Reconstructing Your Life

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*originally published on DreamJobbing.com

Growing up in rural Massachusetts I dreamed of becoming an actress. Starting out in my father’s church, and going on to perform in all my school plays, I fell madly in love with the art of performing. As my high school years were coming to an end, I made up my mind; I was going to move to LA to convince Hollywood I was the next big STAR!

After one year of college per my parents’ request, I packed up my Toyota Corolla and headed out West in search of my dreams.

Nineteen years old without a single friend in that town, I began to wade through the waves of a massive ocean. I became obsessed with succeeding as an actor, so much so that I gave up every other talent I had possessed.

Quickly I fell into a rut and began doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. Getting a job as a waitress to support myself, running to auditions every day with desperation in my eyes, begging the casting director to pick me. Disappointment washing over me at every turn because I couldn’t work hard enough for someone else to choose me.

Ten years went by before I even realized it, and I woke up one morning with a sea of emotions wondering if I was truly happy waiting for someone else to hand me my dreams. Was I willing to wait another ten years for someone else to choose me? That morning it dawned on me that I could choose myself, I could start creating my own projects. It was time for me to take charge of my destiny and change the course of my story. I was done watching myself sit back as others dictated my path in life. No longer was I going to fall victim to believing that I had no control over my future.

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As I struggled to find a new direction in Los Angeles, and in an attempt to break free from my old habits, I partnered with a friend to produce a play. It was the first step in taking charge of creating my future. And even though the play was a success, I still felt stuck in Los Angeles with an empty heart. Something was missing and I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was. I felt like it was time for a change.

Within a month I lost my job and apartment, and felt fully convicted that it was a sign for me to move. I packed my bags yet again, tens years from the date I had so bravely arrived in the city of lights, I watched as they grew dim in the rear view mirror, the highway stretched before me. And to my amazing surprise I felt myself crumbling in the best way. Freedom washed over me, and a new hope was on the horizon.

Albuquerque, New Mexico was the new Hollywood, I heard it a “buzz” throughout my community, and I believed if I could just start over in a new place with a new outlook I could do great things. And boy was I right. First I let go of all my old ways of thinking. I even got a totally different job, I became a companion to elderly people, and spent a lot of time alone reflecting on my past choices and envisioning my new ones. My heart was open to whatever I was meant to do with my life; letting go of my own desires, and releasing my grip on my previous way of thinking.

Once I did that I got my life back ten fold. I quickly tapped into the filmmaking community in New Mexico and began meeting like-minded people who wanted to create projects with me. I even met my now husband on a set of a short film. My dream of having a partner in life and a partner in creating came true. And just a few short years after turning my life upside down I became the owner of two production companies, my life full and rich, while I was making my own dreams come true. No longer waiting for other people to pick me, I was able to pick myself and I have never looked back.

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For me feeling stuck in life was the most devastating emotion. It led me into a downward spiral of depression and hopelessness. If I feel this way, I’m sure there are millions of other women out there struggling with this same path. The incredible truth is that we have the power and ability to change our circumstances at any time, even if that means moving out of our comfort zone to experience a new rich way of living. Jumping into the unknown can be daunting but if you are unhappy, the only person that can change it is yourself. There is no time like the present to make the adjustments that will secure the future of your heart’s desire. We have but one precious life, why spend it doing anything we despise or dread? It is never too late to take the leap of faith, and begin again in a new way. Every morning is a new day, and a new chance to go after the things you have always wanted. And if you fail, who cares, get up and try again.

Sometimes in order to construct the life you have always dreamed of, you must deconstruct the old one.

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Alexandra Boylan

About Alexandra Boylan

Alexandra Boylan (Producer, Writer, Actor, Co-Founder Mustard Seed Entertainment and Mirror Tree Productions) Alexandra is an award-winning filmmaker. MirrorTree Productions, has produced numerous feature films, including "Home Sweet Home" and "At Your Own Risk". Her company Mustard Seed Entertainment's film "Catching Faith" had a two year run on Netflix and was on the shelves of Wal-Mart. Her most recent film "Wish For Christmas" sold to Pure Flix Entertainment and Universal Studios Home Entertainment. Alexandra’s script "Switched" was awarded the winner of the Kiaros Pro MovieGuide award for best screenplay. She is the author of "Create Your Own Career in Hollywood: Advice from a struggling actress who became a successful producer" available in Kindle and print on Amazon, and is an active member of Woman in Film Los Angeles where she served on the WIF PSA Board. Alexandra co-collaborated on the book "Thriving in Hollywood!" for msinthebiz.com