Almost two years ago, I quit my soul-sucking job. It was a job that I had had since I moved to New York. On paper, it was arguably perfect. I was on salary, I received benefits, and there was lots of free alcohol. Oh, and I could leave to audition any time I wanted.
Right now you’re wondering:
1. Why would you EVER leave this holy grail of actor survival jobs?
2. Have they filled your [obviously irreplaceable/gigantic/un-fillable] shoes? If not, where can I send my resume?
As it turns out, perfect on paper just wasn’t good enough. One day, I found myself in a bodega on the phone with my mom.
Mom: Where are you? Are you crying?
Me: Uh huh. Um… I’m in a bodega? Downstairs from my office?
Mom: Why are you crying?
Me: … I don’t know?
Mom: You’re in a bodega and you can’t tell me why you’re crying? You need to quit.
And so I did.
I never looked back.
[Ok. That’s an exaggeration. Usually, somewhere around the 1st and the 15th of the month, I had a low-balance-alert induced moment of regret, but it would always pass.]
I decided that I was going to recommit myself to auditioning and get into better shape. I started actually going to my gym. The months went by, and I became addicted to running. I was a veritable Forrest Gump [or something]. I saw the results of my hard work, and I was proud of myself. I enjoyed a brief stint as the mayor of my gym on Foursquare. I entered my very first New York Road Runners race. I had visions of running a marathon [watch out, Kenyans].
Meanwhile, I got myself mixed up in a sticky situation with a gentleman who was bad news. Suffice it to say that things ended badly. [Very badly.] As that situation deteriorated, I developed severe pain in my left foot. At first I ignored it. Eventually, it became so excruciating that running was no longer an option; in the mornings, just walking was barely manageable.
Fast forward a few months.
I was on a tour and having trouble sleeping in the sundry Comfort Inns, La Quintas, and Super 8s that dot the landscape of our fine country. I decided to go to Bed Bath and Beyond to buy a mask and some ear plugs. I asked one of the sales associates to lead me to the sleeping masks, and she escorted me to an end-cap display. Hanging upon the end-cap was an assortment of purple and pink faux-satin eye-masks with phrases like “Sleeping Diva” and “Don’t Wake the Princess!” embroidered across them. I obviously hadn’t expressed myself clearly to the sales associate: I wasn’t looking for goody-bag items for a bachelorette party. I needed a sleeping mask that would ACTUALLY help me sleep. [Side note: I eventually found this one in another part of the store and I’m OBSESSED with it. It doesn’t touch your eyelids, so you can’t even feel it on you!]
Atop the display of novelty eye-masks, someone had discarded an unwanted foot massager [that looked sort of like an abacus]. I picked it up, wondering if it might help my plantar fasciitis [as it had now been diagnosed]. I flipped it over to find a foot reflexology map. [Reflexology 101: reflexology is an “alternative medicine involving the physical act of applying pressure to the feet, hands, or ears with specific thumb, finger, and hand techniques… It is based on what reflexologists claim to be a system of zones and reflex areas that they say reflect an image of the body on the feet and hands, with the premise that such work effects a physical change to the body.”] I scanned the map to find the precise location on my foot that had been causing me pain for so many months.
Lo and behold, that location was labeled “Sexual Organs”.
My mind was blown.
It wasn’t a coincidence that, when all the shit was hitting the proverbially fan with that bad-news gentleman, my foot started to voice [scream] its opinion on the issue. As it turns out, I didn’t need a podiatrist for what ailed me. I needed a therapist to work out my still lingering issues. My emotional strife had manifested itself in a physical way.
Armed with this new information [and my foot abacus and my sleep mask], I felt like I had a new plan of attack. Within weeks my foot started to feel better. [Knowledge really is power, I guess.] Last month, with my foot mostly healed, I ran a half marathon.
In conclusion, A Convenient List of Takeaways:
1. My body knows what’s what. It’s probably just best to listen to it.
2. The universe is going to give me what I need. [Maybe that will come in the form of a reflexology map affixed to the back of a foot massager left on top of some cheap sleeping masks in a BB&Beyond. You never know. The universe is a mysterious, saucy minx like that.]
3. Quitting a soul-sucking day job is ALWAYS the right decision.
4. If it looks like bad news and smells like bad news, it’s probably bad news.
5. Stretch before and after running. [Duh. Running 101.]