Your resilient friend is reaching the end of her emotional reserve.
Here’s why: a recap of the valleys that have been right alongside the mountains, or wins you’ve all seen me share on social media.
My heart is broken. There are parts of my relationship that weren’t sustainable or healthy, so I walked away. I didn’t want to…but something just…broke. We’re trying to mend – which is a long, winding, uncertain road.
The relative I was closest to in Los Angeles, my Tia Martha, passed away. I still have her voicemails. And one of the thoughts that always got me through the challenges of LA was, “I can always go to my Tia.” And she’s no longer available to me in this realm.
Another family member passed away shortly after my Tia. Her son. My cousin. One of my biggest cheerleaders.
I haven’t gotten to grieve either of them properly. It mostly overtakes me before sleep or right when I wake up…and sometimes it blindsides me while I’m eating or writing.
I spent 8 weeks chasing unemployment.
After finally getting unemployment, I got a notice that my health insurance coverage would be canceled and I am now in a nebulous, uncertain space where I might earn too much for Medical…but not enough for Covered California. Being asthmatic during a pandemic…well…this is a terrible time to have no net.
Oh yeah – and I’m asthmatic during an upper respiratory pandemic.
I’m not able to get an apartment without forking over an unreasonable amount of money. Landlords want certainty where there is none to offer. A good credit score and financial reserves are no longer enough without the promise of a job. 40 million+ of us are out of full-time work.
I will forever be indebted to my roommate who has said I can take all the time I need to find a place.
I put myself at risk every time I went to see an apartment…and that’s…scary.
I do have a wonderful part-time job that a friend was able to help me with…which ends in the summer…along with unemployment funds.
People close to me have not taken feedback well – about how to honor my Blackness or how to honor my limited emotional capacity.
So. I’ve been holding ALL of this.
And somehow I’ve managed to… write a play and have it produced by the VORTEX and read by the 1MPF team.
I’ve completed the first draft of a pilot I co-wrote with a friend.
I completed my animated pilot.
I performed in a digital show. I performed a short story for a podcast. I narrated an audiobook. I wrote a short story for a podcast. I submitted to the ABC Discovers program as a writer and an actor. I submitted Más Cara for publishing. I pitched myself to a bunch of VO casting directors who opened their doors when they realized how Black people had been shut out. I co-wrote an open letter to the entertainment industry about how to address their complicity in systemic racism. I wrote a bold letter to the Groundlings with solutions for how to shift their way of operating when it comes to diversity. I led a healing writing workshop for Juneteenth. I’ve answered phone calls. Read drafts and given notes. Sat shiva with a friend who lost her Papi around the same time I lost my Tia. Learned how to cook delicious recipes from my roommate. Shot a short film about Death. Got to see another short film I starred in premiere. Paid my bills. Walked on the beach. Wept. Screamed. Punished myself. Dug my pen into blank paper. Drafted, redrafted emails. Fallen apart in my roommate’s lap. Turned in all my auditions on time. Narrated an entire curriculum for a driving school. Prayed on my knees, gasping between each rosary bead. Tik Tok’d. Scroll’d. Liked. Regrammed. Called attention to the ways our leaders are failing us. Applauded my friends’ wins.
I’m sure I’m forgetting some stuff. I’m living in and trying to breathe through many of the ramifications of the pandemic – good and bad. And, y’all. I’m so so tired.