Coming Home Again

I just bought some books of poetry from the poet Nikita Gill. Whenever I see poetry online, they are mostly from Gill’s work. So I knew I had to buy a book or two of hers. I got them today and sat down to read them.

Guys, I already think reading a book is like making a friend. Learning their quirks, smiling with them, and sometimes crying on their pages. But reading poetry is like coming home again.

I used to write poetry in high school and college, and I thought it was what I wanted to do with my life. Now, I don’t think I could write a poem to save my life.

But I almost cried with joy when I realized that your passions as a kid and as a young adult never leave you. They just wait for you to remember and come home again. Poetry has been waiting for me. All I had to do was find it again.

So, go home again. Color. Draw. Write. Read. Sing. Do whatever that used to make it feel like you are home again. And feel like a curious child once more.



The Girl Who Loved Alan Rickman

Back in the day, I used to have a job at Barnes and Noble.

It was my dream job – working with books, and getting to recommend my favorites to others.

At least, it was until they stuck me back in the music and DVDs section.

Back there, I mostly kept to myself. My job was to organize the DVDs and CDs and stock them on Tuesdays. And once in awhile, a customer would come in and ask for a particular DVD and I’d personally escort them to it, to which they would reply: “Oh, it’s cheaper on Amazon.”

A glamorous life, for sure.

But one day, when I was lamenting my lot not being able to be out with the book people, a girl about my age came up to my counter. She had dark hair and red lipstick. And she asked a very simple question.

“Can you look up a specific actor in your database and tell me what movies he’s been in?”

I wasn’t sure the system worked like that but I was willing to give it a try. And sure enough, it did.

“Who are you looking for?” I asked.

And she said, “Alan Rickman.”

Well, I started to rattle off many a name. Too many to count, too many to remember. I started with the most obvious, like Harry Potter and Die Hard, and went to the less obvious like Dogma and Sweeney Todd.

To all of the ones I suggested, she said:

“Yup, seen that one.”

“Yup, own that.”

“Yup, loved that.”

And so, I started to get frustrated with this girl. Why was she asking me when she’d already seen them? As I continued to recite the movies with a modicum of boredom in my voice, I finally reached the end of the fifth page of movies, and said, “there’s no more.”

Thrilled to finally be rid of her, I looked to her and saw a bright smile on her face that stopped me from anything I would have said to her.

“That’s okay,” she said, “I guess I’ve just seen them all.”

And she floated away, like a bubble.

So, why do I still think about this experience? Sadly, Alan Rickman has since died, and I did think about her on that day and wonder if she was devastated, somewhere.

But the real reason I remember her is because I could tell, from our infinitesimal interaction, that she was a passionate person. She would stop at nothing to make sure that she had experienced and lived Alan Rickman’s work. She was willing to reveal her almost obsessive passion to a complete stranger, just so that she could make sure she’d seen it all.

I, too, want that passion. I want to scare people with how passionate I am about something. I want to be the girl who loved Alan Rickman.

I hope I find that passion some day. And I hope you do too. But mostly, I hope you’re not afraid to ask the bored counter girl about it, just in case there’s something you might have missed.




Even When You Can’t, You Can

Exercising is hard.

Your brain says, "what are you doing to me? My body is out of breath, my muscles are sore, and you just keep…going? Are you trying to kill us?"

And you would love to just stop. Because why torture yourself like this?

But you don't. You take another step. And another and another. And suddenly, you're at the finish line. Even when you thought you couldn't, you still can.

Repeat as necessary with any obstacle in your path or your life.

The brain is a difficult muscle. It's difficult to convince, but if you don't stop, you may just find that you'll succeed. As log as you ignore that little voice that says "not right now" or "I can't."

Even when you think you didn't have any more to give, you do. Wring out every last drop, and you'll do amazing things.

Don’t Give Up

I was reminded today that you should never give up on what you want and what you love. Even when it feels like the entire universe is against it. Even if it doesn't work out right away. Even if it doesn't pay well (or anything at all).

Because doing what you love is why you get up in the morning and what makes you happy to go to bed at night. It simply makes life worth living.

And if you're not doing something you love everyday or working towards a goal, even just a small thing, then you're wasting your life. I can't say that enough. And I know, it's harsh, but it's true.

So, do me a favor and end everyday with something you love. (Hopefully you'll stay right here on this blog, but hey, you do you.)

Be Curious! 

I had a HUGE revelation today. 

I’m all about pursuing your passions. All for it. 

Except when it comes to quitting your day job. 

I know, I know. Big risk, big reward. But there’s something keeping you back from starting all over and pursuing your passion isn’t there? (Yes, Bailey. It’s my crippling student debt.) Okay, fair. 

But ask yourself — is your passion something you LIKE to do? Or are you truly interested and curious about it?

Because that’s what keeps me back from writing full time. One, because I love my blog and I don’t want to hate it because I have to rely on it to give me money. But two, and more importantly, I’m not curious about writing. I don’t want to learn about it. I just want to do it. It comes natural to me. And like most writers, I’m an egotist and I think I’ve learned everything I possibly can about writing. I’ll learn as I go. 

But what am I truly curious about? Science. I am interested in science. I love listening to podcasts about any kind of science, but mostly anatomy. I get truly excited about listening to how the human body works. I hung on every word of a woman who described how she became allergic to meat. And it’s only taken me until recently to realize that I have a passion for science, but I have a love for writing. 

The difference is that I can keep one as my mistress, and the other one keeps me up at night. (I’ll let you decide which is which.)

But the point is that when I stopped to think about it, I realized I could love what I do and still not be passionate about it. Just because I love writing doesn’t mean that I need to exorcise my soul to produce it. Sometimes, quitting your day job still doesn’t mean you are fulfilled. 

Be Like Neil

As anyone who has done anything in life (including starting a blog) can tell you, everyone looks up to someone else who is doing something similar. 


Basically, everyone has people in their lives to influence and inspire them. I, too, have many of these people. My family, my fiancée, and Shakira, to name a few. 

But also, our family friend, Neil. He passed away unexpectedly a few years ago. He had a beautiful and lovely family. He was full of life, an absolute shooting star, who burned brightly in any gathering. Hilarious, insightful, and generous in every way. 

But the best part? 

He had a day job, like the best (and the rest) of us. And yet, somehow, he was able to dedicate time to his passion: music. He wrote his own and performed covers at local performance venues. In all of the hustle and bustle of normal life, he not only found time to do what he loved but he did it for others. 

Today is his birthday. And this day of all days, I wanted to take the time to remind everyone that if you do what you love, then you are very, very lucky. But if you have to work a day job, you can still do what makes you happy. If you’re extremely determined and very special, like Neil, you can bring joy to others by bring joy to yourself. 

Be the person you want to be, but be more like Neil. I know I want to be. 

Up All Night

“Look at us, baby, up all night.” — the Eagles 

“Nothing ever good happens after 2 A.M.” — Ted Mosby, How I Met Your Mother

These are my favorite quotes about staying up late at night. And they have another thing in common: they tell us that staying up late is definitely not a good idea. Like, bad stuff goes down. And then you’ve absolutely messed yourself up for the next morning when you’re groggy and sleep deprived and so ready to drown yourself in a vat of caffeine. 

But what else are you supposed to do? When the sun sets at 4:45 and your body starts to fold in on itself with the hope of going to bed, how do you let it? Don’t you have to stay up late? 

My answer is that you do. And it’s actually another one of my resolutions. I’m going to be staying up later each night. Why? Because I don’t have enough time during the day to do the things that I need to. But more than that, I don’t have time during the day to do what I want to do. Which makes Bailey a dull girl. And a very uncreative person. 

I mean, just about every successful person, at some point in their career, has dedicated their time to doing what they wanted to do. 

And a lot of those people swear by getting up in the morning, making some strong black coffee, and doing that thing before life really begins, so that they can have some time to dedicate to their passions. 

And there’s those people and then there’s me. I love my sleep, don’t get me wrong. I’m going to actually dedicate my first book to my pillow because it helps me fulfill my dreams (what?), but if you want to get something done, then you have to …um, do it. And because we’re all overachievers, and we have lives, sometimes the only thing to do is stay up until midnight a few nights a week and resist the urge to get some shuteye in order to do what I wanna do. 

And I can’t wait to stay zzzzzzz…..

Missing your Calling Twice

In my baby book are the observations of my preschool teacher that have haunted me for the last decades: “Bailey is such an actress! She loves to play pretend and dress up!” And I did. And I still do. I love to perform and act. I love to put on a show, even though I hate to sing. I love telling jokes, dancing, or reenacting full movies. (Ask my roommates about that last one). I still even love dressing up for Halloween and Comic con.

And so, I can’t help but wonder if I missed my calling at such an early age. Perhaps I should have went to acting school and made my way to Hollywood by tirelessly waitressing at kitchenettes and dying my hair blond in my apartment’s bathroom. Maybe I should have been a news anchor or a sketch comedy actress. Maybe I should have starred on a Netflix sitcom. Maybe I should have been in more plays at my school, but again, I hated to sing and all we did was musicals.

But that certainly didn’t mean I hated the spotlight. One day, I simply got pulled in a different direction and had to abandon this passion. Some say I grew up, others say I was just interested in other things.

And now, I’m a writer. And I’ve always been a writer; maybe as long as I’ve been an actress. And yet, I feel that slipping away too. I can barely post on this blog everyday, let alone pursue a novel or any of my poetry.

But I had a sobering and completely freeing thought the other day: I survived losing acting as a predominant part of my life. (It still shows up, just not in the way I would expect.) And if writing starts to do the same thing, then I’m prepared for that too. I’ve missed one calling for my life, who is to say I won’t miss more and get more too? I’m an actress and a writer, but I don’t need to be either everyday to be them any day. I just need to love what I do and remember my roots when I need them. And then I can grow new ones.

It’s nice to follow your passion to the ends of the earth. But you shouldn’t jump off the edge for it if you can’t seem to pursue it right now. It’ll wander back into your life on a meandering path, and greet you as an old friend. Perhaps shyly at first, but you’ll warm up. And when you do, you’ll remember why you loved it in the first place.

When Was the Last Time I Was on Fire?

Sitting in English class, I always thought that inspiration came from the outside.

For example, Poe had a dark life, experienced plenty of death, and drank a lot. So, he produced material that reflected that. And Hawthorne. He was so ashamed of his family’s legacy in the Salem Witch Trials that he changed the spelling of his name and wrote about the shunning of a young female by the Puritan community. Or my man, Joyce. His home country of Ireland was a constant point of contention and inspiration, even if he had to slip his rage in between the lines.

And for most of my life, this conclusion has proved true. Inspiration really can come from anywhere, so it is important to keep an open mind while walking along the street or taking a road trip.

But enter me into adulthood. It’s Groundhog’s day everyday. I go to work, I come home, I eat, I go to bed, and I do that five times a week. And I don’t have to tell you that it’s really hard to create something when you are just trying to get through a work week. Sort of like singing into a black hole.

For a while, I just didn’t get it. How did people express themselves artistically when they were being numbed by a daily routine? Where did people find the time to search for inspiration in the mundane? When would I climb out of my own apathy?

And most importantly, could I remember the last time I felt like I was on fire? Because inspiration is like that. You’re burning up with a fever, and you’re working up a sweat, but you’re warm all over. You’re suddenly not just alive, you are thriving.

And then it hit me. If you can’t be set on fire from the outside, it’s going to have to come within.

You see, inspiration really is on the inside already. What you experience while living life may help you to trigger something, but that’s only because the potential was there before. You’ve got the tinder and the spark.

So, the next time that you are worried that inspiration hasn’t struck, writer’s block has been lodged, and you’re out of ideas, set yourself on fire (SO METAPHORICALLY). Light the wick inside and shine brightly. You’re only one match away from a masterpiece.

Adorn Your Own Heart

I don’t think anyone wants to be disagreeable.

I don’t think a person’s feet hit the floor when they roll out of bed, and they think to themselves, Hmmm,  I’m going to act like I ate a full serving of b*tch flakes today, and then I’m going to act like someone peed in them. Specifically, I’m going to cut in line at my local Starbucks and then ask for really specific things in my latte. Like, for it to be hand-stirred. 

But then again, I don’t think people want to be too agreeable, either. You don’t want to be a sheep or a lemming. You want to be cordial, but not naive.

Then, there’s me. I will walk into traffic to avoid an argument. I do everything I can to make someone feel comfortable around me and to make them like me, even when they’ve already decided what they will about me. This has pretty much always been my reality, but recently, it has gotten a lot worse.

I find myself nodding when someone says they like something, on instinct. Almost anything. Even if I’ve never heard of it. And I have to stop myself and think, Wait, I don’t listen to Elvis cover bands. Why did I just say that peanut butter, banana, and bacon is my favorite sandwich? All in the name of amiableness. I am the Miss Congeniality.

And it’s not that I am trying to be disingenuous. I’m just trying to be nice…aren’t I? I’m trying to make the other person feel safe in my company. The problem is that I just start hanging up posters of things I don’t entirely like inside my heart. I pump blood through my veins that is driven by someone else’s passion. I create shrines inside myself to activities like pilates and white water rafting because not only can I somehow connect with the people I know on these newfound interests, but I can be intriguing to the people I’m still waiting to meet.

But the truth is, (I’ve come to realize) if you don’t adorn your own heart with the things that YOU love, you might lose yourself (and maybe that friend) completely.  Like your life, your heart is only what you make of it and how much love is inside.