Tag Archives: confidence

More Thoughts On Online Dating (or Not Letting My Past Dictate My Future)

I know that I just recently wrote about online dating, but I wanted to write about it again. I still think it’s so crazy how I was having no luck with dating for years and now it’s coming much easier to me. I’m still not dating anyone seriously, but I’m having fun meeting new people. And the fact that dating is fun again for me is a novelty that I’m not used to. I’m glad that this is a fun experience for me since it hasn’t been that way before. I’m due for lots of good things in my life and I’m glad that dating is now one of them.

For so long, dating meant putting up with someone who I lowered my standards for. Or dealing with someone who didn’t treat me the way I deserved to be treated. There are many dating regrets I’ve had in the past and I have tried to learn from them. I’ve always assumed that this is due to low self-esteem but never thought too much about it. But I’ve had some dates lately where I am able to see that I don’t want to put up with someone like that so I leave and I couldn’t figure out why I’m able to react like that now when I wasn’t before.

I’ve been doing some soul-searching and having some honest conversations with friends and I think that being open and honest has helped me make the most of this dating adventure. I’m finally realizing things that may have been affecting me and my life without me really knowing about it.

When I was a teenager, there was someone in my life who told me that I was unloveable. They told me that people didn’t care about me and that nobody would ever care about me. They felt this way about me because I was fat. This person was someone who should not have treated me this way, but they did. When this person told me all this, I knew that they were crazy and I tried to ignore it. I didn’t tell anyone else in my life that this happened for years and just tried to put it behind me.

But now that I’m having some more reflection in my life, I think that maybe this person did end up influencing me and my beliefs about myself. Maybe I have been tolerating people who didn’t treat me the way I deserve to be treated because deep down I’m terrified that I’m unloveable. Maybe I’ve clung to something because I’m scared that the guy is the only person who will ever like me. Maybe I have let rejection affect me more because I am afraid that this would be the last guy that I would date. I know that those things aren’t the truth, but it’s tough when there’s something deep down in your subconscious mind.

I’m trying to remember that if one guy rejects me that I like, it doesn’t mean that everything is over. It can feel like that sometimes when I will meet a bunch of people one week and then nobody the next week. But just when I think that I will never match with someone else online, I match with someone and have a fun first date! I’ve never been a big dater before so I’m not used to this pattern. But I’m trying to realize that this is just the way it is, no matter who you are and what you look like.

Even though in the dating world I have to fight this voice in my head saying I might be unloveable, I’m so lucky that I don’t have to fight that voice when it comes to my friends. And having great friends while navigating the online dating world is so important. I sometimes need to rant after a really horrible date or talk to someone about a really great date.

And because I know how important it is to be careful, I have a friend who I send details of who I’m meeting before I meet them. I usually send her their name, phone number, where I’m meeting them, and a screenshot of their profile. I joke that this gives her what she needs in case something happens to me. But I really haven’t felt unsafe on any dates which is good too. In the past, it seemed like my bad dates outweighed the good ones. I don’t know if I’m being picker now or what, but most of my dates are now good ones. And I have met guys who I would like to keep seeing but that just hasn’t happened yet. But “yet” is the key to that sentence and I’m trying to stay hopeful.

I’m sure that having the voice in my head saying that I’m unloveable is part of the problem in my dating life in the past. I just never realized that before and let it keep affecting me. But now that I’m able to do more reflection on myself I’m glad that I have realized this and am now able to make some changes in my attitude so I don’t have to let this voice in my head control things from now on.

“Unapologetic” (or Being A Documentary Subject)

Sometimes, I feel like fate guides me to go places because I am really meant to be there for some other reason. And this is a story of fate directing me that I’m so proud of.

Not too long ago, I attend a SAG-AFTRA panel on diversity. Originally, there was no way I could attend that panel because I would have either still been in the hospital after surgery or just home from the hospital. And even without having surgery, that was during the time that my parents were in town so I was sure I’d be busy with them that evening. But I ended up having the evening free and was able to attend and I loved it!

Everyone on the panel was incredible and I got to meet many of them at the reception after the panel. And one of the panelists that I got to talk to more than others was Michelle Jubilee Gonzalez, who is a stunt performer. I knew after listening to her on the panel that I wanted to see about getting her on the Inside Acting Podcast, so I pitched her at the reception. After talking to her about the podcast I gave her my card. I only had my personal/acting/blogging card but since that has all my contact information on it I always seem to give it out. And when I did, Michelle noticed the name of this blog on the card.

She immediately told me about an amazing documentary that she’s producing called “Unapologetic”. And as soon as she sent me the synopsis, I knew immediately that I wanted to be a part of this!

“Unapologetic”: Why apologize for a body frame that doesn’t fit in a very narrow measurement of subjective definitions of beauty? In this documentary we will explore the opinions, struggles, and accomplishments of numerous women that not only broke the mold, but also opened the door for other women to feel empowered in their own natural beauty.

I was so honored that Michelle and her producing partner, Sarah, asked me to be interviewed for this project! I would have loved to help out in any way but to be one of the subjects was so much more than I expected. Of course, I immediately said yes and this past weekend I was interviewed for “Unapologetic”.

When I arrived, Michelle was still doing her own interview so I got to listen to her story and get an idea of the questions that were going to be asked of me when I was in front of the camera.

When it was my turn, I got miked up and ready to go. Most of the questions were pretty easy for me to answer and are things that I talk about on here (body image, my eating disorder, my fitness journey, acting) but there were plenty of questions that made me stop and think really hard about how I wanted to answer it. In answering some of the questions, I learned a lot about myself and realized new things that I never thought about before. It was really an amazing self-discovery journey that happened in front of the camera.

I do think that I am pretty unapologetic for myself. I am who I am and I know that I’m not going to make everyone happy at all times. But all I can do is to make myself happy and make sure I’m not hurting others in that process. But another part of being unapologetic is to not be apologizing for yourself or saying sorry all the time. I’m totally guilty of saying “sorry” when I don’t need to and it’s a bad habit that I’ve been working on stopping. There are so many articles on why women say sorry so often, and I know that I totally fit into that stereotype.

I even apologized after my interview for the documentary was done. I was saying that I was sorry for rambling and talking too much. It’s so ironic that I finished being interviewed for a project called “Unapologetic” by apologizing! But I know that fixing this constant apologizing habit takes a lot of time and I haven’t been working on it as hard as I should be.

I was interviewed on the first day of interviews, so this film may not be coming out for a while. Of course I will keep you all posted on any updates I have on the film because I want you to be able to check it out! I only know 2 of the stories in it (mine and Michelle’s) and I really want to hear what everyone else had to say. It’s such a powerful topic and I know that I will learn so much from everyone else!

Thank you again to Michelle, Sarah, and the entire crew of “Unapologetic” for asking me to participate! I had the best time on set and you were all awesome! It’s still crazy to me that people want to hear my story because I feel like I’m not that unique. But maybe by speaking openly about my experience that is what is unique about me. I’m not scared to share the good, bad, and the ugly about my life and I hope that others will be able to relate and feel understood or not alone.

Now I’m just going to have to be patient to find out when this is done and ready to share with the world!

Feeling Secure (or Not Letting Past Jobs Make Me Feel Bad Anymore)

I’ve always had confidence issues with my day jobs. I’m not quite sure what set it off to begin with. The after school jobs I had in high school and college were fine (although my high school job did expose me to TB but that wasn’t too much of an issue). And while it’s always tough to find good day jobs, I’ve found several that work out for me.

But for as long as I can remember, if a boss at a day job wanted to talk to me, I was so sure that I was being let go or I did something horribly wrong.

I have had some horrible day jobs, but nothing that made them horrible was something that I brought on to myself. I had one boss who was very verbally abusive and threatened me when I questioned something that turned out to be insurance fraud. I left that job after my boss said that I really should die (and sadly, I never reported anything because I didn’t know that I should). I’ve had bosses who were awesome for a week or two, but then required me to take a class at a place of worship for me to continue working for them. I’m fine with continuing education, but I don’t want to be forced to take the class inside of someone’s church. And I’ve had bosses who were just outright mean to me and talked about my weight loudly behind my back so I could hear it.

Even though I didn’t deserve any of those things to happen to me, somehow I have it in my head that it is my fault. I’ve compared myself to a puppy who came from an abusive situation and is now in a good home. I don’t know how to react with good things and I’m always assuming that I’m doing something bad.

I’ve been pretty lucky with my box office job. Even though I work alone in my house, I do get feedback from time to time. My manager lets me know when things are going well and when I have to email different locations about things, I do get praised for taking initiative.

With my new job, it’s a little more difficult and easier at the same time. It’s easier because I used to work for this boss before and she knows my confidence issues with work. She’s happy to reassure me that I’m doing the right thing and knows that I’m very paranoid about it all. But it’s more difficult because there is less feedback because so much of this job is creating the procedure to get things done. So there’s really no way to know if I’m doing things “right” or not until we figure out that it isn’t working.

Because I’m finally feeling more comfortable that I’m not going to be fired tomorrow at either of my day jobs (seriously, I’ve felt like that every day for forever), I’m trying to readjust my feelings and thoughts about day jobs. This is not just a situation where I’m working because I need a job. The companies I work for need me too. I’m a valuable employee and not disposable (although I have had people in the past say that I am always going to be a disposable employee).

Hopefully by rebuilding my day job confidence I can just do better in my work and be able to focus at the tasks I need to get done and not have to worry about if I will still be working tomorrow.

Updating Me (or It Never Hurts To Ask)

This morning, I had a phone meeting with Joanna Brooks, who is the photographer that I’ll be using for some new headshots. I’m getting some new headshot done because I’ve been using these two for a while and I want some new ones.

And yes, I am wearing the same shirt in both pictures. I didn’t think about that at the time I was taking the second one, but I know that color looks good on me based on Jill Kirsh’s color methods. They are both great pictures, and I love both of the photographers that I worked with, but I need a change.

This photo is pretty much the only thing that decides whether or not I get an audition. When hundreds of actors are submitted for the same job, I need to make sure that my photo stands out and gets their attention.

Joanna and I had a really great phone meeting. I love her energy and she has some great ideas on how to shoot me in order to get the results that I am hoping for.

I had also brought up my weight loss in our phone meeting and my concern about having to do new pictures every time I lose 25-30 pounds. I asked about possibly pre-paying for a bunch of smaller sessions so I could use them when I needed an updated shot. Joanna was so sweet about it on the phone and she gave me a deal for future update shoots that will work perfectly for my budget and what I’ll need. So the plan for me for photos is one shoot this month with 3 looks, update shoots while I’m losing weight, and then once I’m at a weight that I’m happy with and am able to maintain (which is always the tough part) then we’ll do another big shoot then.

I’m so happy that I was able to work something out that works for both her and I. I’m always nervous to ask for something different or special, but if you never ask, you’ll never know. I think the confidence to ask for things like this has come from my day job. When I’m taking orders, we are supposed to ask if the customer would like to also make a donation to help our educational programs. Donations are the main thing that help keep that program alive. At first, I was so scared to ask for the donations. But now, I’m fearless with it. The worst someone can say is no, and then I’m no worse off than I was before I asked.

I’m just glad that when I asked Joanna about update photo shoots for me, she said yes. Now I have another motivation to keep me on this weight loss journey, however long it may take.

Being Underestimated (or Does My Opinion Not Matter?)

Sometimes I love being underestimated. At my current job, I’m the only person without previous sales experience. So when I became one of the top sales people, my boss was very impressed. Those moments are pretty fun.

I joke that being underestimated is my superpower. And it does feel that way at times.

But then there are other times that I’m underestimated and no matter how much evidence there is to the contrary, some people just will not listen to me.

I’ve encountered that a bunch in the entertainment industry. People think that just because I look the way I do, I must not know anything. I must not know about headshots, or joining SAG-AFTRA, or even which companies are scams and which are not.

I’ve met several people who couldn’t believe that I’m an actor. When I go to networking events, people who don’t know me will come up to me almost right away to chat with me, thinking I’m a casting director, writer, or producer. And when I say that I’m also an actor, you can see their eyes instantly glaze over.

I can’t let other people’s opinions of me get me down. If anything, I have to find it funny. There’s one story that I always try to remember when my confidence is low.

There is a store in LA called Reproductions where you can get your headshots printed up. It’s a very popular store so there is always a line. I was in line one day to review my proofs and this girl gets in line behind me. While the rest of us in line were dressed pretty casually, this girl was all dolled up. Full makeup, totally done hair, high heels, miniskirt, and a corset top. Also, most actors bring in their headshots on a CD that just has something like “JL Headshots” written on it with a sharpie. This girl had a custom done label with glitter ink and little thumbnails of her headshot all over the CD. She looked like she must have been new to town.

After she got in line behind me, she tapped me on the shoulder and asked me if I was in line. I almost laughed at the question, but I responded that I was in line. She asked me why, and I said that I needed to check my headshot proofs. Her response was, “Headshots? You can’t be an actress. You are too fat.”. After she said that, my mouth dropped open and I could see that several other people in line were shocked too. I didn’t really have a response for her (I really wish I had a snappy comeback), so I just let it go.

This situation was so ridiculous in my mind that it never really bothered me. And I just have to keep remembering when people are underestimating me and not listening to what I have to say that it is just their opinion of me. And I don’t have to base my opinion of myself on what others may think.

Although I have to say it is a lot easier to type that last sentence out than to put it into practice, but I’m working really hard at making that happen.

I Wish I Was 4 Again (or Where Did My Confidence Go?)

On Saturday after work, I headed over to my friend Erin’s house. Erin started out as my hairstylist back in 2006 and we quickly became friends.

When I don’t have enough money for her to do my hair, she’ll do it free as a favor. And when she needs a babysitter for her 2 kids, I’ll help her out for free too.

On Saturday, she was going to do my hair and then I was going to watch her kids so she and her husband could have a date night. After my hair was done, I started playing with her kids (who I will refer to as O and K to protect their privacy).

I’ve been watching her daughter O since she was 1 (she’s 4 now) and I’ve been watching her son K since he was a week old (he’s 1 now). I love her kids. They are so much fun and her daughter has the cutest most ridiculous personality. When O was 2 and I was over babysitting, she asked her mom “what beverage do you suggest I have with my movie?”. Seriously?!?!? What kid says that?

On Saturday, O decided to model her new back to school boots for me. I held up my phone to take a picture and instantaneously she went into a crazy pose. Then she posed a couple more times and demanded that I take pictures of those too.

She never worried about looking silly or if that wasn’t the best angle for her. I wish I could be that calm when taking a photo.

Whenever I’m having my photo taken (headshots or casual photos), I’m always thinking about how I’m posed. Is this my best side? Do I look thin? How is my hair? Am I more towards the back so I look skinnier? I once read that if you press your tongue to your teeth when you are smiling, your face looks much thinner. So I always do that.

I wish that I could have the carefree confidence that O has. It’s so freeing and beautiful to watch. I’ll have to act more like her in the future.