Wednesday, September 16, 2009

When I grow up....

As my birthday approaches I have been rather reflective, thinking about all the things I wanted to be as a little girl. I wanted to be an oceanographer, an archeologist, a smoking nun, or someone who could love for a living.
Now let’s break these down. I loved all of the pretty, colorful fish, and was fascinated by whales, so being an oceanographer made sense to a five-year-old. But who are we kidding, that would mean that I wouldn’t. have a decent hair day my entire life, and that simply would not do.
I was equally fascinated by ancient Egypt - old ruins, mummies, priceless artifacts… National Geographic really did a job on me. And as much as I loved to play in the dirt, it also meant I would be sleeping in tents, and I am more of a sleeping on a soft feathery bed with room service kinda girl.
Now the smoking nun is an interesting story. I always knew I wanted to smoke, because I saw my dad and mom both look so refined and sophisticated smoking with cigarette holders – sooo 50’s glam right?! And from my young perspective it looked like nuns really didn’t do much. I saw them at airports on occasion, so I knew they traveled, I knew they were "married" to God, and that seemed easy enough, and they took care of poor people. How hard could that be? Until I watched A Nun’s Story with Audrey Hepburn. Oh hell no! I was scared straight!
So that left me with loving people for a living… How in the world was I going to find that job? And as one does, I forgot all about it, distracted by a real love of theatre. Having a mom who started a English speaking group in Colombia, I grew up in a darkened theatre and lived in make believe worlds for much of my adolescence, which probably saved my life. And that is how I actually got to LA. I came here looking for all the fame and glory I knew I was destined for… Not so much. I had the good fortune of being a PA for a very low budget film, where one of the leads was a porn star, and the executive producer would bring in zip lock bags full of weed to the office to share. A real class act! After taking a 6 month shower to wash off all the slime off of me, I did odd jobs, until I met Debrah, and she introduced me to my bliss. Working with young people from a community the world had already made up it’s mind was not worth saving.
Last Sunday, I went bowling with a few of the young people I first met, back in the day. My OG babies, who are now in their late 20’s and early 30’s. (That part makes me want to throw up a little in my mouth) They are vibrant, successful, and gloriously funny adults, who a) tell me I look exactly the same – and that is because I raised them right, and b) claim that I had some part in them growing up to be who they are today.
I am humbled, blessed, and grateful for every day that I get to love for a living. And for the chance I get every day to learn to love myself, the way that these amazing young people love me.
Your older, and yet more refined friend,

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