This statement I uttered to myself a few years ago after making love with my man when he went to the bathroom....I just want to be a woman...... It has forever stuck with me as to what did I really mean by it. As I get older and my life allows me to become more and more of that woman, the knowledge deepens inside. It takes root and is beginning to grow a beautiful tree based more on truth than any I have ever lived in my life.
I never as a young person had any desire whatsoever to be in the public eye as many have. In fact, too much attention on me was paralyzing. I had modest aspirations...a hair dresser, a stewardess as they were called then, or the token "marine biologist" that all kids think they what to be at one time or another.
I remember being in a play as a very young girl, maybe 7 or 8 yrs old. It, to date, remains the only play I have ever been in. Charlotte's Web. No, I did not go up for the lead as my best friend did. I had no desire to actually BE in the play although I adored the book. I think I was assigned a mandatory role and that frightened me beyond belief.
I still remember it like it was yesterday. I was a cat who purred one little line. Only a few words which I cannot remember now. My favorite part was putting the costume together and having my face painted with whiskers. I loved to dress up, what girl doesn't. This is still a fall back costume when I am lazy on Halloween. Clip on two ears, paint a nose and whiskers, throw on a leopard jacket and voila....a cat costume. Either that or curlers with pajamas to which my Myles yells...that's what you always wear!!!!
I remember the awkwardness of my tail being stapled to the behind of my leotard. The auditorium, the seats, all the people. That familiar feeling to this day of "performing" where my heart is beating out of my chest. As it gets closer and closer to the moment when all I had to do was utter a short line starting with a ppuurrrring sound.
Well, I got through it, crouched on all fours as a cat with my back intentionally to the audience and half hidden under a table. The same table that show cased my dear friend in all her Charlotte glory. Ppppuuurrrr..... Thank God, I got the line out....
But I was told that I spoke so quietly that nobody even heard my line. Sad but true. Yet, not surprising to the deepest part of me. Show business was not in my blood, it was my destiny for a time but not something I chose. I am often fond of saying, it chose me.
What did it mean to utter and feel the lightness of just wanting to be a woman after a beautiful connection with my man. I still digest this and shall continue to. But now ....I feel it showed how for so many years of my life I have been a man in a woman's body. This is a problem I feel most women have living in this society.
A stay at home mother is almost a dirty statement. Like the scene in one of my fav films Terms of Endearment. Debra Winger is visiting her friend in L.A. (aka city of LOST ANGELS) and when she tells a group of woman she does not work and stays with her children they look at her as if she is sick. It is brilliant. The entire film is.
Women are not allowed to be just women anymore. In terms that are now seen as old fashioned. And it is to those who have the desire to be just a woman, I speak. The expectations are so high, so cruel, so not as it was intended to be. What about where the woman creates a nest and stays and cares for her babies while her hunter husband collects the food. Caveman, yes. But essential truths, that too.
I also understand that this is not appealing to many women. Some want the career and all. That is fine too. The many faces of truth. But here I only share mine. And my experience of having had a full time career and now being basically a stay at home mother. What a rude awakening it has all been.
How much judgement I too used to have for those who stayed at home. Not realizing how much work there is to do. How much more selfless an act it is. How perfectly beautiful to see each and every "first" of your baby. To know them so intimately. My baby has not left my or his fathers side for the entire 3.8yrs of his life. Even in the hospital, he was never without one or both of us at his side. I take great pride in that. It has been MY pleasure and the gift that my man has given me and our baby. It is admirable and immeasurable in its magnitude as far as I am concerned.
I used to bask in the phrase "single mother". I filled that role as best as I could. While juggling a consuming and self-indulgent career. At the expense of my sweet first born Myles Maximillian having a real mother. He had a mother-father-career person in me. I regret that for him and often tell him. And am thankful that for the past 4 years I have been a permanent fixture in his ascend into adulthood. At times, to his dismay....hehehe....but not really.
All that really drew me into acting beyond the vain ideas of a 19yr old was what my dear teacher, mentor and friend Roy London said:
Like you know that awful childhood you had, this is a place to look at it, share and heal. And that I need to have a more important reason to be there than to "get the jobs. That this work was to ahve the courage exploring things about yourself WHILE you are being filmed, not once you think you have it figured out. To seek, stumble, fall, be lost and found in the next moment...right there on film. And that if
i did not lie.....the camera would not either........
He said so many things but that will be an entire blog or chapter in my book. The man changed my life and still occupies much space in my heart...and photos on the walls of my home though he passed almost 17 yrs ago.
These words and more all struck chords deep & powerful in my soul. He made it appealing in an incredibly challenging way. Not just about being painted and trying to be sexy, as most young ingenues are pushed to do. But to go deep and illuminate your own humanness and your own unique struggle and that would then touch others truths in themselves. God willing. So grateful that such a powerful mission could be placed into my hands. Just some goofy girl from Michigan.
There is also the fact that most of us actors have a deep need to be loved. Well really...who doesn't... But that combined with an arrested development. We usually come from great dysfunction and abuse of one or many forms. Not to feel sorry for us.....it most likely is in 90 o/o of people's life experience. It is only to illustrate how that can add fuel to the "get famous" fire. A fire that no amount of fame can put out.
But for me.... in the process.... I lost a lot of myself. Or maybe, its not that I lost myself, it's that it did not allow me discover myself in an organic way as all of these "stories" were put onto me to tell. My choice.....no pity party....I am grateful and thankful for my opportunities and memories but this is a look back at it all with different eyes.
I can share that even now I have moments of losing it after having been a "working woman" for SO many years, feel lost, listen to the dogma..... But those moments are far outweighed by deep joy in the seeming mundane. Yesterday seeing my baby boy truly learning to swim for the first time. Hearing his words increase daily. Having given so much time, effort and fight to get his autistic needs met through the state.
Therapy with Christian James 5 days a week, reading book after book to get his needs met. Fighting sometimes with the Daddy as I am left to give the quick version and he feels like I am correcting him. And I am but only because I have the luxury of being in all the sessions and reading the books that his hunter, provider man allows us, his family, the family I always dreamed of.
So in those moments when I feel like I should be providing more financially, I remind myself that there are more ways than monetarily to give to a family. And I do so in abundance. Getting back more than anything my career gave me. Real love, a permanence, the joy of knowing I had a direct hand in their life's and the people they are becoming. Things that I cannot even put words to.....best put....my cup runneth over.
And just being a woman...well, it seems I am one now. One that does not try to me a man too. As my man fills that role to completion. I never dreamt of acting, I dreamt of a stable family and children to love and raise. A man to love, be my best friend and grow old with. This attention is all I have ever really wanted and needed.
So although it does continue to grow and evolve and has its inherent ups and downs.... I am now....just...a...woman.......