AT AGE 30, THESE WERE THE RULES THAT I SET FOR MY LIFE

When I turned 30, I made a new list of rules for myself.

  1. No more letting people borrow money that they never pay back!
  2. No more paying for women to have abortions! 
  3. No more accepting collect calls!
  4. No more taking care of other people’s children!
  5. No more feeling guilty and doing things I don’t want to do!
  6. No more going places because other people want me to go!
  7. No more meeting people’s families so they can prove they know me!
  8. I was tired of being the birthday clown. (Yes, people ask for you to come over like I’m a birthday present to someone.  It’s weird)!
  9. No more fake friends.  I’d rather spend my days alone!
  10. No more dating groupies (male groupies are just as bad as women)!
  11. No more driving people around like I’m a taxi!
  12. And last but not least, no more putting other people’s needs in front of my own!

I received an inspirational text from my friend Keeland Ellis that I will never forget. He told me, “Have no friends who do not equal you. Watch those that you don’t know who are always wanting to be with you, and those who are wanting to be like you!”

I wish he would have told me this straight out of high school but he told me on time because not only did I hear every word of it, but I understand it now so I guess that’s an example of God’s time.

LEARN TO LET GO AND LIVE

I often remind myself, the picture in an artist mind is not often what’s translated on canvas, but it doesn’t make it less beautiful. ~ Cherie

 

I had to learn to let go and live. Life just doesn’t always move as planned no matter how long I spend working on the details. I am a stickler for schedule and being on time. From what I have learned, most of the world is NOT the same. No matter how much I prepare and break my neck to have things fall into place, often they just don’t, for reasons far out of my control. Someone always cancels and someone is always late. I expect to be paid on a certain date and I am not. It drives me insane and eats me up inside. I am by nature one of those people who does exactly what I say I am going to do. I have to accept the world is just not like me. In return, I am slowly learning to let go! I am learning to let go of the things I can’t control and giving it all to the universe.  (Maybe it’s my inner hippie.) I am learning how to find the beauty in every situation.

Just this week, I had 2 telephone conference calls just flake, and a nutritional consultation rescheduled last minute. I homeschool my daughter, so I busted my ass to make sure she was finished with school by 1 p.m., in order to take these calls. Had lunch ready to go so she would be preoccupied eating and watching YouTube, so the callers didn’t have to hear her talking in the background. While a part of me was fuming at the fact that they flaked… I had to take a moment and smile because I was able to hang out and eat lunch with my baby, where usually I would have just eaten the leftovers off her plate before I did the dishes and ran out the door to take her to Tae Kwon Do.

I was able to sit down next to her at the table and we talked and laughed while we ate. I listened to her tell me all about her LOL dolls and which were her favorites and why. I had to remind myself if I were on that conference call this would’ve been a moment that I would have missed with her. I smiled because I was able to be in the moment with her. Looking in her eyes and seeing the excitement made me realize I was exactly where I needed to be at that moment. I now get the saying let go, live life!

NOT JUST YOGA – BIKRAM YOGA

I lost myself and forgot who I am. I had been in California way too long.

YO, Duquesne, Pennsylvania and all my east coast folks, let me tell you about my conforming ass. I needed to get the fuck outta California. I say this because I let this dude convince me to go to some shit called Bikram Yoga!

This is not just yoga, but the room is like 120 degrees and they got you in there doing all kinda weird stretches with your body! Well, my hypoglycemic self hadn’t eaten anything all day and it was 4:30pm so I grabbed 2 cheeseburgers and went to class!

I was dizzy as fuck feeling like I was gonna puke and all these half-dressed, happy as fuck Cali folks were in there doing the splits and smiling and shit! LMFAO.

It was a 90-minute class.  I did about 80 minutes, okay maybe 75 minutes.  All the other time, I laid my ass on that stinky mat and tried to breathe.

Wasn’t excited about taking my shoes off and touching their floor, but I lived! It wasn’t that bad. I might go back. Before you LA folks start chiming in about YOGA, just know that’s some ol Hollywood bullshit to us East Coast folks, okay. Not saying Yoga is bad shit.  I tried it but it ain’t a part of our day to day life, though we heard of the shit B4 LMFAO!  It doesn’t smell too fresh in there either.

SOMETIMES YOU JUST HAVE TO RUN AWAY!

Every once in a while, I just…can’t! I can’t do life. Hahaha.  So, I quit and do something completely irresponsible as a parent! Yes, it was a school day and it was a little cold outside, but you know what, life is short. Ima enjoy it and I’m going to make sure she’s enjoying it to!

Sure, there were emails to answer, work to do and phone calls to make but guess what they will still be there tomorrow. The look on her face when she realized we were going to Disneyland was everything.

Southern Californians are terrified of drizzle and cold.  So, with a 20% chance of rain and 55 degrees on a Wednesday, Disneyland was perfect! Our longest wait was 15 minutes for It’s A Small World. No fast passes needed this trip.

lilcherieandMickey2

When it’s all over, all we have are memories. Ima do my damnedest to make sure we have great ones. Believe it or not, we spent an entire day there. My daughter and I ate lunch and dinner, came home with a few treats of her choice and I only spent like $300.00, including paying for VIP parking. I think I did pretty good! I understand everyone can’t do Disneyland but an ice cream date, a trip to the bookstore or library are all amazing dates to share with your little ones. Live it up and keep it fun.

I OFTEN WONDER HOW PEOPLE PERCEIVE REALITY

When I lived in California, I had a strange relationship with going out in public. It was just weird. I honestly started to hate it and became a hermit. People think Hollywood is like Disneyland but fail to realize actors are just like Mickey Mouse without a big costume head. Below are 3 conversations that I had with people that flipped the script and turned me into the bad guy.

Fan: “How’s Hollywood?”

Me: Hollywood is built off a story from someone’s mind…. make believe like Disneyland. Fake tits, ass, lips. Fame is given and taken.  It’s all entertainment. The ones not smart enough to realize all this shit’s fake seek a life that will never be real and kill themselves tryna live a life that doesn’t exist.

Fan: “I see you’re in a bad mood.”

Me: “Not at all….”

He walked away mad. LOL

 

Fan Guy 2: “Where’s Brandon?”

Me: “Dude, are you serious?”

Fan Guy 2: “Yeah!”

Me: “Dead.  The show’s been off for 30 years, dude.”

We both just stood there looking at each other. I finally walked away thinking this can’t be my life.  Lord, please NO MORE dumbasses today.

 

This next one happens often and it’s awkward. I hate it.

“What’s it like growing up on TV?”

Me: “I dunno? I don’t have any other life to compare it to.”

Then people get mad like my answer wasn’t good enough, so I have to ask, “Well, what’s it like NOT growing up on TV?”

This question brings more strange looks, like I’m supposed to know. Hahahaha.  I’m not a mean person but I am a real person.  I think the humanization of people who have been on TV is a real conversation more adults need to have with their children because there are some grown ass confused people in the world.

Like not to be mean, but when I’m asked, “Where’s Punky?” or “Where’s Waldo?” do they expect me to pull them outta my pocket? I don’t fucking know? But I’m a bitch if I say that so I say nothing and give them an awkward smile. Then, we can all feel weird together.

Yes, this is a “Fuck my life” moment. Hahaha. Whatever, maybe you will understand, maybe you won’t.

I’M FREE

For the first time in my life, I feel free. I get to live my life just like everyone else. I take my daughter to Tae Kwon Do in peace. I have everyday Mom talk. Nobody is asking me about Urkle. I know it may sound silly but it’s nice to be able to go grocery shopping in peace. For the first time in 36 years, my customer service badge is OFF. Yes, people still recognize me but the connection is on a “human level” here. I know that sounds silly but an extra smile in the post office or the grocery store nod is cool. I come home and in my inbox on IG or Facebook I get a message saying, “Am I tripping or were you at the post office today?” I giggle and write back, “Yes that was me. Nice to meet you.”  See here, people might see me out with my child and they just wave and keep it moving. Again, I’m sure this sounds silly to read, but for me it’s everything.

I started to feel trapped like a damn caged animal. A part of my sanity was going…While I appreciate my past accomplishments and the characters I played I was fucking tired of Maxine and her bullshit. When they called wrap 20 years ago and the writers who wrote her lines were no longer employed, to me she died. I was able to move on. I get it and I am THANKFUL to have played her and thankful she was received and loved and remembered by so many!! Playing her was a dream come true, BUT I am not her. I pray I will get a chance to play many other characters people will love just as much. But for now, I found my peace that I needed.

California was not my home, it was a place I lived because of my job. No more no less. Home is a place that makes your heart happy. I was suffocating. I am finally home! I miss driving past the beach sometimes, but Don’t miss the traffic!  I’m grateful for this chance to be free.

OAK PARK, CA

Image credit: latimes.com

Though we moved and are no longer there, as I watch the news and I see my mom’s old neighborhood being evacuated, my heart hurts. 75,000 people have been evacuated and 10,000 acres have been burned. Many friends and loved ones still live in the neighborhood. Not knowing if by this weekend they will have a home to go back to or not is hurting my heart. Our phones are ringing off the hook and we are reaching out to as many as well can. With every voicemail reached, a sense of panic grows. We are praying, all we can do is pray.

Fires are so devastating. Yes, it’s just a building that can be rebuilt but so many memories and personal belonging that have been handed down can’t be replaced. For me it’s a sense of sadness but also confirmation that we are right where we are supposed to be at this time. I am thanking God because he always provides us with exactly what we need in life.

Prayers up for Oak Park, Agoura, Calabasas, Malibu, Westlake, and Thousand Oaks. Our little hood is going through it.

LEARNING TO LIVE WITH ANXIETY

As a child, I hated taking tests. I got nervous, had to poop, and got physically sick. Watching my daughter get her yellow strip in Tae Kwon Do recently brought back all those emotions. I instantly got a lump in my throat. She was smiling, standing tall and as confident as ever as her Master tested her. I began to take comfort in her confidence as she performed every move correctly. Before she was honored, she turned and looked at her Grandmother and me. I had tears in my eyes, not just because she did well, but because my anxiety was not passed onto her.

Anxiety is something I live with and battle daily. It can be brought on by anything. At times, it gets on my nerves. I get anxiety about being late. Will there be traffic? Will I get my child in bed on time? Even writing this is making me feel some kinda way. I live through it every day. I read everything I can to learn more about how to control it and make sure it’s not projected onto my child. I don’t believe in medication. I tried that once, and it made me a zombie. Never again, but what does help is breathing. I literally talk to myself and make myself breathe easy.  Here are the steps if you’d like to try it.

Calming Breath

• Take a long, slow breath in through your nose, first filling your lower lungs, then your upper lungs.

• Hold your breath to the count of “three.”

• Exhale slowly through pursed lips, while you relax the muscles in your face, jaw, shoulders, and stomach.

If you live with anxiety, you’re not crazy and you’re not alone! 

YES, MY BELLY WAS BIG

People would say “OMG! Do you think you could be having twins?”. I went from 130 to 180 pounds by the end of my pregnancy! Yes, my belly looked kinda big. I was baking a whole baby! Every woman’s body is different. Your belly will change in pregnancy. Sometimes a belly button will pop out. Some ladies’ belly buttons will cave inward and lay flat. Whatever your belly does, it’s natural and okay.

I was completely amazed by my pregnant belly. Never in life have I ever been that heavy (Never in life will I ever be again). I wish I would have done a belly cast but unfortunately for me I was on bed rest with contractions for 7 months, but we will talk about that later. Belly sizes are as different as people. They come in all different sizes and shapes. Everyone will have an opinion and tell you how they carried during their own pregnancy. For your sanity, learn to smile and not listen to half of what comes out of people’s mouths. Every pregnancy is unique, so no need to compare your own to others. As long as you are getting your check ups and your doctor says everything looks fine… No need to worry.

Stretch marks can happen to anyone but it doesn’t mean it will happen to you. It seems to be a genetic thing. My mother doesn’t have them, but my cousin did, so I was terrified. Stretch marks were one of my biggest fears. I listened to women scare me for years about how my stomach would never be the same and to enjoy it while it lasted because once I had a baby I would never snap back to the way I was before, and how my belly button would look messed up with loose skin. JOKE IS ON THEM! I DO NOT HAVE STRETCH MARKS ON MY STOMACH AND IT IS JUST AS FLAT AS IT WAS BEFORE I GOT PREGNANT!

True story: my brother walked in the house one day and said, “Why does it smell like salad in here?” I laughed and said “Salad?” Then at the same time we both looked on the dresser at the bottle of olive oil I had next to the bed. “What the hell is that doing in here?” he asked. I giggled to myself and said, ” YO, I oil myself down 3 times a day from my neck down to my toes.” He said, “Olive Oil?” ” Yes,” I said. “Everything you put on your skin absorbs in your blood stream within 26 seconds.  I’m trying to keep it all natural for my baby,” I told him. Yeah, he laughed at me but now he brags about it because my tummy is tight and right with no stretch marks. I don’t care how bad it itched I was told not to scratch, I didn’t scratch!

If you are interested in getting your body back after giving birth reach out to us at www.TeamCherieJ.com We are here to help you. Naturally with NO supplements and it will be safe during breast feeding.