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Long-winded Late Night Life Update, powered by Chocolate ;)

I’m starting to suspect that the Heisenberg uncertainty principle in physics – which “holds that the act of measuring a property of a particle alters that property” – might apply to life as well.

In other words, measuring your life (read: talking/writing about it) irrevocably alters it.  And because my life is in total flux right now, I’ve more or less shied away from doing much measurement at all.

But since I’m about to embark upon the semi-annual week of chaos, I wanted to take this last night of quiet to fill you in on a few things – if only so you’re (slightly) less confused about what, exactly, I’m doing.

(If you want a short answer, here it is: I have no freaking idea!  Okay, now you don’t have to read the rest of this post.  Go back to watching Antoine Dodson on YouTube.)

I will ALSO take this opportunity to tell you that I am – finally – dating again!!  Thrilling, I know.  hahaha – well, I found the almost five months (April through early August) to get over my ex (aka “Prom King”) necessary, but more than sufficient.  In other words, I’m pretty psyched to get out there again.

The young men I’ve started seeing recently are wonderful and intelligent and have – gasp! – good family values!  It’s amazing.  But nothing is serious with any of them, so I don’t want to get ahead of myself.  I’m too ancient and jaded to let the dopamine of possibility override my “rational” side (the part that knows all too well these things can fizzle without much warning).  Plus, none of them live in the same city I do, but then again, I don’t really live anywhere, per se.  Which makes it all very exciting. ;)  

And if you’re wondering what the deal is with my city of residence (“Is she moving to LA? Is she staying in Chicago? Is she going to return to New York?”) you’re not the only one.  The reason I haven’t said anything yet is because I don’t really know myself, frankly.

*Your OWN Show Contractual Nightmare*

Originally, I wanted to wait on finding a place in LA because I was in contract negotiations with Oprah’s new network – for the “Your Own Show” program I auditioned for a few months back.  I couldn’t make a decision about my living quarters because the series, which starts filming Sept 15th, would have required me to reside in their housing for six weeks.

There’s no way to put this politely: negotiations with them were a horrific experience.  Even my somewhat-jaded lawyers said they had never seen a contract so draconian.  Let me be clear: the phrase “throughout the universe and in perpetuity” was used in the 40-page document.  REPEATEDLY.  They also specified that they would be allowed to film me – even when I wasn’t aware of it – even if I was partially clothed OR NUDE.  Classy!  Plus, they retained the right – and I didn’t even know you could retain this right – to defame me in whatever way they wishedWhat the WHAT?!!?!  (The NDA – which I didn’t sign, as you can see – specified 5 million dollars liquidated damages.  FIVE MILLION LIQUIDATED DAMAGES.  That is insane.)

But our real – ultimately intractable – problem with it: I wouldn’t be allowed to do any other media project – at all – for a solid year after the show aired.  Maybe more.  Plus OWN would have a right to everything I did after that.  EVERYTHING.

My parents & friends started calling it the “We OWN Your Ass” network.  Ultimately – after five painful weeks of back-and-forths – it was clear to all involved that the gap wasn’t closing, and my management team emphatically didn’t want me to do it. 

We ended talks last week, and that was that.  But don’t worry, I think Zach will be on the show, so it’s bound to be entertaining. Personally, I plan to watch! :)

*SO NOW WHAT??*

Well, first I’m headed to New York to cover Fashion Week.  But then, I’m … free!  I don’t have anywhere I have to be, physically.  I do have a few projects up my sleeve, one of which is writing-related and (sort of) based here in Chicago, although it doesn’t require me to live here.

Meanwhile, my parents have been exceptionally generous, allowing me to use their condo downtown as a “home base” from which to travel for as long as I want, which will, at this rate, probably end up being until January. (Although my mom would love for me to stay here in Chicago forever.)

So it seems that I’ll continue to do the rounds between LA/SF/Chicago/NY/Boston – and because I rotate between different cities so much anyway, it has occurred to me (and to everyone else in my life) that doesn’t really make sense to have a “permanent” place of residence for a while.  I have a decent amount of savings left over from 2009 (2010 hasn’t been quite as good), but I’d love to get that number up a bit, and not paying rent certainly helps.

I’ve found that I really enjoy having Chicago as my base. The condo feels like my own little Walden Pond – and I love being able to see my family often.  I don’t look forward to the whole “winter” aspect, but I plan to spend at least half my time in LA/SF, so I don’t know if it will bother me quite as much.  And even if it does, I think it’s worth it.

I feel pretty good about things, honestly.  Better than I’ve felt in a while.  I don’t know exactly where I’m going – but I don’t yet miss New York, which I find intriguing.  Although, granted, I haven’t exactly been gone long. ;)

I did say to my agents/managers, who have been advocating for LA, that I would be available to fly out on a moment’s notice – and that I would move if I got a show which required me to film there.  The rough plan is still to move in January … although who knows?  I might just stay Multi-Citied (it’s the new Bi-Coastal, haha).

But until then … why not give myself the freedom & flexibility to try something new?

Yep, I don’t know exactly what I want to do next.  But the irony is, I feel less lost now than I did during my final two years in NYC.  ?!?!  I can’t explain it (yet), but I’m calmer, less frenetic, more grounded.  I realized recently that I had managed to achieve everything I thought I wanted when I first moved to New York … but in the end, it didn’t really make me happy.  Oops?

My priorities have been changing for a while, and now I’m trying to let my life catch up to them.

I have absolutely no idea where I’ll be in a year – what I’ll be doing, who I’ll be dating, even in what city I’ll be living.  But I’m totally – ridiculously – unperturbed.

Even … umm … sort of excited?? (I hesitate to say that, lest I jinx it.  I haven’t felt excited about anything in a long time.)

I have no idea why, but I just feel like it will all work out somehow.  Let it unfold, right?  :)

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