I’ve had an interesting January with a number of things introduced my way from the universe.
I’ve also had a chance to reflect upon the ways I handle challenges as well as relishing and practicing gratitude for the good things.
Let’s Start With Life
Gratitude: One of the things that I’ve been reflecting upon was that I don’t think I thank the universe or a Higher Being enough for what I have. I spend a lot of time thinking about what I should do, getting into a mind-state of hyper-responsibility, so to speak, instead of being present and relishing what I have. I don’t know how the universe or any Higher Being operate. I do believe that worrying won’t really help me. I also sense that practicing true gratitude—recognizing the things that I have—will help me get into a lighter wavelength.
Friendships: Speaking of gratitude, I am grateful for the relationships I have formed with several amazing women ever since I came to the New York City to begin my acting training at Juilliard. I hadn’t had many solid female friendships while I was in the Philippines, and having a lot of go-to female friends for different aspects of self and living is a gift. I hope to spend more time with them and also learn to enjoy doing activities with them.
Happiness: I haven’t really thought about what makes me happy for the past three-and-a-half years because I was too preoccupied with the training and “getting my shit together.” Now that we’re only a few months away and the uncertainty of the next phase of the journey looms ahead, I want to begin reminding or rediscovering for myself the simple things in life that make me happy. I believe that getting in touch with these will help me cope with the ups and downs of being an artist and build an identity outside of the work. It also helps for me to know what to turn to when the rigorous schedule of Juilliard no longer dictates my life.
I will admit that I hate exercising. Two of my female roommates have a weekly exercise routine. When they tell me about it I go into a sort of, “maybe I should do that—but no not now” frame of thinking. Maybe I’ll try doing pilates after the fourth-year rep finishes, but no promises.
Reading books: I used to be an avid reader but that is no longer the case. In the coming days, I will try to substitute time spent on Instagram with reading. I bought the trilogy of Crazy Rich Asians recently and I should really take the set from its plastic cover.
Decorating: I have a very clean and organized room that is already well-decorated, but after the fourth-year rep is over, I would like to add some candles or incense or buy a new pillow or any other thing that will make me happy or help make my room feel like a sanctuary.
As you may have noticed, a lot of the goals I’ve listed have nothing to do with “acting” per se. I’ve spent most of my teenage years up to now extremely dedicated to the development of my craft and the manifestation of my dreams. I’m turning 30 this year, and I would really like to tend to other aspects of myself that had to sit for a while to make space for my grand ambitions. I’m intent on cultivating a sense of self outside of the work and the shiny ball of success. After all, I’m not just a building a career, but ultimately a life.
Regina De Vera
Juilliard Group 48
Quezon City, Philippines