Dress Rehearsal is Over

Updated: May 17

2022 FYI


I’ve kept a journal since I was fourteen years old. Writing always clears my mind and often the wisest parts of me step forward to teach me something. It happens automatically. This was one of the first blogs I wrote back in 2013 when I exploded my life. Nine years later as the world just keeps relentlessly morphing and changing I decided to include this in case you happen to find yourself on a fire walk and could use some company.

xox Judith


Prologue: Dress Rehearsal Is Over


2013


It’s a big one.

The one that sounded ancient about twenty years ago.

Now I’m staring at it straight down the barrel and the kickback knocks me on my ass.

Fifty.

I’m turning fifty.

This is the moment that I realize dress rehearsal is over.

It’s now or never, do or die.

Shit. Fuck. Shit.

I want to feel excited, inspired, and proud. I want to feel much better than I do about this moment. I try to throw myself a birthday party but then I back out of it. I just can’t. My monkey mind spirals thinking :

“Wait – a milestone birthday? Isn’t that the one that usually gets thrown for you?”

And then along comes another wave...my fiftieth birthday also marks my twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. Now there are two things I’m afraid to celebrate. Holy shit, I’m drowning. Actually, it’s not the number that sits like a pit in my stomach, it’s more than that. It’s this: my life doesn’t fit me anymore.

I’m turning fifty and I’m not living the life I know I’m meant to live.

I’m sad.

I’m lost.

I’m scared.

I’m at the halfway mark and a very real possibility exists: if I don’t change my life now I’ll end up living a life that I don’t want. Or love. I feel like Alice In Wonderland when she drinks the “drink me“ bottle and it makes her so big she can barely fit in her room anymore.

My life doesn’t fit me anymore.

Am I willing to not only finally admit this but am I willing to actually live the life I want? The one I don’t even know is possible to live? The one that feels so far away I can barely touch it? The one that’s calling me right now? Actually, it’s not calling me, it’s screaming for me. But here’s the thing that really stops me: does my happiness even matter when faced with the happiness of the three people I love most deeply? Doesn’t reaching for my own happiness make me selfish, self-centered, and worst of all, a bad person?

There’s a laundry list of reasons why sticking with what I got right now is the smarter option: it keeps my family safe and intact. It’s going to hurt like hell. My life hurts now but it’s a hurt I’ve gotten used to – this other thing is a world of hurt I know nothing about. And I’m the breadwinner, can I even afford a divorce?

Then I think of my daughter. What if she came to me, filled with despair, with tears streaming down her cheeks, asking me what she should do – what would I tell her? Don’t rock the boat, stay and make everyone else happy? Or would I tell her that her happiness is important? Would I tell her happiness and well-being isn’t selfish or bad, it’s essential. Her happiness is her divine right. It’s what makes her a light in this world. So would I be willing to roll model this value for my children? Can I teach them (and myself) that happiness matters?

“Put your oxygen mask on first and then assist those around you“
“Follow your bliss”
“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire“

Yeah... sounds good on paper but actually doing it is a whole other thing. Actually doing it is painful and terrifying and it hurts and everyone gets really mad at you. It’s the price you pay to get your freedom back. What seems exorbitant at first becomes priceless over time.

Taking back your life is hard and at first, you really suck at it and you drown in self-doubt, shame, regret, and grief. Everything blows apart and it’s a challenge to make your way through the rubble. But what I discovered is that all the pain and suffering and falling apart has a purpose.


It’s the Fire Walk.

Fire is as productive as it is destructive.

The forest can’t survive without fire.

Fire burns away all the dead, broken, and overgrown parts.

Fire cracks open the acorn.

Fire ignites.

Fire cleanses.

Fire renews.

Fire makes way for the light to get in.


And miraculously after some time and practice, you begin to find a rhythm and a fresh new life begins to grow.

I invite you to take this fire walk with me.

Learn from my mistakes and missed steps and share my joys and experience from Hollywood all the way around the world, one mindful step by mindful step.


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