My Personal Manifesto

I think one of the most valuable assignments I had to do in college was
rewrite the lyrics to Cole Porter’s “You’re The Top”.

Just kidding.

While that assignment provided insight to the trials and tribulations of lyricism,
beyond that all it did was solidify the fact that I was not born to rewrite perfect lyrics.

In all honesty, the most valuable/insightful assignment I completed was
writing a personal manifesto for a business class.
The prompt asked us to answer two simple questions:

1.Who am I?
2. What do I want?

My 21 year old self was like…
There were no restrictions on how you answered these questions. You could use words, pictures, video, songs, anything you wanted. Well, I recently dug up my finished assignment. Almost two years later, it’s still pretty spot on. 
And here it is for all of you to take what you need from.
Kelsey Moore
Professor DeGraff
Personal Manifesto
30 January 2014
Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and dreams are forever. – Walt Disney
            I lived in a land of make-believe growing up. My younger brother and I were constantly at play. One day we would be Native Americans of the Great Plains exploring the world on horseback, building forts in the woods, and fishing alongside a rushing creek. In reality, we were kids riding our bikes around the cul-de-sac, our forts were made out of beach towels and patio furniture, and our rushing creek was just the pool. My mother didn’t believe in gaming systems and we weren’t allowed to watch sitcoms so we would spend hours in various worlds of our creation; our imaginations went wild, our laughter was uncontrollable and we dreamt big. Every day was a new adventure and for that day, the adventure became our reality.
            That spirit of imagination is what led me straight into the open arms of the theatre. Along with her crusade against all personal electronic gaming devices, my mother also showered my brother and I with Broadway musical recordings. When I was six years old and my younger brother was four, we sat through the entire 3-hour production of The Phantom of the Opera, completely riveted and probably lip-syncing the words to every song. It was a few years later that the family took a trip to New York City where I saw my first Broadway show, The Lion King. From that point on, I was a goner. I made my performance debut in the school talent show that year and the rest is history. I gave up my dreams of being a professional tennis player and going to Stanford for a life in the theatre.
            Now here I am – a musical theatre major in one of the best programs in this country. I want a lifetime of make-believe. I want to transport people to a different world for those three hours that they’re in the theatre because I remember what it was like to get swept up as a kid and there is nothing better than getting carried away with your imagination. Nothing. And if I can give that to people, there is nothing more rewarding for me as a performer. I want to take that unrestrained childhood imaginative energy and use it every day to create performances that touch people’s lives in ways they never expected.
I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people. – Vincent Van Gogh
            Love is hard and my definition of love is constantly changing but there is nothing more beautiful or inspiring that can also be so painful or debilitating. And despite all the wretched heartache of my past, I refuse to give up on love. I have loved deeply and lost but it will not stop me from loving again. Love is so damn hard but it’s so damn worth it.
A small crack does not mean that you are broken; it means that you were put to the test and you didn’t fall apart. – Linda Poindexter
            When life pushes me to the breaking point, I will not break. I will push back. I will not sit back and wait for someone to save me.
There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind – C.S. Lewis
            Move forward. You cannot move forward if you are looking back. You cannot change things that have already happened so you have to let them go. Once the audition or interview or bad date is over, forget about it. Life is going to be full of rejection but it’s all in the past and there is no room in the future for it.
Get up, dress up, show up and never give up. – Genevieve Rhode
            I will face the challenges of each new day with my best face forward and I will never stop trying. Even if I fail, I will fail having tried everything I could and I will learn something I didn’t know before.
You become like the five people you spend the most time with. Choose carefully.
            I will surround myself with people who make me better. I will eliminate negative energy.
Gratitude changes everything.
            It’s all about perspective. We can choose to see the bad and let it consume us or we can turn things around. Positive thoughts are so much healthier than negative. I will continue to remind myself of all the good things in my life.
Live in such a way that if anyone should speak badly of you no one would believe it.
            Now just because I want to give people something to talk about doesn’t mean I am going to run around like a fool. I will become a better person every day in the smallest of ways. Any little bit of improvement is still an improvement. Nobody expects perfection and I know there will be lots of mistakes in my future. But I will embrace the mistakes with grace rather than let them destroy any progress I have made.
Be silly, be honest, be kind. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
            I will be the type of person I want to meet.
Children and art.
            The only two things we can leave behind. So, make them worthwhile.

If you’ve made it this far into this post, 
you deserve a drink. 
I also think everyone owes it to themselves to take a minute to slow down 
and answer those two deceivingly simple questions. 

Who am I?
What do I want?

Especially since moving to the city, 
it’s been so easy for me to lose sight of my manifesto. 
There are things in my life right now that don’t align with what I want 
and now that I know what they are, it’s time to let them go.

You Win Or You Die

I will never forget the first time someone broke up with me. I was a freshman in high school and he did it right before I had to go onstage to perform for a packed audience of prospective students. I was playing Flounder in The Little Mermaid at the time (probably one of my most endearing roles to date, just saying). The costume was the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever worn onstage- think blue unitard, a ridiculous amount of face paint and a fish suit made from felt. My job was to run around smiling throughout the entire number and acting like all that was under the sea was completely fascinating. Well. This is a lot easier said than done when you’ve just had your heart broken. But somehow, I did it. There were tears running down my face the entire time but I fooled an entire room and I figured something out that day. Boys will break your heart. 
I like to think I’ve come a long way since that day. Over and over again boys have come along and shattered my hopes/dreams. The stories that I have accumulated over the years are truly comical. Comical in a tragic way but amusing nonetheless. I’ve been dumped via text messages, emails, face to face conversations, pretty much any and every form of communication that existed at the time. The greatest common factor between them all is that they always suck. The degree of suckage varies but it’s ever present.
And I started to realize, no matter how bad you break, you have to turn it around. You have to win. Because as we’ve all learned from Game of Thrones, you win or you die. I don’t see death as a practical option ergo the only alternative is to fucking win.
How do you win?
I never thought I’d be saying this but I think we can take a page out of Khloe Kardashian’s book from the chapter titled “The Revenge Body”.  From personal experience, I have never been more motivated to get in the best shape of my life than after someone broke up with me. It was a healthy way to work out the negative energy and as vain as it is, when I look good I feel good. That being said, don’t be stupid. Don’t starve yourself. Food can be nutritious and delicious, which is more than you can say about any man at this point.
Whenever I was having moments of weakness or started to feel sorry for myself, I turn to the old theory of schadenfreude. There is always someone out there who has it worse than me. Thankfully, none of my breakups have involved children or apartments. I haven’t been legally bound to someone or spent a quarter of my life creating memories that are shot to hell. And if that isn’t making me feel better, I find comfort in knowing that someone out there is looking at me thinking, “Wow, I’m so glad that’s not me. That really sucks.” Schadenfreude is a beautiful, double-edged sword. If someone else can find pleasure in my pain then I feel like I’m fulfilling some civic duty. At least my heartache is making the world a better place. 
Remember all that time you put into this piece of shit person that broke you? Well, now you have every excuse to be completely selfish and pour all of your energy into becoming a new and improved version of you; a you that is totally fabulous on your own. And the more fabulous you get, the more you win. Make a power walking playlist to listen to every time you’re in danger of bumping into He Who Is Not Worth Naming. I’ve shared mine for inspiration.
1. “Mr. Know It All” – Kelly Clarkson
2. “Irreplaceable” – Beyonce
3. “Miss Movin’ On” – Fifth Harmony
4. “FU” – Miley Cyrus
5. “So What” – P!NK
6. “Best Thing I Never Had” – Beyonce
7. “Back to Black” – Amy Winehouse
8. “What Goes Around” – Justing Timberlake
9. “Somebody That I Used To Know” – Gotye
10. “Want U Back” – Cher Lloyd
11. “Roar” – Katy Perry
12. “Dancing On My Own” – Robyn
13. “Ring The Alarm” – Beyonce
14. “Tonight I’m Getting Over You” – Carly Rae Jepsen
15. “Crazy Beautiful Life” – Ke$ha
Surround yourself with mantras. As I’ve mentioned previously, I discovered some of my favorite quotations, idioms, phrases after I got dumped. Again, I will share a few for inspiration.

And perhaps most importantly, take it one day at a time. Let yourself feel what you need to. I’m still trying to figure that part out. Lean on your friends, throw yourself into work, go dancing, start a blog, whatever you need to do. And one day, you’ll wake up and you won’t be broken anymore. You’ll be whole again. When that day comes, you will know you’ve won.

Three Little Words

When things are less than ideal, my usual strategy is to satirize the situation. I laugh it off or make fun of myself until I feel better. I go through phases where I’m convinced that I exist for the sole purpose of making people laugh in a schadenfreude kind of way.

Every once in a while though, I check myself.

I stumbled upon this lovely quotation in a Pinterest frenzy post a nasty break up. My love life has mildly improved since then in case you were wondering. 

These three little words made all the difference. And they’re not the three little words of fairy tales. They’re three little words that help me cope with reality.

Because as wonderful as my friends and family and retail therapy are at making me feel better, ultimately it’s up to me.   

I have so much to be grateful and as soon as I remind myself of that, things suddenly aren’t so bad anymore.

Juicing Through Life

If you are reading this, please take a moment to say a little prayer for the roomie and I as we embark on this masochistic quest commonly known as the five day juice cleanse.

It all began while we were skimming Groupon and stumbled upon this little gem of a deal. On a computer screen, five days of juice looks like a one way ticket to the land of skinny jeans. Obviously, we jumped onboard without a moment’s hesitation.

So, my juices arrive last night and I’m unloading them into the refrigerator…it’s five days, six juices a day, 30 BOTTLES OF JUICE. Fortunately, our refrigerator is empty of any sustenance aside from vegan protein bars, Prosecco and Stella Artois so there was plenty of empty space. As I was unloading the boxes, I even took time to organize my juices so that all the juices for each day were in the order that I need to drink them. Whoa. I was feeling pretty good about myself and what I’d accomplished so far. I’m thinking, “Wow! This juice cleanse is already making me a better person! Five days of strange liquids will be so worth it! Yay juice!”

Well, I woke up this morning and everything changed. My gay best friend, the Will to my Grace if you will (lol see what I did there?), had spent the night and we had made plans to get get breakfast. Funny thing about juice cleanses, you can go out to meals with people you just cannot partake. So, that was one thing. The next is that coffee is off limits meaning I am running loose on the streets of Manhattan without any caffeine in my system. A Public Service Announcement needs to be released warning all inhabitants of the island.

It hasn’t even been one day yet.

So, please. If you’re still reading this and you have ever loved/are seriously considering ever loving me, say a little prayer. Peace, love, and 27 juices left to go.