The casual art of becoming –
If you’d told me at sixteen that I’d be part of a global brand bringing incredible worlds to life, I think I’d have probably have denied it. Not because I didn’t think it was possible, but because I was certain that I was going to be an actress.
In fact just about every definition of me and every action I took, was fuelled by that phrase ‘I’m going to be an actress‘.
I didn’t really ever ask myself if being an actress was what I really wanted, if that aligned with my core values or if it fitted into my life. I just sort of decided that would be what I did.
& I did. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t. I’ve appeared on television, in films, on stage, in music videos, and okay so I’m not the face of Hollywood – but actually having stood in front of the Hollywood sign, socialized at the Rainbow and sung badly at Whisky a Go Go, stood in the places that as a girl I only dreamed, I can honestly say I felt an overwhelming sense of – nothing. Okay, so maybe not nothing, but nothing more than fleeting ‘huh, so that’s what that feels like‘, or ‘great – what’s next‘.
In fact it was so overwhelming I found myself entering an existential crisis. I’d already created my own business through running a music blog and later PR brand, I’d worked in the beauty industry for a global brand, in the travel industry, for a law firm, as a photographer, model, I’d been in love, had my heart broken, suffered trauma and been on top of the world, in fact, my life story was beginning to sound like lyrics from a Hole song – & that was all before 30.
So either two things were true, either, I was terrible at everything – a jack of all trades, master of none – or, I was never going to find my dream job/life/existence. Well, it appears there was a third option – but before we delve into that – jack of all trades, master of none is basic bull. You can be good at a great many things, you can be a master of more than one thing – oh and you are allowed to change your mind/direction at any moment in this life. I know they try to tell you not to, but don’t listen to them, listen to yourself.
So here it is, that third option – I hadn’t ‘found’ or ‘created’ me yet, because I hadn’t been asking myself any questions. I’d taken something I wore like a cloak from childhood onwards and used it to somewhat cover myself like a butterfly trying to remain inside it’s cocoon. I hadn’t let myself bloom.
I joined a life coaching group and honestly – I can’t even remember why, but let’s just say intuition took over and I’m glad it did. I joined and didn’t even attend the first month of sessions. Then the pandemic hit and I thought, ‘alright I’m going to give this life coaching thing a go since everything else is cancelled’. That one casual thought one morning led to a spiraling chain of events.
I joined the online call in my pyjamas with unbrushed hair assuming that day would be like any other in this suddenly extraordinary ordinary life I was living.
Actually what happened next was as though all that tension, energy and matter combined in the form of one topic, just long enough to react and a new existence was thrust into my being.
That was the first topic – now I’ll be honest, I’ve been on quite the deep-dive into myself this past year and that’s not always been happy or peaceful. It did get me asking myself some tough questions. It wasn’t instant and life is about balance, some days I boss babe through the day, others I bite the inside of my own face and drop grilled vegan cheese down myself.
‘What are my core values?’ among others like ‘does that really align with who I am, or am I projecting who I think I should be’. Eventually I realized something fairly monumental and since that epiphany I’ve not regretted a thing.
Through evaluating my perception and understanding of not only myself but the world around me I am able to understand what speaks to me, what stokes the fires of my heart, makes my spirit bright with passion & ultimately, what aligns with my core values. In total this leads to what serves me, and when I serve me, I can serve you.
I won’t go into the details, because well that’s very personal – but what I discovered, was not that I needed to be an actress because it was the only thing I’d ever wanted, but that an actress was a part of who I am, and always will be, but actually it wasn’t the ‘everything‘ I’d decided it would be when I was just a teenager with no experience in the world.
Interestingly, and no I don’t kiss and tell – I was recently speaking with an actress who accolades certainly are admirable and she said ‘no, acting isn’t everything to me, in fact it’s not even the only way I forge my living. It’s the other things, the baking, the cuddles with my dog, the family times, the road trips with friends and no, I was foolish to ever think that’s all I’d do. I probably could, but actually there’s so much more out there for me‘.
I’d decided acting was for me, because I grew up in a small town and I was desperate for adventure, a life beyond the rolling hills and little rivers of the shire, I wanted the excitement, the apartment, the lifestyle. I wanted people to remember me. – That’s important here. I wanted people to remember me, admire me.
I had a fear of dying that I now understand stemmed from health anxiety – it’s not my place to talk about my triggers here though, let’s leave that for a later chapter – but that fuelled this ‘need‘ to be remembered, to ‘achieve‘ something like fame.
Actually, I wasn’t all that certain that is was for me. I mean at least not the only thing for me.
After a year of soul searching and developing an understanding of my core values, I’ve come to realise that actually it’s not the being remembered that’s important to me. It’s the leaving the world a better place than I found it – I began to understand, that it wasn’t the admiration I needed from others, it was from myself.
I not only didn’t love myself anymore, I treated myself awfully. In fact when I first really took time to look at how I treated myself, I cried for an hour solidly curled up in a ball on my floor. Imagine – if I had treated someone else that way!
So when I was done crying and snuffling into my sleeve, I managed to realise that the loathing I was internalizing had mostly come from outside sources. Like as if I’d taken a walk in a bikini and rolled in nettles. I could feel the burn, I could see the effect and I could slowly heal myself, but the irritation was something I could avoid in future, even though sometimes it’s so well camouflaged among the pleasant things in life.
Not only that, that actually my life wasn’t one journey, it was a patchwork quilt of all the moments in my life stitched together. The weave of which is the most beautiful journey of all. I wasn’t waiting for my moment, my moment was already happening – it’s still happening and it will continue to happen – it’s how I respond to life that matters.
And all of a sudden, it was like the clouds cleared and the stars were visible in the night sky.
I wasn’t bad at things or flakey and underserving of happiness, I just had been tuned into slightly the wrong station on the cosmic wireless and been getting distortion which was making the message vague.
I am an actress, a dancer, a model, an artist, a wordsmith, a warrior, a wildling. I am a lover, a goddess in human form. I am all the things I desire, embody and envision, maybe even still more.
I’d been looking through the looking glass the wrong way and couldn’t see the beauty in all that was around me, but I started to. The adventure wasn’t over, it really was only just beginning. I’m not defined by my career, my income, my house, my circles or one photograph, by a dance routine, by the color of my hair, or even the clothes I wear. And I most certainly am not defined by what others do with their lives.
Those things, the career, the circles, the passions, the personality and the expression are part of me, they are parts of the character I am, but actually underneath it all, at my core it’s the cosmos. I am stardust in human form, I am magic purely by existence, and it’s not about what I do that get’s me remembered, it’s about who I am and the impact I make on those around me.
It’s not about being famous to prove myself to those around me, or to feel like I haven’t failed or not achieved anything. That was all my inner critic and seeking outward validation through a lack of self-love that fuelled that perception.
I define success by my own terms, I love myself and I respect myself. (okay, that made me pause a little to say I respect myself.) So, rather, I am learning to love myself and respect myself. I don’t seek the outward validation and mask it in costume, I’ll be honest when I need that attention from you.
I validate myself. I am enough, in fact, I’m a bit of a babe. By showing up for myself, be taking that journey, I can serve me. When I can serve me, I have energy for you. I mean that get’s us onto boundaries and again that’s a topic for a later chapter.
My mantra these days – Live as authentically as I can can. When you live authentically for you, your life will change. When you change your life, you change the lives of others. Everything is connected. If everyone lived that way, imagine how we’d change the world.
I no longer feel held back by what I believed of myself, or by the boundaries I set before I even began to know myself. I am life, I am in bloom, I am in the process of evolving, to become my highest level of me.
It’s not what I’ll do with my life that means you’ll remember me, it’s how I made you feel.
It’s not what I do with my life that defines me, it’s how it made me feel.
What you think about me, what you say about me, that’s only a reflection on you. If you make me your villain, then that’s your energy.
Because I have enough light within my charge to light your path without it dimming my own. I rise so I can raise those in my life too.
And so here’s my truth – I won’t shrink for others to make them comfortable, I won’t be defined by their words. I’ll live authentically and in alignment with my core values. I am fuelled by cosmic energy and I am connected to life by how I live each of my moments.
I didn’t feel ‘complete’ when I lived by the expectation I had to be just one thing, or that life was about achieving those specific things, because my story isn’t complete – in fact the quilt of life is still being stitched together. I enjoyed those moments, along with many more that I’ve experienced since then and hope many more still to come.
I am an actress, but the greatest role I get to play is me, my life is the story I want to share. Why play a great role, when I could live the greatest role.
& as the dust of my life’s big bang settled and energy calmed, the plot began to thicken….
So tell me, cosmic wanderer, what story are you going to weave?
If you enjoyed reading this excerpt, then you may want to consider reading the full book – The Cosmic Existence – A guide to living your most connected extraordinary ordinary life.
The chapters are formulated in a series of life experiences, mantras and cosmic connections, that describe one girls journey to self-discovery & the challenges along the way.
The human life is a beautiful thing, this book is my perspective on the casual art of becoming, from my own lived experience – KG
The Cosmic Existence, available winter 2021.