Sunday, June 28, 2015

Balancing Act

Before I go any further, I should probably acknowledge the jurassic-sized elephant in the room: The four-and-a-half months that have transpired since my last post. It's the longest I've gone without writing since I naively started this silly little pink blog in April 2008, not realizing that it would lead me to where I am today -- in a job that I love so much it consumes me to the point where I have little energy left for anything outside of it. The ultimate blessing and curse that often leaves me wondering if I'm living the dream or abiding in a nightmare.

I've missed this space.
I've missed being able to Pollack my thoughts into the universe without thinking about who was reading (or, more accurately, who wasn't reading) because the foremost point was unfiltered self-expression. But most of all, I've missed my identity as a writer and the balance it brings to my life.

I feel grief over it. Sadness that so many of the stories I want to tell are told by others because of the profession I actively pursued and, ultimately, chose four years ago when I ceremoniously retired certain aspects of this site in favor of a career as a restaurant publicist.

I don't regret my decision and would choose the same path again without hesitation, but I do regret that I've let this side of myself shirk to the background while "PR Diana" commands the room. Sometimes I get a panicked feeling that all anyone sees anymore is that girl. I worry that perhaps they (you?) miss who I was before when my hand wasn't constantly clutching my phone, when I remembered to send birthday cards on time, and when I would unearth unedited and uninhibited daily compositions on chocolate bars and quinoa salads as though that was what mattered the most in the world.

It's easy to be nostalgic for those days, to see them through 20/20 vision and block out the paralyzing anxiety I felt over "my purpose" during that period of time. That particular memory box is filled with tear-soaked phone calls to my mom, toxic self-doubt, and a pulsating fear that I was never going to be anything more than an assistant who made someone else's travel arrangements. I still get a bit giddy when I present someone with my business card that's emblazoned with a legitimate title. I mean that's really the whole point of having them, isn't it? So there's some form of official documentation that one has achieved an approximation of adulthood? However meaningless it all is.

Naturally, the "achievement of adulthood" comes with a new set of struggles that feel, in many ways, equally paralyzing as the ones that preceded it in my former life. How do I reconcile the "new" me with the "old" me? How do I stop myself from letting a career, cultivated from a passion that first found its voice on this blog, bleed into every aspect of my existence?

How do I find balance?

I've been thinking a lot about that word lately. Last month I joined a group of "career-focused women" at my church that could easily come with the tagline, "The Pursuit of Balance: Learning How to Not Do it All." The subject keeps coming up over and over again in such an avert way that I feel as though I'm in the midst of a giant "wake-up call." I'm starting to realize how much I stand to lose if I don't find some semblance of balance in the months to come: Pre-existing relationships, the potential for future relationships and, perhaps most importantly, a relationship with my true self.

This weekend I went to the Friday night wine tasting at Barnsdall Art Park in Hollywood, an iconically LA summertime tradition that required me to actually take advantage of our office's "Summer Friday" policy to make it across town in time. I treated myself to a solo lunch of fish tacos (one of my favorite things to eat in the universe) at a restaurant that is not a client, and treated myself to a not-solo dinner with a good friend at the new hotspot in Santa Monica that is also not a client. I spent way too much on another iconically LA tradition, a facial, and I caught up with a friend I haven't seen in nearly six months over too many glasses of wine at Bar Covell.

Most significantly, after four-and-a-half months of deafening silence, I wrote this post… entirely unfiltered, and entirely for myself.