Dear Thirteen Year Old Me….

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Dear Lynn,

You’re thirteen right now.  I’m sorry about that. I really am. It’s hard.

Really.

But you survive.  That I can promise you.  In fact, I wanted to share a few tips and thoughts in the meantime, just so you make it to 25.

  • Coffee will always, always be awesome.  It will not stunt your growth.  You grow up to be 5’6”, and the world looks pretty good from there.  In fact, when you’re 18, you’re going to follow your love of coffee right into a fantastic job. And then when you’re 20, a really cute boy is going to buy a cup of coffee from you.  Marry him immediately.
  • Superman birthday cake.  No. Just, no…
  • There’s a lot you hate about yourself.  Things you get picked on for.  Things you wish you were better at.  Things you wish were different.  It turns out those things that make you weird in junior high actually make you who you are as an adult.  Hang on to that love of writing, of time travel stories and space operas.  It’s going to come in handy in a few years.
  • Oh yeah… you move to LA.  You’re not crazy for dreaming about it. For reals.
  • I still haven’t met Leonardo DiCaprio.  Sorry about that one.
  • Your parents kind of sort of actually know what they’re talking about.  I know – it just blows your mind.  But listen to them.  They have some good stuff to say.
  • When you grow up – you’re actually going to watch The Sixth Sense. For the love of God, have some perspective.  Don’t let your cousin tell you the ending because “your parents are never gonna let you see it.”  Sigh.
  • Seriously.  That whole perspective thing.  There’s a whole world out there.  There’s a lot of really beautiful things.  A lot of wonderful people who are going join you in life, who are going to shape you into the person you’re going to become.  You haven’t even met most of your life’s most influential people yet.  (Awkwardly worded sentence for the win! But it’s true.)  There’s another world out there as well – one that’s harsh and broken and scary.  Pop that safe little bubble as soon as humanly possible, but understand that there are certain things you can never unknow.  You’re going to have to find that balance between the two worlds – the beautiful and the broken….
  • so don’t be afraid.  Fear is the thing that eats you up from the inside while it’s claiming to protect you.  It will destroy everything you hold dear.  It will destroy everything you wish for and hope for, because it holds you back and makes you doubt everyone and everything.  It comes dressed up as pretty words, words like safety and Are you sure that’s what God’s telling you to do in life? and I stayed, so should you and white picket fence. The first one’s a lie, the second one comes with the very loud answer of YES! and the third one comes with this question – wouldn’t you rather live an adventure? and the fourth one… well, it turns out you still suck at all things gardening, and you’re not going to want a white picket fence front yard anyway.
  • Be bold.  Stop holding back.  You were meant for more than what you can see right now.  And that’s okay.  God has this extremely annoying habit of working through things in process, and you’re just at the beginning of yours.  Hold tight.
  • The day you get your nose pierced – Mom and Dad are both going to come to you separately and say they really like it.  Surprise surprise! You’re also going to have fire-engine red hair, pink hair, black hair, blonde hair and turquoise hair at later points in your life.  Chill out when they tell you not to perm your hair.  When you look back at your yearbook, you’ll appreciate it.  Trust me on this one.
  • Read Pride and Prejudice now.  It’s going to be your favorite book one day. Start early.
  • You don’t have to be perfect.
  • You survive.

I’m sure one day, 40-year-old Lynn is going to be writing a letter to her younger self just like this one.  It turns out I still don’t have things all sorted out, but I’m on my way. You don’t know it yet, but you are too…

Lots of love,

A slightly older and slightly wiser Lynn

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Life Updates!

– Friends! 

I haven’t forgotten my Halfway Good at a Lot of Things series, don’t worry! There’s just so much to write about these days! 

A few things first – check out The Womanhood Project. I absolutely adore these amazing women and am so excited for the future of this project. We would love to hear your thoughts!

I have bright red hair. Finally. 

I still have no voice.  Between that and my bright red hair, no one in my office believes I’m sick, instead, they’ve all decided that I was out at some awesome show screaming all weekend.  My bottle of Dayquil says otherwise, but trust me, I would much rather have been front and center at a concert loud enough for me to lose my voice. 

There are plenty of new blogs coming this week, including When My Printer Lost Its Name, photos from The Womanhood Project release party, Halfway Good at a Lot of Things – Part 3, and more!  

xoxo

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I Didn’t Say Hello

I was in the same room with him.  

We were at the same party. I knew people that he knew.  I like to imagine that we even had the same wine to drink.  Maybe even one of those amazing little bite-size chocolate tarts that I ate three (3!) of. 

My writing hero and I were finally in the same place at the same time.  All of those lines about You should never meet your heroes were running through my head.  I kept trying to think of witty, brilliant things to say, those snazzy little one-liners I could toss off in this completely nonchalant way.  Like when you’ve spent three hours getting ready so you can go to a party and say, “Oh, this old thing?  I just threw it on and ran out the door!”  I just arrive at parties this naturally sparkling and witty.  It’s just me. Imagine what I could do if I actually thought about it!  (Cue perfect lighting and perhaps one of those shampoo-commercial hair tosses.) 

We didn’t cross paths the whole night. 

I didn’t go say Hello and thank you for writing some of the films and shows that made me want to write for tv.  I have a career because you’re so freaking good at yours. 

Sometimes things don’t work out the way you planned, and that’s okay.  There’s always tomorrow.  There’s always room to say, ‘Next time, I won’t be too nervous to say anything.’  

That’s the plan anyway.  

Next time, I’ll say hello. 


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Happy Resting Day!

This was the text I sent to Laurie this morning –  Happy resting day! So, I’d just like to take this moment to announce that I have this whole resting thing figured out, and basically, I’m awesome and ——   You can’t hear me.  But I’m laughing right now.  I couldn’t even type that with a straight face.  

I just wanted to see what it felt like to type out “I have this whole thing figured out.” 

Anyway…. 

Today was supposed to be a resting day for me.  Yes, it’s Wednesday, which means I have to work and live life like normal. I was going to face the day attempting to just take life as it came at me, rather than panicking with the “What ifs?” of life.  I was going to remind myself to just be calmer.  More centered.  Taking time to thank God for the palm trees and Hollywood sign out my office window.  Texting friends to say – Hi. Love you! Thinking about you! I was going to try to sit and eat breakfast and just enjoy eating.  It wasn’t going to be easy.  Not by a long shot. But I was going to give it a whirl, knowing full well that I was going to be crappy at it. I figured I’d give up sometime around noon and return to my previously scheduled crazy programming. 

And then, when I woke up this morning, I didn’t have a voice. 

Universe =1  Lynn = 0

It turns out that when you don’t have a voice, you have to slow down despite it all. 

Maybe I need to do this intentionally every so often…. 

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Food Blogs and the People at My Table

I’m taking a quick break from my Halfway Good at a Lot of Things series for a confessional moment —

I’m obsessed with food blogs right now.  

They’re like crack to this information-crazy foodie girl.  

  

This last week, I made Smitten Kitchen’s raspberry coconut macaroons for the second time, except this time I used fresh apricot juice and lemon zest.  And then I dipped them in white chocolate.  Like you do.  Then I took them to Crystal’s surprise party, because nothing says ‘I love you’ like homemade cookies in your favorite color. 

                                         caramel brioche croutons

I’ve recently discovered Shutterbean, and her caramel brioche croutons are just screaming my name.   

Tres Leches Cake!

I made Joy the Baker’s tres leches cake because I have a boy I still like to impress. (It tastes waaay better than it looks.  Not exactly my most stunning creation visually. Haha) I didn’t think about the fact that I was going to have 18 slices of cake in my fridge for the rest of the week for the two of us.  Who needs to fit into their jeans next week?? I mean, really.  But that brings me to my point of the whole blog (besides telling you to check out every single one of these blogs. Do it. Now.) 

My point? 

Food is food.  I could survive on a bowl of soup and some salad all day every day for the rest of my life.  Strictly speaking, the point of food is to get the nutrition I need in order to function.  That’s it.  

But that’s sooo boring.  

For me – and hopefully for lots of you – the point of good food is so you can call your friends and say Hi.  I’d like to hang out with you and make you dinner. And there’s wine. There’s always wine.  Nobody turns down an invitation like that. Ta-da!  Instant dinner party! 

Food, like most awesome things in life, is meant to be shared.  It’s the great equalizer, especially when you serve it family style.  It’s this great icebreaker project when you’re getting to know people.  ”Hi, can you chop these veggies while we ask each other all the random questions like ‘Where did you grow up?’ or ‘How did you two meet?’ or ‘Buffy or Firefly?’” It gives you something else to focus on so it doesn’t seem so eye-contact intense – like you’re staring someone down instead of making a new friend.  

And then there are the memories attached.  I’m not getting all sentimental. (Ok, at least not too much.) But there’s something about food that just binds memories that much deeper into our hearts.  For the rest of my life, chocolate oatmeal cake will put me in my grandparents’ kitchen.  Same with parsley buttered potatoes.  Every time I have vanilla caramel tea, I’m brought back to my amazing college roommates. The right meal can be  like listening to a song that takes you back to your first kiss or the song you listened to on repeat as you moved across the country.  Those memories mean something to you, and whether it’s through food or music – they’re embedded in who you are and who you’re going to be.  

So this week – my challenge to you – find a new recipe.  Invite people over.  Maybe people you’ve never hung out with before. Make the new recipe. Together, if possible. Then enjoy a night with new friends, toasting glasses to a future filled with excellent friends and tasty food. That’s a win all around. 

p.s. If you completely screw up the meal – a cup of sugar for a cup of flour, six eggs when there should have been three and that sort of thing – uh, don’t freak out.  Order pizza.  And laugh.  That will be a good memory too. 

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Imagine – Jonah Lehrer

                                   Imagine!

This.  Book.  Is.  Amazing.

I’ve read it twice in the last week.  For anyone looking for inspiration or a massive dose of thinking outside the box, Jonah Lehrer is your guy.  

I can’t wait to read his other books. 

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Halfway Good at A Lot of Things – Pt. 2

                         My computer... the index card holder

Last week, I started a blog post.  I didn’t think it was going to be as intense as it was.  But by the end – it was long and awesome.  And I want to keep digging in further, because the responses I got back from people pretty much all said the same thing – I thought I was the only one.  I needed to hear something like that. I think, as an artist, dealing with these questions is a pretty much universal thing.  

And so a short series was born – Halfway Good at a Lot of Things.  

If you missed the first part – check it out here.

——————————-

The questions resonate through your artist head… 

What if you don’t like my heart?  Or my voice? Or my color choices? Or my words?  

What if you don’t like me?

These are huge and scary questions.  I know that.  You know that.  

So now what? 

First thing’s first – separate you from your art.  

Not entirely, because without your own experiences, how can you create anything?  Person you makes artist you a possibility.  Own it. Love it. Fight for it.

But you have value and purpose in this crazy world because you are a person, not because you are an artist.  So don’t take it all personally when someone says your art could be better.  It probably could be. Don’t freak out.  Make it better! 

See, it’s only natural that after I spend a ton of time on a project – a screenplay, a painting, six new recipes that will comprise my next dinner party – I want everyone to just gush over how amazing I am.  I mean, who doesn’t want that? 

You are the most brilliant human to walk the face of the earth.  I have never ever had something so tasty.  I’ve never ever seen someone use color that way.  That is the best story I’ve ever heard in my life.  You’re the greatest. 

(If you actually think any of these things, by all means, tell me!  My email address is…. just kidding.)  

I’ve been an artist my entire life and every piece I’ve ever written, played, painted or dreamed about has never come out of my head fully formed or perfect.  It is always born as a shape that needs molding and coaxing to become what it will finally be.  A little water.  A little love and TLC. It needs rough edges sanded off.  It needs to be buffed to a beautiful sheen.  It needs to be ripped up and thrown out and started all over again. Welcome to the life of an artist.  Notes and critiques are an absolutely integral part of that (painful) process.  Without them, you just end up with a pile of mushy little creative shapes that never go anywhere or do anything.  

Do not fear the notes.  

You are not your notes. 

So stop thinking that. 

If someone doesn’t like your song, that’s a whole different thing than thinking they don’t like you. If someone says your screenplay doesn’t make sense from A to B to C – do not interpret that as You are the stupidest person on the planet, and I can’t even believe someone would sell you a computer, let alone actually let you write something. 

Having the grace and humility to accept notes and work them into your next round of art is brutal.  It’s true.  Every round of notes I get might as well start out with a huge flashing neon sign that announces YOU ARE NOT PERFECT.  It’s a blow to my carefully constructed perfectionism.  Every. Single. Time.  Because I can hide and think that I’m pretty good at what I’m doing. Or, I can step out and be bold and vulnerable all at the same time – Help me be a better artist.  I just have to trust. 

But at the end of the day I’d rather be a better artist than a falsely perfect shell. 

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