What I wish I'd known...

This week marked the anniversary of my wedding day.

The entire day was a dream. Having my family and friends all in one space was seriously the fucking coolest. And sharing mine and Kev's love with everyone was so wonderful. We danced the night away, drank beer (we got married at a brewery in Chicago!) and had truly the best night of my life.

BUT, I wasn't happy.

YES I was ecstatic when it came to my love life. Kevan and I were in a wonderful place and so happy to be finally sharing a little piece of our lives with the people closest to us. I was on cloud nine to be around all of the people that I love most in this world.

But a year ago, I felt more lost than I ever had in my life. 


Let's rewind a little...

I graduated from college with a Bachelors degree in musical theatre. And while I LOVE acting and know it's something I'm supposed to do for the rest of my life, we were never really taught in school how to actually manage life in a practical sense (i.e. pay the bills, find work outside of acting, etc.)

So I did what all of my actor friends did. I found a job (well, multiple jobs really) just to get by. I worked at a call centre, I was a segway tour guide, I nanny-ed my butt off and I taught. All of that ON TOP of rehearsals in the evening for the various shows I was doing. At one point a year and a half ago, I was working six different jobs.

To say that I was burnt out is putting it lightly.

I had my wedding to look forward to and our mini moon to St Lucia but as soon as we got back to "reality", I came crashing down HARD.


You know that whole quarter life crisis thing? Well, let's just say I know allllll about it. I was a mess. I kept asking myself  "What am I doing with my life?" ... "Is this how it's going to be forever?"  ... and about a week after getting back to Chicago, I broke. 

I quit almost all of my jobs and spent a month soul searching. 

(I don't recommend this, by the way, but you know I will always tell it how it went down and well, that's what happened)

I was scared shitless. But I knew that I needed to take a strong hard look at what the hell I was doing with my life because I knew I was meant for so much more than the anxiety ridden, overwhelmed and exhausted version of myself that I had become. 

And I'm so glad I did. Because a year later, I'm in SUCH a different place. I've found I'm finally actually happy. I’ve found a career path outside of acting that actually LIGHTS ME UP. I’m calm. I’m happy. I wake up every morning and I’m so grateful for the world I’ve created for myself.

I feel FREE. And I get to spend my days working in little coffee shops like this, going for long walks with my dog and connecting with some of the most incredible women I've ever known.

How did I get here?

I asked myself three super simple (but crazy important) questions. And if my story has resonated with you at all, take a moment in your week and sit down and answer these questions too...Just write. Don't edit yourself. And you'll be surprised what you learn about yourself and what you really want.

Question 1: What makes you feel most ALIVE?

Question 2: Describe your perfect day, from the moment you get up in the morning to the minute you go to sleep.

Question 3: What do you VALUE most in life?

I know these may seem simple, but trust me when I say that if you take the time to sit down and get really clear with yourself on these answers, you will all of a sudden have a whole new world ahead of you. A potential world that is actually in line with what you need/want/crave. 

And though it may not be 100% feasible to just up and quit your life like I did, it IS possible to slowly start moving towards the quality of life you want.

You just have to decide you're worth it and take the leap.

So I guess all of this is to say that it's never too late to take a second chance on yourself. To live the life you crave. It's not going to be easy, and it's definitely going to be scary as all hell but from the gal who'se on the other side, I can promise you it's worth it.

(And if you wanna chat more about this with me, I'm always here for you. This is something I'm super passionate about. I'm an open book and happy to share, always.)

Xo Amanda