Lessons Learned: A journey to rediscovering myself

My name is Allie, and I am not who I was 103 days ago. 103 days. 15 weeks. 2472 hours. 148,320 minutes…you get the point.

The day I moved to New York began my rebirth as a human, an actor, as a new me. My whole life I have had dreams of moving to New York to become an actress. Becoming one of millions of busy, fast talking-too-busy-for-bullshit New Yorkers was a dream that I so badly wanted to fulfill. My dream had begun to come true the day I was accepted into the Atlantic Acting School. I auditioned on February 5, 2013 and decided to defer my enrollment for a year, so I could work and save up money. The road leading up to me packing up my whole life and driving across the country with my Dad and Sister on Saturday, August 9, 2014, was a long and difficult journey.

A mere 6 months previous to this haul-across-America, my mom died unexpectedly. My mom, a mere 58 years old passed away, leaving my life and my families lives torn apart and shattered. I’ve been through some “stuff” previous to my mom dying, like an ugly battle with an eating disorder, the diagnosis of Bipolar disorder at 22 and various other setbacks. Despite these trials and tribulations, Wednesday, February 19, 2014, the day my mom died, was just the tip of the iceberg  to the gigantic life change I would continue to embark on during my time in New York.

A lot of people say they lost God or their faith when a loved one dies. When something so tragic and unfair as it is to lose a loved one, some find themselves angry with God, Allah or whatever their symbol of a “higher power” is. When something as terrible as having a loved one ripped out of your life in an instant, a lot of people may feel betrayed and eventually lose their faith. When my mom died, my life completely changed, my relationships with others, myself and God evolved. After she died, I found faith. I began to believe something bigger than me is at work.

I never thought of myself as a religious person–in fact I declared myself an agnostic-rather loudly and proudly during my time at a catholic high school! However, for some reason, after she died it kind of all made sense to me. I felt like I had been awakened and enlightened to the world. After spending 23 years on the earth, I finally began to see the bigger picture and felt alive. Through the pain and immense hole that was left in my heart and soul after her dying, I realized there is something bigger working.

Her death made me realize how grateful I need to be very single moment I am on this precious earth. So many years, moments, and days have I complained about trivial bullshit that simply does not matter. After she died I realized, or rather, got bitch-slapped in the face by life, that I need to take everything as it comes to me and not make plans for the future with the assumption that things will go the way I want and expect. There is a “joke” I heard awhile back on Keeping Up With the Kardashians ( gross, I know! Talk about people complaining about trivial shit that does not matter) from Lamar Odem. He said at the dinner table “Do you want to know who to make God laugh? Tell him your plans.”  Now, this is originally a quote from Woody Allen, but regardless, this little “story” or whatever the hell you want to call it, has always stuck with me. Lamar also said in that same episode, something about how “we need to cherish everyday for we are never promised tomorrow.” I know I probably sound like a total fangirl over KUWTK but of all the members of that gigantic, materialist family, those two gems are knitted into the fabric of my life and it is something I carry with me daily.

And once again while in NYC, I got bitch slapped in the face with the lesson (when will I learn?!) that life does not go the way you want. When I tore my ACL in class on September 15, 2014, my life seemed to again, deteriorate. I have often questioned why the fuck, after all of this struggle and heartbreak would this happen to me now? Why after waiting over a year to move to New York, did this have to happen now? Why couldn’t this injury have happened in high school or college, when it wouldn’t have mattered? Why now, when I was finally on the right path and finally feeling like a whole person again would that suddenly get ripped right out from under me? I had been angry and mad at God on an off since I injured myself a few months ago. These questions and accusations ate me up inside until I realized that being angry, at something that already happened, and that I had no control over, was a waste of energy.

Somehow the new Me, has accepted that there is nothing I could or can do because the injury already happened. I am conciosunly choosing to look at this as a positive experience and a second chance. Instead of crying and having a pity party (which I think I, and the others around me can safely say, I have not pitied myself for one second)  I choose to see this is a wonderful, new, uphill journey. The old sophomoric, naive  Allie would have cried and still be angry at not only myself, but whoever it is “up there” in the “sky” controlling my destiny. I know I am not longer the same person, solely because of that.  The reason I can make the drastic and seemingly dramatic statement that I am no longer the same person I was a few months ago is because my outlook on life has changed so drastically. I would pay you to find one person who I have crossed paths in my life, up until now that either knew me as an acquaintance or even a friend, that would ever tell you that I was an optimistic person and chose to see the good before the bad.

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