Now I that I was working I had a new distraction to focus on – which was just code for; not pay attention to what was really going on in my life. I started to push my emotions down even deeper, I had a new place to put my attention and began paying less and less attention to myself. I had never been good at expressing how I felt in my personal life, I learned to bottle my feelings up at a young age and thus far it had worked pretty well, until now. I finally had a day when it all caught up with me. I was at the doctor yet again; the stress of the past few months had taken a serious toll on my body and my health. In the past 45 days I had an eye infection, two bacterial infections in my stomach and intestines, strep throat, I had lost almost ten pounds and most all of my appetite (except my taste for wine), my insomnia had reached new levels, my neck had locked up twice, I had a constant headaches, and to top it all off my hair had started falling out. Losing my looks was NOT an option at this point- being the vain creature that I am, this made me pay attention! “Stress is taking over your body and you better get a handle on it fast” I listened to the doctor say. This was a wake-up call. I knew what was happening and why. I just had to force myself to listen to my intuition and do what I knew needed to be done. I just wasn’t there yet.
“The word divorce makes my skin crawl. Whenever I hear it I want to scream… WHAT???? AGAIN???? How could I be getting divorced, AGAIN???? My next thought is; how the fuck did my life get so far off track? How did this happen? How did this happen to me?? I refuse to live ½ a life and to be scared all of the time like I am now. I don’t want to be scared, I don’t want to be in a gray fog. I want to live my life.”
When I got back from Hawaii Jaxton and I went to dinner. We hadn’t seen each other in several weeks, which didn’t surprise me at all, and it was great to catch up. Every time we were together I couldn’t help but wonder “is this the life I am supposed to have?” Did I want to be with him because I really want to be with him or did I want to be with him because it had been almost ten years of wondering? Though we had never been closer I still knew part of him was not letting me in, he was holding back and I can only assume I was too, it wasn’t like I was relationship ready.
Jaxton was extremely uncomfortable with the fact that I was not divorced. It wasn’t like he felt as if he was breaking some huge moral code, it was more like he didn’t want anyone to find out- especially people he worked with. Let’s just say he had a big job and he couldn’t afford any type of scandal. Jaxton had decided that due to his position in the world (aka his job) he was uncomfortable with us seeing each other while I was married. I didn’t know what I was; married, separated, single, so I agreed. Really I knew he was just scared but I didn’t have time to deal with anyone else’s insecurities or issues- I had enough of my own. I decided between my health issues and his relationship issues we were better off going back to just friends, for now. This would be hard but I had to start making some smart decisions and until my life was figured out I knew it would never work with him, or anyone.
I had seen a woman named Karen Grips on and off for years. She did not call herself a physic but she was a guide or medium of sorts. I had been speaking to her often in the past 4 months, I was desperate for someone to give me answers and tell me how to fix my life- because it is just that easy, right? If someone would have offered me a pill I would have taken it in a heartbeat. The one thing she said over and over is that I was “off my path.” No shit lady, I thought. She had said I should do whatever I needed to do to help myself get back on my path, so when my friend Rick called and asked if I wanted to host a pilot he was shooting, though it didn’t pay, I jumped at the chance!
I loved working in front of the camera, though when I had moved to San Francisco I had given up that part of my life. I had worked on camera since I was 18 and when I moved to SF I still worked for various shows, flew back to LA for auditions and work when I needed but I had given up hopes of having a regular television gig. It was hard but I didn’t mind, I thought it was all worth it, I had something else richer in my life- I was in love, building a family and my future, or so I thought. Rick and I had been friends for a few years and he was such a great guy. We spent the day filming and it felt great, I had forgotten how much I liked being on camera and how natural it was for me. We had become close friends over the past few months and he was someone I had started to rely on for the man things in my life. Things like; my brake light going out and needing to be fixed, art that I needed to be hung in my new apartment, when I needed a date to an event, late night drinks when I couldn’t sleep, he would even volunteer to take me to the airport. I wasn’t used to having someone to lean on, someone who was reliable and someone who did what he said he was going to do. Even when I was married and living with my husband I was very much alone and had learned to lower my expectations when it came to men, sad I know. I was so easily impressed these days by the smallest gestures but the real value came from having a straight guy to talk to about the things going on in my life. He was great at being there for me but he wasn’t filling all the gaps in my life.
One night after filming Rick and I had agreed we would stop to grab a bite to eat. We had to drive all the way across town to get home and we wanted to download about the shoot now that it was wrapped. Having not eaten all day I should have known better than to order wine by the bottle but at this point in my life ordering wine by the bottle was low on my long list of things I should have known better than. Over dinner, things between Rick and I had gone from talking business to talking about our personal lives. We had met before I had gotten married and Rick was happy to tell me that he never thought I should have gone through with the marriage in the first place. He and everyone else in my life decided to tell me this fact AFTER I was already married or when I had moved out of my house.
He asked the most dreaded question that I didn’t want to answer, “what are you going to do?” I couldn’t bring myself to answer it until I had an answer that I was comfortable saying out loud. I poured the rest of the bottle into my glass. Then he asked, “what is missing from your life?” Without a thought in my head, I blurted out, “love and sex.” He started laughing and suddenly I realized I had a bit too much wine at dinner and was going into over-share mode, it seemed to be a habit. When the waitress asked if we wanted another bottle of wine I decided it was time to go home but no way could I drive. When I mentioned I was going to leave my car and come back for it tomorrow Rick offered to drive me and my car home and then take a cab back to get his own car. What? It was a ridiculously generous offer but I quickly took him up on it.
As we drove back to my place we laughed the whole way. As we were waiting for his cab we continued to talk and laugh, it was so easy being with Rick. Suddenly the laughing turned into touching and before I knew it we were kissing, really kissing and we didn’t stop. He grabbed me around the waist and I found myself pushed up against the hood of my car in a full on make out session…. with my friend. Whoa, this was new but I didn’t want to stop. We did finally stop when the impatient cabbie started honking his horn, I didn’t need the whole neighborhood watching me make out in the driveway. Then I thought; when did he arrive and how long was he watching us make out? With a last lingering kiss, Rick jumped in the cab and headed off to get his car. I went inside and washed off my camera makeup when I looked at myself in the mirror and asked out loud “what the hell just happened??”