was completely peaceful, totally within our rights, and, from what I hear, full of love. 
And then I started to hear some dissent. And it crushed me a little bit… I tried to read and listen to why others opposed this march. What I kept running into was a lack of understanding. People literally not knowing what this march was all about, but opposing it nonetheless. So if you don’t know, here’s why we march…

Women’s March on Washington:

  • Feminism. Women’s rights are human rights. 
  • Ending violence and gender and racial inequality in the criminal justice system.
  • Reproductive rights, quality healthcare services, accurate sex education, safe and legal birth control and abortions.
  • LGTBQIA rights are human rights.
  • Worker’s Rights that work for women too. Equal pay, access to affordable childcare, sick days, healthcare, paid family leave, and healthy work environments.
  • Civil Rights, man! Voting rights, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, protections for all citizens regardless of race, gender, age or disability.
  • Disability Rights as Deaf women and women with disabilities should be fully included in American life, economy, and culture. 
  • Immigrant rights for the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” 
  • Environmental Justice to protect our world because we have the right to clean water, clean air, and access to public lands. 

So, there you have it. Why we march. Can you read it and not see something that speaks to you? Even if you can’t get behind all of it… Can you honestly read through that list and disagree with ALL of it? If so… I honestly don’t understand. But I suppose that might also explain why we have ended up with President that I also don’t understand. We are not on the same page, we are not understanding each other. But it seems to me that we aren’t even trying. 

So, here I am… trying. I am trying to be courageous enough to share my beliefs with you. I hope you will have courage, dear heart, and share with me too. I will not shame you for speaking your mind or for having beliefs that are different than mine. I will listen to you with an open heart, and hope you will offer me the same courtesy. Maybe then we can build a bridge to reach each other. Maybe then we can move forward with courage and with love into a world we are all proud to call home. 

Speaks To Me Sunday #74

15 Jan


Gratitude means letting go of what you thought you should have so that you can celebrate all you do have. 

I feel blessed to have so much to be thankful for! Sometimes I get caught up in “future thinking” and wishing I had more. But if I am honest, I have enough. And choosing to be grateful for what I have makes it mean infintely more.

2017 will officially be my year of gratitude. I want to focus my heart and mind on being thankful for all God has given me… for my family, friends, cats, community, health, home, belongings, jobs, dreams, experiences, opportunities, and all the other special things that make up my life.  I have so much more than enough!  So I will practice gratitude. And I do think it is a practice – sometimes it will take a little effort. Ultimately, I believe it will make me more positive and productive, less anxious, a better friend, and a happier person. 

Cheers to a grateful heart in 2017! What are you practicing this year?!

La La Land

11 Jan

Can I tell you a secret? 

I was avoiding going to see La La Land.

I know.

And not because I didn’t think I’d enjoy it. In fact, it’s totally my kind of movie. A musical starring two of my favorite actors – clearly a winner. But I was scared.

I was scared because I am getting ready to leave the real La La Land, and I thought it might hurt. A film that I’ve heard described as a love letter to LA. A film showcasing some of the most beautiful locations in Los Angeles. A film about aspiring artists, struggle in the City of Angels, creativity, hope, and finding your own way. A film that just might tug at the heart strings of a girl who tried to give La La Land her best. 

And I was right. It was beautiful, it was my kind of movie, and it broke my heart. 

I have to give it up for Damien Chazelle and the creators of this gorgeous film because they nailed it. They told my story. The story of every actor who came to LA with a dream – every interrupted audition, every draining day job, every frustrating minute stuck in traffic, every awkward moment trying to promote yourself, every rude question about what you are doing with your life, every ounce of doubt that makes you think “maybe I’m not good enough,” every YES that just might change your life. It’s exhausting! It’s exhilarating! It’s Los Angeles. 

And I’m leaving it behind. 

After almost five years, the allure of LA has dimmed, and I realized I was ready to move on. But then this movie ignited some of the old excitement. It made me question my choices. It made me wonder if I truly gave it all I had. Total gut punch. No one likes to question their decisions once they’ve already been made, right?

But I’ve been doing it – reassessing, going over all the options. Driving myself mad. But you know what? The same truths that brought me to the original decision to leave… they’re still true. I love the idea of LA. The real LA? It’s not the same thing. It’s easy to romanticize, sure. Like in a gorgeous movie musical that looks like a glorious dream sequence from one of the classics. (Good job, Mr. Chazelle.) But it’s not the reality, it’s not what it feels like day to day. Truthfully, I never fell in love with Los Angeles, the city. I loved things about it… good friends, the gorgeous view of the San Fernando Valley from Universal that will forever be etched in my mind, passing movie studios every day on my way to work… at a movie studio, new opportunities to explore all the time. There is a lot to enjoy. But it never really became my home. And as much as I love adventure, I also need home. I want both. 

So, we are closing this chapter. And it’s bittersweet. But just because I’m leaving LA doesn’t mean I am leaving my dreams here too. They have grown, expanded, shifted. Yes, I still want to be an actress. That will never change. But I want to get back to my roots – the stage. I want a fantastic theatre community where I can invest myself. A place where I might truly be able to impact people. I also know the Southern market for film and television is booming. Hollywood is not just in Hollywood anymore – not really. So, I can keep looking for my shot. Even more, I want to focus on relationships, family, community, and the things that were made so much more challenging in LA. Quality of life. I want to thrive instead just surviving. And Nashville feels like the perfect place to do it. How exciting! 

I might be leaving the City of Stars, but it will always be a part of me, a risk I’ll never regret taking. And maybe one day we will be back,  but for now I will just be thankful for the opportunities, experiences, and even grander capacity for dreaming that I found in La La Land.