Thursday, April 23, 2009

My life is a clean slate! (Or how I'm justifying my complete mental breakdown)

One month ago, my life was very different.  Well, I guess I should say my reality was very different as I'm still alive and (mostly) functional.  I could childishly whine about what changed and how it negatively affected me.  (BOY COULD I!  I'm a champion whiner.  Just ask my family.  They are so happy I live 3000 miles away.  And often remind me of that.  Which I think is rude.)  In broad strokes the last three weeks of my life have shaped up like this: lost a writing gig, lost my grandmother, lost $3400 to Uncle Sam, divorce was finalized (but then recently found out, it wasn't!) and then the guy who I thought was my boyfriend after 8-months (and PS, who I had fallen in love with), let me know that he was not my boyfriend and that I would remain unloved by him.  Sigh...  I had a broken heart, broken wallet and a sad, sad soul.  It was all too much, so I did what any sane person would do.  I quit my job.  You know, that one piece of stability in my life?  Gone.  Adios.  Outta there.

Now, quitting my job has elicited two very different reactions from friends and family.  The most popular reaction is: "Ohmigod!  Holy shit!  Are you out of your mind?!  It's a recession!  People aren't working!  Grapes cost $12 at the grocery store!  You had a job!  You could afford produce!  HOW IS SOMEONE AS PRETTY AS YOU SO STUPID AND WHAT IF YOU GET SCURVY!?"  (Okay, I added the "pretty" and "scurvy" part.  I needed to soften the blow somehow... but grapes really are $12 at a nearby grocery store.  That's for REALS.)  Then there was a distant second reaction, but my favorite nevertheless:  "GOOD FOR YOU!  Congrats!  I hope you find that job/career that you deserve and makes you happy!"  (Note:  the second response elicits fewer tears and name calling on my part.  Unless you happen to add the "pretty" bit, then I might actually go on a date with you.  Just saying.)

I've worked as a reality writer/producer for over 9 years.  It's never been what I wanted to do, but I'm pretty good at it, so it kept me afloat for the past decade.  I came to LA to write sitcoms.  I started as a writers' assistant on Seinfeld.  It was a great ride (the last two seasons) and I learned more there than I ever did in college.  Then I got an agent at Endeavor (big time!) and wrote an episode of It's like you know (w/ Jennifer Grey and her new nose) and was commissioned to write a script for Kevin Smith's animated series of Clerks.  (Which was cancelled as I was writing my outline for the show... F!)  Then this ass-clown of a show called Who Wants to Be A Millionaire came on and BAM, all the sitcoms went away and reality television moved on in and set up house in prime time.  Endeavor dropped me as they couldn't get anybody a writing gig due to there being only 4 sitcoms on the air.  So knowing that I needed (and liked) to eat, I acclimated to the new television climate.  I wrote for the following:  Blind Date, Change of Heart, House Calls, 4 seasons of elimiDATE, E!, Bud TV and ultimately House Hunters and House Hunters International for the past 3 years.  This was Plan B, folks.  It was supposed to be for 2 years TOPS, not 9.  

I came to earthquake country to write/perform fictional humor.  And I finally got the courage to let myself honor that.

So as of next Wednesday, I'm  completely unemployed.  

Scared?  Shitless.  

Excited?  You bet.  

Remaining positive?  HAHAHAHA!  Best I can.  Mostly.  

I will be pursuing a few things that will hopefully recharge my soul and creativity (in no particular order!):

*  I will FINALLY start writing the books I've been wanting to pen for quite some time.  
*  I will start painting again.
*  I will be able to devote more time to stand-up and performing.
*  I will exercise and eat right.  (Except for chocolate, ice cream and candy.  What?!)
*  I will snuggle with my dog.  A lot.
*  I will see my friends more often!
*  Drinking tea.  Cuz it's awesome.
*  I will make sure that every day is spent living, not merely existing.

So that's the plan.  Oh and to not go broke.  Financially or emotionally.   To stay the course and not regret the past.  Cherish the mistakes.  Take pride in my risks.  Admit my shortcomings and learn, learn, learn from it all.  And to seriously not get scurvy.  Seriously.  Ew.


  1. I think you just made the best decision ever...because:

    Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith ~ Margaret Shepard.


  2. This is awesome, Jennifer. Seriously. Not only am I proud of you and happy for you, but I'm envious as well. I'm positive you are doing the right thing. Even if it's not always easy, it will pay off in the end. Yay!!!

  3. Well...something had to come from all that recent consideration, er, crying your eyeballs out...and if this is the that which arrived, then by all means young lady, FANTASTIC.

    I am so proud of you. The best investment you can make is in you. You inspire me.

  4. You are in control of all that matters.

    Here's to the here & now, and great adventures to come!

  5. As frightening as this probably is, I am so proud of you! I am eagerly awaiting the world's ass kicking by Jennifer Eolin. Seriously, this is awesome and you are amazing!

  6. If my left hand weren't still mangled from playing guitar hero this past weekend, I'd be making happy fists for you.

    Your whole world is now a blank canvas. You can paint your life any color you want. (Stoopid metaphor - but it's still true). Maybe the Universe was removing the people and things that were standing in your way of becoming the awesomest. It ticks me off that anyone would cause you pain, but I'm excited for your future and proud of your courage.

    Go kick some butt, but don't forget tea and naps...gotta refuel, ya know?

  7. Good for You!!! I love your blog and I wish you the best of luck, us WNYers have to stick together ya know :).

  8. I have a lot of admiration for anyone willing to make big life changes like you are. Best of luck with everything. You're very talented and deserve all the success in the world :)

  9. I read your entire blog, but this is all I retained:

    blah blah blah PRETTY blah blah blah SINGLE.

    Happy Fists for all us guys who are SO into pretty, single, vulnerable, pretty girls!

    You do say you plan on 're-charging your soul.'

    Um, Jennifer? You've been in "reality" TV now for 9 years. You have no soul left. It has been sucked dry, and you know it.

    Good Golly, woman, I just did 3 lousy DAYS on a 'reality' show and my soul is almost gone. My fave story is from about 3 years ago. Was working on "Extreme Makeover" the people edition. Was at a fat camp (sorry, 'school'), where a 15 yo girl wanted to drop some lbs. The director of course put the girl and her friends through cheesyass situations, did the necessary coverage retakes, etc.

    One day, at the lunch table, director says "Okay, this afternoon we'll have you girls playing tennis! It'll be so fun!!!"

    "Tennis?" said one. "I am NOT playing tennis! I've never played tennis." She was 14, a specially chosen roommate for our main subject.

    "Tennis?" said the main subject.

    "Sure," said the 50-something director. You'll play tennis and then you (main character) can win, and we'll show you jumping over the net! What a great accomplishment!!"

    "We're NOT playing tennis."

    "Oh, yes you are! Can I talk to you outside??"

    They didn't play tennis, and I quit on the spot.

    And THAT'S why quitting your job is the best thing you ever could have done. Enjoy Mathilda, I'll take you out for sushi next time I'm down there, and we'll swap stories and spit before we both down a pint of ice cream each.

    Hang in there, PRETTY one.

  10. So much of life is timing, timing, timing. Sometimes it works for you, sometimes against. You take advantage when it works for you, and you fight through when it's trying to kick your ass. Good on ya.

  11. Well, you've got balls! I've been unemployed (mostly) since December and it SUCKS out there..but I think that if you're unhappy with where you are then it's up to you to make that change. Ignore the haters and surround yourself with people who will let you whine just enough, but mostly lift you up--because you're going to need it!

    And as for the bf thing--he's a FOOL!

  12. You're doing the right thing. Besides, at the rate things are going, you'd be blocking out "House Hunters: Cardboard Box Edition" within six months. ("I don't know. The Frigidaire had more space, but the Kenmore's got a better view of the restaurant dumpster.")

    Also, please make some things we can buy. Let CafePress and Lulu feed you. ;)

  13. Has anyone said, 'You missed a spot' yet?
    Because, you, well, you missed a spot- that spot that says you're funny and interesting and charismatic and all that. Yeah, you missed that part.

  14. I've been freaking out since my birthday's coming up (May 4th girls rock!) and thinking about what I've been up to the last couple years. My friend recently quit because it was a job she'd had as her Plan B and did for six years. All I can say is it's going to be tough but life is too short to not take a chance. I wish you tons of luck and hope your luck/life/karma/whatever turns around!

  15. the ones in this town that survive-> re-invent themselves...and do so at a moments notice. Those that keep on going no matter how many times they are told NO..are the ones who make it.

    ya Chutzpah woman!


  16. ya got chutzpah.. ( gawd I hate no spellcheck)

  17. you are amazing! so open, yet still a mystery,love it!!! how wonderful to be able to just explore life however you want to. i wish nothing but the best for you and i hope you "find" excactly what you are looking for!

  18. You do know how to take Spring Cleaning to an all other level! You will kick butt, I can see it!!

  19. THANK YOU, GUYS! Your support is so appreciated. Hopefully, it just keeps getting better from here, right? :)

  20. Congratulations! I think you made a fantastic decision. If it makes you feel better, you are not alone in the world of "shittiest month ever!!". In the past month I was 1) dumped and laid off within 24 hours of eachother!! 2) lost my grandmother, and dog within a week of eachother 3)had to ask my parents for help with rent....and I am 31!!
    Hang in there! I have taken trapeze lessons, put my passion into my blog (It's a great outlet! and started cooking for my friends. Eat some great food, drink some wine with your girlfriends, and you will find your happy place again. I promise! :)

  21. Life is too short to not pursue it is what you love. I like your outlook, but tea tastes like nothing and cats is better than dogs.

  22. I'm a writer too - stuck in plan C for way too long. You're an inspiration to those of us who are afraid to break out of the comfort zone. I'm a fan of your writing, and not only are you blessed with the freedom to pursue your craft with more fervor, we are all the more lucky to enjoy the work you will be producing. Of course, without you House Hunters and HH International will suck.

    Here's to some nourishing tea drinking, plenty of Matilda cuddles and lots of good, hilarious writing.

  23. Aw, again, so touched by all of you and your kindness. Thank you so much!!

    Hopefully, we'll all be able to live our Plan A's SOON!

  24. My friend told me once, "Sometimes you have to create what you want to be a part of." It's stuck with me for a long time and helped give me the encouragement to quit my job a few months back. I'm still figuring things out, but all-in-all I'm much, much happier now. May God bless you on your journey!



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