Thursday, January 21, 2010

getting there.

Someone from Racine, Wisconsin visited my blog today. I know this because I check my Feedjit feed obsessively. Where are people who land on my blog coming from? I need to know. It somehow validates my existence. I think that if people outside of Pittsburgh end up here, then I must be saying things that people want to know about. Granted, sometimes my Feedjit feed tells me that someone Googled words like "jaysus," "homeboy," and "fancy cars," and somehow they ended up on my blog. Yes, I do refer to Jesus as Jaysus, I did once indicate that St. Francis was my homeboy, and I wrote a post last year about how irritated I get by drivers of fancy cars. So, Google, you've done you're job. And for that, I thank you. Because it's gotten me some more readers, even if by accident. (That last sentence sounded totally selfish and ego-centric, but you know what I mean. I hope.)

So, yes--someone from Racine, Wisconsin landed on my blog. Why am I focusing on this, you ask? Because in a past life (okay, fine--seven and a half years ago) I was connected to Racine, Wisconsin. And not in a good way. I was connected to that small town in a way that forever changed my life. Long story short? Sure. I'll tell you.

After I graduated college in 2002, I was offered a modeling contract with Ford Models in Chicago. I took the contract. (When Ford says they want you, you go to them.) I moved from Pittsburgh to Kenosha, Wisconsin, a small town one hour north of the Windy City and 10 minutes south of Racine, Wisconsin. Why? Because my aunt and uncle lived there and offered to take me in until I could get on my feet in Chicago.

For the next two years, I:
1. never found a day job in Chicago
2. couldn't move into the city and ended up living with my aunt and uncle in Kenosha
3. went to countless castings and auditions and never landed one single acting or modeling job
4. fell in love with a guy (who's name was, I kid you not, Guy) and had my heart utterly ripped from my chest by him
5. eventually moved into my very first apartment ever in the middle of cornfields
6. worked two retail jobs just to pay the rent
7. worked temp jobs which included scooping candy into bags at the Jelly Belly factory nearby
8. contemplated ending my life (I say this in complete and utter seriousness)
9. continued to try to get acting and modeling work
10. gave up after two horrible, horrible years and moved back to Pittsburgh to start grad school

And I did all this while shopping my way through the grief at the mall in Racine, Wisconsin.

And you know what? I get a little PTSD when I see Wisconsin license plates, hear a Midwest accent, or walk into a BCBG. Seeing Racine pop up on my Feedjit made my stomach drop a little bit, because it brought back, like a raging flood, all of those horrible, depressing, tumultuous memories of my time in the Midwest. My heart broke in more ways than one during that experience.


I got through it. It was hell. Oh, my God. It was my own personal war, a battle I fought each day, hoping to survive, to not be beaten down so much that my poor body and soul would just quit. And I wanted to die. I really did. I couldn't believe what an absolute disaster of an experience it was. Two years! To this day, I still refer to those two years as the worst of my life. They truly were.

But look at where I am now! Oh, sweet Jaysus! I have a job I adore, I have a home that's all mine in a city that absolutely owns my heart, and I have a wonderful boyfriend. I have amazing friends, I have a master's degree in English, and I've had more acting and modeling work back here in Pittsburgh than ever before.

Sometimes, you just have to trust that God's got his hand All Over This Shit. Literally. He's wiping it clean, getting rid of the smell, removing the stains. He's making it better. Just for me. For you.

It took over seven years, but I got there. I got to the good place.

with love from Pittsburgh,

3 lovely bits o' feedback.:

Duel Living said...

So glad to hear that you are where you are SUPPOSED to be. That's a blessing for sure.
I have an uncle named Guy...I kid you not. And is weird. It's a French thing. My Aunt is named Gigi...she got the better end of that stick.

Akirah said...

Mmm. I'm glad you got thru it. It's those dark moments that show us who we really are...if we are strong. I'm glad you are strong.

I don't like Racine either, partly because my father wanted to name me Racine. Thank God my mom vetoed that one!

krista said...

i sort of feel that way about north hollywood.
and that's just one tiny town over.
but i most definitely don't ever want to live there ever again.
p.s. you should write travel brochures telling people where NOT to go.
that's a niche i would like to see filled.