the dream and the reality

I’m still adjusting to being back in New York, having spent much of July traveling and being out of my element.

We returned to the city to news from our landladies that the whole house has termites (meaning our apartment has to be exterminated), and the exterminator broke the main water line, causing some serious plumbing drama.

On top of all that, Kevin had his wisdom teeth removed on Tuesday. So that and all that goes with it has been happening around here too. (He’s still recovering, but doing okay!)

This summer, for better or worse, hasn’t been a period of R&R by any means. And all the essential things that have filled my schedule this month don’t pay me like I want them to yet. That’s okay – I’m alive and well-fed and happy and healthy. I choose to accept that this is where I am on this journey.

Still, I caught myself daydreaming a few days ago about my old lifestyle when I had a desk job. Blasphemy, I know. I don’t miss the daily commute, the irritating coworkers, the constantly ringing phone, navigating midtown, trying to fit a workout in on my lunch break, hoping I can get out early enough to make a show or a rehearsal, calling in sick to go to an audition or shoot a video.

But I do miss the consistent income. That and breakfast from Pret A Manger are the only things I miss.

I daydreamed about being able to spend money on buying new shoes, jumping on a plane for a last minute trip to Florida, renting a car for a day because it’s fun, blowing a ton of money at the grocery store buying up whatever I please, getting my nails done every week – that kind of frivolous stuff. I can’t wait for the day when that is my lifestyle again.

But the trade off for having those things back then was that I was totally miserable at my job almost every day. I was stuck and unproductive and uninspired, I felt like my professional life didn’t make me excited and proud. I was swiftly approaching 30 and I wasn’t on my way to the career of my dreams. And that just wasn’t good enough.

Beyond that, if I still had an office job I wouldn’t have been able to go to Montreal for six days (and have one of the most memorable experiences of my life). I would have had to finagle the time off to go to my cousin’s weekday wedding. I’d be worried about getting time off in the fall to go do an HST show in LA, I’d wonder if I could get time off to go out of town for my 30th birthday in November. I’d be stressed and resentful and feeling locked in. All for a job that paid me a salary but provided little else in terms of incentive.

So if I have to choose, I’d still rather have my freedom and have control over my own professional destiny than have a steady paycheck. That’s just who I am. And I have faith that someday soon those two worlds will collide and I’ll be a billionaire. Or I’ll at least be somebody who’s willing to spend money on weekly manicures again.

August is going to be another busy month. We’re taking a trip, shooting a short film, I’m going to be doing a lot of writing and planning, Kevin’s starting a new job, and I’m hoping to squeeze a few more juicy drops out of summer.

It’s been 9 months since I quit my desk job to pursue work that makes me happier. This is where I am today.

Advertisements

spring in july

If you’ve yet to check out Spring, the site I’ve been contributing to lately, get on over there!

It’s a lovely corner of the web created by four successful, passionate women – entrepreneurs and bloggers in their own right – who’ve come together with a singular focus on mind: To inspire you to “design a life you love.”

Obviously, I like that.

Throughout the month of July (which is coming to such a swift and sudden close, I almost can’t believe it!), I wrote four pieces on the theme of Self Care:

Self-Love Advice from a Former Fat Girl

3 Reasons to Skip the Gym

A Lesser Person Couldn’t

Without Condition

I’ll be back contributing to Spring in August on the subject of, what else, inspiration! If there are any specific topics you’d like me to explore or any questions you’d like me to ponder in my August articles, shoot me an email: jenifercurran@gmail.com.

the haircut!

Eep – I really got a talking to from a few of you guys via comments and email for not sharing my haircut sooner! Sorry to leave you hanging.

I did indeed decide to cut my hair after blogging about it last week. The deciding factor was that my mom generously offered to pay for the cut. I humbly accepted. So off I went to the salon, looking like this:

Yikes.

Now, as much as this does look like I literally put a mop on my head and snapped a photo, they ask you to show up to the salon with your hair totally unstyled and without product in it. So, no, I wasn’t walking around NYC looking like a cockerspaniel on a daily basis.

But I will say that whatever I was doing with it in public couldn’t have been much of an improvement.

The finished product left me feeling much lighter.

Of course, I have yet to successfully make it look like it did when I left the salon that day, but that will forever be the plight of the woman with a new haircut, so I’m not gonna sweat it.

Thanks for all the positive feedback, everybody!! And thank you, Mom, for making it possible.

a wedding weekend

My little cousin Kalan celebrated her wedding this past weekend. Kevin took this shot from inside the reception hall while we were out on the patio with the photographer. (Pretty great for a through-the-window shot, babe!)

Kalan and her Scottish hubby Dave were officially married in a small civil ceremony in December, but on July 22, the whole family came out to don fancy outfits and party with the newlyweds. It was a great time. The bride was nervous as heck, which was so funny and sweet. She also looked stunning – like a true princess. I couldn’t help but picture her as a five-year-old girl in a Cinderella gown.

Kalan is one of four sisters. I’m an only child, but I grew up very close to my cousins, and as the oldest grandchild I got to enjoy some of the sisterhood experience myself. “The girls” (as we call the four sisters) and I all lived in the same town growing up and spent a ton of time together. Today, they’re all fabulous, strong, smart, beautiful young women who each have a razor sharp wit and a wicked sense of humor.

Many of my childhood memories involve those girls – ridiculous games we played, dress-up clothes we wore, productions we put on for the family. And there was no shortage of screaming fights, jealous fits and memorable and violent physical altercations.

We used to daydream when we were little about growing up together – who would get married first, what appetizers we’d serve at our weddings, how many kids we wanted to have, where we’d live, what our husbands would be like. It’s amazing how quickly time has passed.

Finding myself standing up at their weddings (Trisha and Kalan are both now married, Mallory will be married in September) is so surreal. There are moments when I feel like I’m  still 10 years old, and watching a video of what my life might be like as an adult. I remember those girls so vividly as the scrappy, loud little kids that I loved to boss around. Seeing them in wedding dresses is bizarre and amazing.

Anyway. Enough sentiment. You get the point. We had a great time at the wedding and all the activity surrounding it.

I wish Kevin and I had more time in the midwest – it’s always nice to be there – but I’m glad to be home after two weeks of traveling first to Montreal, then to Chicago. I’m nothing short of exhausted.

Congrats, Kalie & Dave! So happy for you guys!

ch-ch-check-in

Hey guys! Just a quick check-in to say hello.

I’m back in New York after a fantastic trip to Montreal, but I’m only here for another 24 hours. Kev and I head out to Chicago tomorrow morning for my beautiful cousin Kalan’s wedding! I’m excited to see the fam and wear a pretty bridesmaids dress with all my ladies. Kalan’s three sisters and I are all standing up for her. Should be a pretty wild time.

I’m hoping to get a chance to post some of the Montreal pics later today, but we’ll see. I’ve got an action packed day ahead of me, which will kick off with…drumroll…a haircut!

After your sweet feedback last week (and a generous check in the mail from my mom to cover the cost) I’m gonna go chop my hair off! Whew. I can’t wait.

In the meantime, my third installment on the topic of self care is up over at Spring. This week’s article is called “A Lesser Person Couldn’t.”

Hope everyone’s having a good Tuesday!

boys will be girls – the sequel!

Our new video has gotten some generous love from the worldwide web this week. We’ve been featured on Andrew Sullivan’s blog at The Atlantic (thanks, Trish, for the tip!), New York Magazine and Comedy Central again! 

We’re having a great time in Montreal – it has been a very inspiring, exciting and life-affirming trip in a lot of ways. And it’s also great to get to spend so much time with my best friends. It’s certainly a tiring and busy and nonstop kind of festival, but all in all, it’s been an amazing experience. 

Hope you enjoy the new vid, “Boys Will Be Girls: Night Out.” 

See you back in the states!

we’re in montreal!

Just a quick check-in to let you know that Harvard Sailing Team has arrived in Montreal. Everything is written in French!

The Just for Laughs Festival is great so far. We’ve talked to Tom Green and other celebs whose names I can’t remember, and I worked out next to John Leguizamo this morning! Woot!

We arrived late last night, saw a show, had some dinner, boozed and shmoozed and then crashed into bed, totally exhausted. We’re about to go explore the downtown area today. 

This festival is such an exciting event – there’s so much to see and do. I’m hoping we can see Steve Martin’s show later in the week! Yikes!!

an entirely selfish post about my hair

My hair is getting so long and unruly – I haven’t been willing to shell out the $100+ to visit my favorite hair salon (Devachan) for a while now. At this point, I don’t care how it looks. I’m considering chewing it off because it’s driving me nuts.

For me, the problem with long hair is what the eff to do with it. I can hardly ever stand to have it down, especially in the summer. It’s too hot!

Sometimes it’s really curly. After a few days without washing it, it becomes really straight in certain places. It’s unpredictable and inconsistent.

I usually just throw it up in a pony tail. But that brings a whole other host of issues: two twists of the rubberband isn’t tight enough for my thick, heavy hair, and I end up looking like a colonial housewife. Three times around hurts my head because it’s too tight. Do you see the existential crisis I’m managing here?

I remember when I decided to chop my hair off to chin length a couple years ago. It was quite long at the time:

And despite how cheerful (and young!) I look in this picture, I was ready to throw a tantrum, I was so sick of that damn hair. I went to get it chopped right after this shot was taken (it was taken the green room at the UCB NY, by the way).

When I got stuck in traffic on the way to the salon and thought they were going to close before I could get there, I was so overcome by fury and sadness at the idea of having to live another day with that mop on my head that I started crying on the street. Yup.

I’m a grown woman.

But when I did cut it (I got to the salon just in the nic of time that night), I felt like 10 million smackers, like a huge weight had been lifted…

…as is evidenced by the dorky, happy photo I took to in the bathroom of my old desk job to document the transformation.

Here I am with Kevin’s brother-in-law Eric a few days after I got it cut. God, I loved that haircut.  Come to think of it, Eric’s haircut looks pretty sharp too.

The point is, my hair long again. And I’m fantasizing about shaving my head.

Have I ever told you that I once shaved my head when I was 19-years-old? It happened for reasons I cannot begin to explain, reasons I don’t think I understood myself at the time.

I don’t advise it.

a working actor!

Guess who booked a NATIONAL COMMERCIAL!?! This guy!

I’m so happy for him. He’s had a lot of great signs-from-the-universe come into his life lately, telling him he’s on the right path. And what’s interesting is that he hasn’t even really been trying to get acting work, he just keeps getting called in for auditions, and he says yes to them when he can squeeze them in. Boom! National commercial.

They’ve asked him not to cut his hair for the role, so the poor guy has been driving himself crazy trying to stay cool with those thick locks all over his forehead.

The one small bummer related to this exciting news is that it means he can’t go to Montreal with us next week because that’s exactly when the commercial shoots in Baltimore. I’m sad he won’t be there because he’s a great travel companion.

p.s. The nice summery shirt he’s wearing in this photo is one of my very favorites that he owns. And it’s from – where else – the Kohl’s in Crystal Lake, Illinois. I love shopping Midwest.