Home > Entertainment, Family, Los Angeles, Love, Music, Personal, TV > Little Hollywood, big life

Little Hollywood, big life

Adam said hi and he’ll see you Sunday.

I read my husband’s text message with confusion before replying, He’ll see me Sunday? Huh?

Wrap party? he quickly texted back.

Ooooooooh. I kinda forgot about that.

As I wrote recently, my husband works in show business. When one project is complete, it’s traditional to have a wrap party. Since this show had finished shooting for the season, it was wrap party time.

I stared at my phone for a little while after typing my last message. Just like that, I had been catapulted back through time.

I often worked as a TV extra during my law school days. I’d signed up with the casting company hoping only to be on Buffy the Vampire Slayer once, but ended up working on bunches of shows. I enjoyed the experience and, frankly, liked eating food for which someone else was paying. (See: craft services.)

The beauty of working "goth" back-to-back? I got to keep the Crossing Jordan hair for use on Alias ;)

One of the several times I worked on Buffy, I shared a shuttle bus from the studio to the parking lot with one of its actors. I debated saying something to him but bit my tongue until we were getting off the van.

“I’m really looking forward to your show this weekend!” I blurted out.

Visibly startled, he touched my hand and asked, “You know my band?”

I explained I was a fan, and he thanked me. That was that.

Over the course of law school, I saw his band play as often as I could. I’d found Common Rotation through Buffy thanks to a forum-turned-live-friend, Briel, but what kept me coming back was love for their music. How I loved their music!

Photo by Briel K.

2002. Photo by Briel K.

I graduated and left Los Angeles, living in Japan for a year and a half before returning to my hometown. Before long, I found myself back in Los Angeles, and back at Common Rotation shows.

The band’s sound wasn’t quite the same, but it didn’t matter much to me. I enjoyed the shows and the nostalgia, and often did so with the man who’d one day help me set aside my mistrust of marriage and become my husband.

We didn’t make it to many shows after our son was born, but we made it to a few. The and was still part of my history, our history, if not much of our present.

As my husband worked his way through various shows late last year, he landed a gig on Adam’s current show. The thought made me smile for a moment (whodathunk?), but I’d long ago come to see that Hollywood is much, much smaller than it seems from a distance.

Adam said hi and he’ll see you Sunday.

Somehow it took that text message for me to real feel the immensity of how much things have changed over the years since I was new to Los Angeles. I floated through law school on wishes and whimsy, hoping I’d magically stumble into a big-picture life that would fit me just right.

The me in that first picture of me and Adam was so different from the one that exists now. That me would be flabbergasted by this me, and by a rundown of all the events transpired to distinguish the two.

I eventually realized that few people just accidentally stumble into good lives. It takes time, effort, and patience. I began building the kind of life that felt right, no matter how different it was from what I’d originally thought I wanted.

I built a life that involves a challenging career, supportive friends, and a small but lovely family. I have a husband! And a son! And a baby on the way! Me, the wandering dreamer, settled into a sweet and stable life.

In this sweet and stable life, a text message had caused my past and present lives to converge in a simultaneously innocuous but enormous way.

I went to that Sunday wrap party. Adam and I chatted for a few minutes, during which I explained that I no longer require pictures as evidence that I Was There, but that I wanted a picture of the two of us for a very different reason. I wanted to write a post about the passage of time, and the goodness of getting a chance to see the present through the window of the past.

The picture wasn’t great, but I love it nevertheless. It’s a reminder of just how much things can change, and just how good that change can be.

now ab

I love that awkward old me who wanted to fall into the perfect life.

I love the me who left Los Angeles for Japan. I love the me who moved back to her hometown from Japan and then returned to Los Angeles. I love the me who left her mom’s bedside four days too early to be with her when she died, and the one who signed house sale papers upside down as a way of saying, “I disagree, and I want that documented, but I recognize there are bigger things in this world than my disagreement.” I am grateful for what I have learned from these experiences, and from the forgiveness of my loved ones throughout.

I love the me who negotiates contracts, the very same me who wants to become a child advocate or healer someday. I love the me who has, somehow, stumbled into being a mom and a wife.

I love this life, now, where I can sit at a table with an old acquaintance and, hearing him praise my husband’s work, enjoy the feeling of briefly coexisting in past and present.

My life today is not the one I expected. Indeed, it is better, because what I understand now that I didn’t then is that the beauty is not in the landscape of life. It’s in the sweet details that fill each day with little wonders and little joys.

Those little moments might not make it into daydreams, but they make life.

And, oh! What a life it is.

The show's wrapped for now, but this party goes on!

The show’s wrapped for now, but this party goes on!

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  1. February 14, 2014 at 4:19 am

    Wow! Now that’s a Hollywood story I can love! Bravo! You two are adorable in that last pic.

    • February 14, 2014 at 6:30 am

      We took a standard smile-at-the-camera shot, but were happily encouraged to get a little louder. This is a rare pic we will actually be printing and framing. 🙂

  2. February 14, 2014 at 5:06 am

    Did you say Buffy The Vampire Slayer??!! I like this blog more and more with each post!

    • February 14, 2014 at 6:33 am

      I did! That show has ended up having such a huge and positive impact on my life. Getting to show Li’l D me on the screen and answer his questions about that were just another layer of the memories and emotions built around this silly-sounding but thoughtful show over the years. 🙂

      • February 14, 2014 at 6:36 am

        So very cool! What a great project to be a part of!

  3. February 14, 2014 at 6:26 am

    Love, so cool you got to do that. Which Buffy episode was it?

    • February 14, 2014 at 6:39 am

      I was in a bunch, but mostly fleeting glimpses. The one where I’m actually discernible is “Storyteller,” with Andrew narrating Masterpiece Theater style. I’m cheering on a hallway fight, and can actually be heard. It’s a little moment, sure, but one that makes me smile a decade later! A picture I posted here a couple of weeks ago was Li’l D pointing at me running across the screen on Angel. Only time in my life I’ve ever looked graceful. :p

      • February 15, 2014 at 5:05 am

        So cool. I know exactly which episode you are talking about. Will have to go back and rewatch so I can find you.

  4. Jennay
    February 14, 2014 at 8:08 am

    I love this. All of it. Loving the old you, loving the new you, , loving the unexpected “you”, loving the you to come. All of it.

    • February 16, 2014 at 6:49 am

      I spent so much time being frustrated with old versions of myself for not knowing things only experience could have taught. It feels much better to accept that I have picked things up as I go, and understanding I did the best I could with what I had.

      There’s a George Santayana quote that is (or used to be–I haven’t been there in many years) on the walls of Eugene’s prison. My mom waved it off in light of where I saw it, but I thought it was so hopeful:

      “We must welcome the future, remembering that soon it will be the past; and we must respect the past, remembering that it was once all that was humanly possible.”

      Sending some love to you today, Jennay! Even seeing your name makes me smile. ♥

  5. Mac
    February 14, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    Thank you for this trip down Memory Lane with a stop at the corner of Nostalgia and I’m Not Getting Emotional. I’ll be fine. 😀

    • February 16, 2014 at 6:50 am

      Can you believe how long it’s been?! My ten-year reunion is this year, which means it’s been more than a decade since we did all our Hotel Cafe stints and PCH drives! My head just cannot make sense of this. 😀

      • Mac
        February 17, 2014 at 7:10 pm

        I sincerely CANNOT believe how long it’s been, and I’m not sure whether to be depressed over that. 😀 It doesn’t seem like that long a span of time but it’s amazing how much your life and priorities change even in the space of a year, much less ten.

  6. February 14, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    You are the coolest of the cool! 😀

    • February 16, 2014 at 6:52 am

      I wouldn’t say that, but I did try to make sure to seize the day in bygone years! I try to do the same now, but mostly I just end up falling asleep on the couch before I make it out the door. 😉

  7. mgbmdri
    February 15, 2014 at 12:44 am

    You are one of my favourite bloggers, ever 🙂

    • February 16, 2014 at 6:53 am

      Thank you! Sometimes I feel a bit of self-imposed pressure to find a specific niche, but my niche . . . well, it’s my life, and I think that’s as close as I’ll get! Heh.

  8. February 15, 2014 at 8:49 am

    What a great post! I’m going to send it to my daughter who’s in her last year of college. Life is so unpredictable but we have to follow our dreams even if they lead us to a different place than we expected.

    • February 16, 2014 at 6:56 am

      Thank you! It turns out the different-than-expected can also be lovely and, in retrospect, better than the grandiose expectations. 🙂

  9. February 16, 2014 at 4:17 am

    I used to love Buffy. I envy the life you’ve led, Deborah – on so many levels.

    • February 16, 2014 at 6:57 am

      I look back and feel like the old me was this totally different person. I’m glad I like her now, and appreciate how all her adventures have shaped this person who lives a much quieter life now. 🙂

  10. February 16, 2014 at 5:58 am

    I love this post. And you are so right. Life really is what you choose to make it!

    • February 16, 2014 at 7:00 am

      It is! My mom’s experiences taught me the power of choice; specifically, her love of “gallows humor” (and her rationale for that love) were a great reminder that the choice to try finding things to laugh at or love is one that’s present in every day. Some days, weeks or even months, choosing gallows humor over the gallows is difficult to impossible, but it’s always comforting to know I’ll find my way back to seeing that choice–and all the many amazing other ones–eventually. I am so glad for all of it. ♥

  11. February 16, 2014 at 6:13 am

    I always take something meaningful from your posts. This time, I’ll be thinking about how “few people just accidentally stumble into good lives. It takes time, effort, and patience.” Thanks Deb for such thought-provoking insight.

    • February 16, 2014 at 7:03 am

      Thanks, Shari! It seems wild to me how I spent a whole three-year period just waiting for magic to happen, but then . . . I did end up making some magic while waiting for other kinds to spontaneously occur. 🙂

  12. February 16, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    Sometimes I sit back and think, “This is my life. This moment or event cannot be changed or done over.” The cement of life is quick drying even if we have chosen the path we are paving. Yet often the turning and the curving are a surprise.
    Glad your surprises are happy ones.

    • February 17, 2014 at 5:18 am

      Not all of them are happy ones, but I am glad to say many are. Even the ones that have been less happy have been part of leading me to a happier place, so I am often–not always–grateful for those, too.

      I don’t feel any the choices are cement that bind us to one path. Sure, they can make it more difficult to leap to another, but I believe there’s a chance to make that leap as long as we’re breathing. Someday I will become a healed or child advocate. My choices to date mean that progress might be slow, but the prospect of the eventual change is a joy nevertheless.

  13. February 16, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    okay i am officially incredibly envious! how cool! a great story and adam seems like such a great guy.. as i always knew he would be!

    • February 17, 2014 at 5:22 am

      Much as I am glad to have had these experiences, I’ve got to say I’m glad they are past! I like this quieter life now, and am happy to leave to my husband the living it now. 🙂

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