Posted by Michael Mazzella |
Posted on February 28, 2014
Risks, in my opinion, they’re the epicenter of the fear of the unknown. Everyone has their own goals for what they want their life to look like and for some it may be finding that one true love, creating a family, or like me, their career ambitions. How far is too far in desiring to achieve your dreams? Is it worth possibly losing everything you hold dear for a possible step up the ladder? I have spent many nights pondering over these questions, agonizing over them, really. I have gone to the ends of the Earth to reach a higher point in my career. Every time I take a giant leap, I risk it all. The fear is real. The fear reverberates in the “what ifs” and forbiddance of the future.
Here I stand, yet again, facing the ledge, and ahead of me another mountain, I know I must jump to reach the top. I don’t want to. I want to remain comfortable in my home, where I know I’m safe. The home I worked so hard for. The thought of yet another huge risk makes my soul ache. I’ve been told by so many throughout my life that in order to become more comfortable, you must take a step back and get uncomfortable first. This is true, it’s a fact, but I’m struggling. I’m hurting. To give up a home is a hard thing to stomach. Every hanging picture, piece of furniture, and decoration has a story behind it. There is nothing in my home that is meaningless.
Anyone who has followed my career knows that I had and have a major struggle with food. I’m a food addict, no ifs ands or buts about it. I have binge eating disorder and it will always be a struggle. There is no point in hiding it – it’s just as much a part of me as the color of my skin. My weight battles have been a point of much pain, but like all things it can be a force for good. No one facing this battle is alone – know there are others out there. The leap I stand before is starting to unhinge the doors that have locked away the monster that is food addiction. In the last weeks I’ve found myself so overwhelmed by the unknown, “the what do I do? Do I go this way or that way? Left or right,” that my daily practice of prayers, mediation, reading, and writing have fallen off course. I’ve slipped.
The irony? I asked for this, I asked GOD, the universe to grant me this but that’s just the thing, GOD listened. Sometimes it’s one thing to dream, to ask for a wish to be granted, but what happens when it comes true? For me, shear panic and incomprehensible anxiety and paranoia. My life is so simple, so why do I insist on complicating it with my own insanity? I suppose that answer lies in the fear of gaining it and losing it. Losing a dream is possible. Failing is possible. Success is also possible. Dreams can be real. The other shoe doesn’t always have to drop. I believe the universe rewards risks, by showing that you will put your own comfort second for the greater goal. This is absolutely a huge act of trust. Trusting that GOD will always come through can be hard. I admit I’ve had dark thoughts and questioned this to be real. GOD’s grace is real and mighty. He will not let his children suffer a loss that ultimately serves no good. There is good in all things, even those masquerading as brutality.
I’m doing it. I’m going to take the risk. Give up my home in Los Angeles that has held the key to my heart and uproot myself to New York City. I dream a dream that I know will be. I know I can help others and bring them joy. The sweetest sound is the sound of a fellow child of GOD laughing. In that split second of laugher there is no angst that exists. To know that I can cause such a beautiful moment for someone is a tremendous blessing. Though my soul may ache through the leap, I know that if nothing else, when I get to heaven GOD will know I tried. Soon when I am able to bring joy to viewers in the comfort of their homes on a daily basis, my own personal comfort will no longer matter. The tears will have dried and the risks will be worth it. I’m choosing to believe. What else is there to do?
Posted by Michael Mazzella |
Posted on February 19, 2014
I by no means am an expert on this thing we call life. I by no means am an expert of how to be the best actor, talk show host, comic, author, singer, or dancer. I am simply a child of GOD, just hopefully gazing, like WE all are. Recently while eating dinner at my favorite Los Angeles restaurant, Villa Blanca, I had a conversation with someone whom I deeply and passionately respect. She spoke to me and our other darling friend about life’s little misses. You know, those moments where you are just so close, an inch from the kiss, but for whatever reason, known or unknown, the kiss is interrupted and what would have been is lost.
Her words were profound. The juxtaposition of complete devastation and learning lessons of those little misses were mystifying. The language I was hearing reverberated throughout my body. I was unsure if I was going to cry over her frustrations or rejoice in her strength. Life truly can be a contradiction, but isn’t that part of what makes it so beautiful? I believe it was Susan Sarandon who explained that her life had been built on a series of stupid mistakes that eventually took her to where she ended up. This same ideology can be used for those little misses. Perhaps it is those misses that end up taking us to exactly where we need to be, exactly when we need to be there, leading to the big hit we were hoping for the entire time. I believe this to be true. We are exactly where we need to be right now in GOD’s divine and perfect plan for us. Each miss can be painful, heart wrenching, but as the great teacher of life Iyanla Vanzant says, “The best students get the hardest lessons.”
I began to think of my own misses. While my life has been much shorter and far less expansive than the greatness of whom I was sitting next to, the lesson was the same. It is our darkest hours that make us the most beautiful and lead to our greatest triumphs. In my opinion a triumph could be defined as the moment when we are blindly traveling down GOD’s path for us and a street lamp illuminates, allowing us to see exactly where it is we are in that very moment. A wink from God showing us that we are where we need to be, having made it to the next mile marker along the journey of life.
It’s been said all people will have a “dark night of the soul” at one point in their lives. A night where all of those little misses culminate into one gut ripping moment that causes you to vomit the blood of life’s painful experiences while simultaneously feeling tremendous heart ache ache and sorrow. However, like a cloud that floats through the air transforming into ice, rain, or snow, we will be a new while remaining the same.
Posted by Remington Bennett |
Posted on February 13, 2014
By Remington Bennett
Hello my Gwen stars! Hope the holidays treated everyone well and your days were filled with joy, love, and rest. With the stress of college and work I know that this break has filled me with all of those things because, boy, has this been a crazy few months.
This year I have had a plethora of ups and downs. I have met amazing, kind people that I can genuinely call my friends, and I have discovered new areas of my strength. However, I have also been challenged to be bigger than peer pressure and stick to my own personal morals.
Being a college student that doesn’t drink, smoke, or do drugs can be hard at times, especially when you are surrounded by people that don’t really know you well. I am constantly judged and questioned about why I choose not to indulge in the stereotypical college student behavior. Even though I pull myself together and answer the same questions over and over again, it can still be annoying. However, no matter how many times I have to defend my choices, I can always find a peaceful place to be myself when I come home. I can now say I will always look forward to winter break. The holidays will definitely bring you back to your roots.
But seriously, how wonderful are the holidays though? You get to (or at least try to) put all of your stresses and problems away and spend time with the people that care about you the most: family and friends. Being away for a few months really helped me appreciate the wonderful people I have in my life. For the first time in months, I got to sit down with my best friends and chill like the old days. Regardless of whether or not my choices are popular with my friends, I know that they will love me unconditionally, and make sure I always feel included. As for my family, they are my foundation. It’s because of them I strive to be and do my best. They have taught me to honor myself, enjoy each moment, and do my best to make decisions I will be proud of years from now.
So, my advice for people that are either trying to find themselves or remember who they are is to go back to your roots! A lot of why we feel confused and overwhelmed is because we are often thrown into scenarios and situations that are unfamiliar to us. This can be a good thing because it allows our perspectives on life to evolve, but it can also be a challenge because it tests how well we can stay true to ourselves without getting “caught up”. When we are with the people that we trust and love it is almost like a reminder of what’s most important.
And for those of you that may have lost touch with your roots, it’s never too late to try and connect to the people you once or may still love.
I hope you all have a fabulous new year!