Monday, December 23, 2013
Hey everyone, I'm 30 now!!
Hey there, my lovelies, I'd like to add a bit of clarification from my most recent post. I've received a whole bunch of whole-hearted, loving messages in response to my previous blog, and I recognize that this can be construed as a bit (as one friend lovingly pointed out) "spoiled-brat-ish". As difficult as it is for me to concede that I can live from ego often, I was writing from a bratty, complain-y place. I've been feeling a lot of pain and unsure of which way to direct it, and the pain can sometimes cancel out the joy and elation that is our natural state. Funny, that.
I am writing to validate that I DO feel very loved and very lucky. I do have a bunch of things going for me, and I have a really rad support system who have seen me through all emotional states over the past few years. I live alone in a beautiful apartment in a beautiful city in the world and I've done some pretty cool creative things. The people who came to my birthday events were AMAZING, and special, and they took time out of their days last week - the busiest freaking time of the year - for ME. For me! Some of these people I'd only met a few months ago!
Anyway, my perspective a few days ago was grouchy. And I'd like to own that that's where I was at. I'm not saying I live in that place, nor should any of us Live there, but sometimes I visit and the only way out is talking through it. Not Complaining, not Gossiping, not Demeaning myself or Others, but venting, and moving through. And having others hear me, and sometimes offer advice; but for the most part, just listen and love, and I can only hope that recording my struggle/journey will help somebody else going through the exact same thing one day in the future. Or, maybe it'll just help me. All good.
Anyway, Christmas is coming, the world went on after 30, and we've all got a little more love to give in us somewhere. Thanks for staying true, everyone, love you with my heart.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and just pure Love.
Posted by Megan Phillips at 11:15 AM
Friday, December 20, 2013
Oh, hey there world.
This is the view from my apartment, where I sit, alone. I'm surrounded by boxes because I just moved 3 weeks ago and have had far more important things to do than unpack fully since moving in.
It's snowing in Vancouver - a rare thing - and I'm feeling a lot of things. After all, it is the last day of my 20s. I'm shocked that today is finally here. I'm desperately hoping a person will text me back who is a distraction from all of the other very real things that have happened over the past couple months. I'm constantly refreshing Facebook to see who has started writing on my Facebook wall for my birthday. So far, just one buddy in Australia (thanks Matt!). I'm hoping I write a truly profound blog that will get shared and go viral and become everyones mantra for the day they turn 30. Or, at the very least, share enough that my newfound fame becomes the answer to "where is my career going?" - that question that I apparently should at least have a plan for.
But back to that first thing. Today is here. The future became the present. And tomorrow, apparently, things change. Tomorrow, I turn 30. And here I am… in that awkward state where if anyone asked me my age I would say "29" which I can really only do for like 6 more hours now.
Remember when we were all scared the world was going to end on Dec 21, 2012? It was the end of the Mayan Calendar, so all of 2012 leading up to that was supposed to be this new vibrational year where we shed our skin, experienced change, and anticipated the newfound growth of 2013. After Dec 21, 2012, we were launched into a new, exciting world where our deepest desires come to the surface and we live the life we were truly meant to live. Yaaaaaaaay…! remember that..? I do! I spent my 29th birthday in Seattle with my boyfriend, watching one of my idols, Louie CK, perform. I had felt some major career growth in 2012 - that was the year my lawsuit got settled, I toured my solo show, I committed to recovery, I hit a new level with the company I sell for. I even started to enjoy teaching! That Christmas, I went to Hawaii with my boyfriend and family, and boy did 2013 seem like it was going to be my year! Look out, new vibrational year!
What ensued was what I like to endearingly label "my own personal shit show".
Now don't get me wrong, it started out awesomely enough. I travelled to Palm Desert to see my family, met a whole bunch of my company "family" at a training in Saskatchewan, flew to LA to watch our web series get screened in a fancy festival, my solo show got picked up for a festival in NYC, the city that holds my heart, and I was part of a hit Fringe Show.
But then, around late March/early April, shit started to hit the fan… and more and more and more pieces began to pile on top of it. My agent dropped me. My partner did something that fucked with my trust and set in motion our eventual demise as a couple in the fall. My show flopped BAD in NYC. I tried to hand over my wounded heart to unhealthy people and suffered immense pain. And then, over a 2-week period in October, the following happened: partner and I split up, I moved out and in with parents, I started a completely new job, and I co-bought a place with my mom (hence the boxes). October was a month of total deer-in-headlights shell shock. November was the month of damage control. And December… December has been the month of straight-up reality check.
Since October, I've been starting to feel the nudges of "who I really am". I guess that's what you can call them. I've embraced my deep love for the hip hop culture, especially rap… my iTunes playlist is morphing. My tolerance for people's shit has plummeted and I've started scraping the fat from conversations I have with people (If I don't want to hang out with anyone, I'm not going to suggest 'going for coffee sometime'. fuck that). I'm pushing myself into the comedy community and have started doing stand-up. I am more sexually awake than ever, and I am taking a hard, long look at my patterns and am fiercely willing to partner with a higher force to take away what does not serve. If I feel a strong emotion, I will sit with that emotion and ask what it has to teach me, and what Little Meggie needs, and do my best to honour that request, as rational (or irrational) as it is. My "frequent caller" list is changing and shifting as the friends who meet me at my level are the healthiest people for me, and many others are sadly sifting to the pile of "unhelpful people right now".
In light of 2013's craycray, I decided to do what many others in my situation would do: CELEBRATE HARD. Go out dancing, meet new people, pour myself into new social situations. After all, Meg needs new friends in this new life I barely freaking recognize who she is becoming. So what better time to celebrate hard than my birthday week? Here's what I thought: "Since it's the week before Christmas, people are going to be all over the place, so I'll do something every night for people to attend"! So I did, I've planned something every night this week.
And it has sucked. My birthday week has sucked hard. Not only do most of my best friends I've compiled over the years live in different cities around the world, but of those I consider besties in Vancouver, very few have been able to make it to my activities. And I get it, December's a shitty time to have been born (sorry friends), my friends work and get auditions and blah blah blah. My little ego set up massive expectations, and ergo set me up for massive disappointment. Story of my 20s.
So where do I stand? When I was little, I made a list of "things to accomplish before I turned 30", which got revised upon graduating from high school in 2001. Guess what, folks? None of them had been met. Some of them, I'm ok with. "Lawyer by day and Ballet dancer by night", I'm OK with not having achieved. Being a "famous singer and on Saturday Night Live" … a little harder to swallow.
So why do I share all of this with you? I had hoped this would be a "kick-life-in-the-ass-and-turn-30 blog" about goals and shit… after all, many have written these before me and many more will do so after me. But that's not where I'm at. I don't even know what my goals are anymore. Stuff I used to think I was good at I'm learning I'm actually pretty crappy at. But stuff I thought I was lame at, I'm actually not too bad.
I'm freaked out, I'm disappointed. I want to make more art and I don't know which medium to start in. I feel more free than ever before, knowing many parts of my life that didn't serve me have fallen away… but I'm left, naked, on new terrain, and I don't know what it means. I'm unsure and I'm making mistakes left right and centre. I feel like I'm back in high school - the socially awkward girl kicked out of the 20s Club party and not quite invited to the 30s Club party, but not dressed for either. I don't know if the 30s Club will like me, or accept me, or if I have what it takes to kick ass, but all I have is the bags that I packed for myself. I've let go of some of the shit my family packed for me in previous years that was just heavy baggage, and I don't have everything that I will need for the coming decade. I guess all a girl can do is trust the work she's done has set her up to handle whatever life gets thrown at her.
Well, on that note, I'll see y'all on the other side of 30. Party hard and stay safe, everyone.
Posted by Megan Phillips at 8:16 PM
Saturday, November 16, 2013
This one will be my only one, though. Because mine is not a rant on this certain man's behaviour: that's been covered. We all know that this is not a person in sound mind to make reasonable choices for the better of the people around him and not on himself.
My rant is concerning how we - not just Toronto, but the media and indeed, the world at large - is dealing with it.
And hey, don't get me wrong. I preface this to say I don't condone a thing Mr. Ford has done. If you're not familiar with the throes of addiction, check out Dr. Gabor Mate's work. He speaks to how we could (dare I say Should?) work with addicts and addiction - in others AND ourselves - it far more eloquently and succinctly than I.
HOWEVER. Allow me this space to be rageful. For some reason, our society has gone WILD with Anti-Bullying. Google "anti bullying" and you could be entertained for days. Our tax dollars have gone to full school PROGRAMS to "cut down on bullying" (check out pinkshirtday.ca). There is "zero tolerance" for any kind of abuse - physical, verbal, or otherwise - at many schools these days.
How many of US - as parents, peer mentors, role models, co-workers, bosses, or even users of Facebook - REALLY take the time to look at our words? How many of us have paid attention to the fact that we might, just might, have a sphere of influence where people... gasp… look up to us and value our opinion? And how many times do we attempt to connect with people who are "cooler" than us, or whatever, by saying MEAN THINGS about EASY TARGETS?
There was a dude at the bar last night who spent a good 20 minutes of the night - loudly, I might add - telling everybody what he thought of the "red-faced fatty" to his table of drunk young 20-somethings, all quite attractive and dressed well. Clearly this man was influential in his circles, as he had a rapt audience.
I was at a course all day today, on a topic with NOTHING TO DO with politics, or comedy, or Toronto. And yet, the very first keynote speaker of the day came up and spent over 5 minutes of his 20 minute lecture (that's one quarter, folks), playing Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert/Jimmy Kimmel clips on the current affairs, and the speaker himself made MEAN jokes about Rob Ford. I believe I counted no less than 7 - probably closer to 12 or 13 - times that this speaker said the word "crack" and "drugs" with sheer disdain in his voice.
Both of these guys were probably nice people. The second guy in particular is quite accomplished in his line of work, he has a young family in a respectable neighbourhood, AND HE'S A MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!!!! Really Mr. ______???? The ONLY way you felt you could engage an audience who PAID TO HEAR YOU SPEAK was by spending ONE QUARTER of your speech making fun of a man who's clearly in SERIOUS EMOTIONAL PAIN????????? And who knows what other chemistry is all fucked in his brain from substance abuse and possible trauma???
Let me be clear. I am not a perfect human (much as my ego attempts to convince me hourly that I am). I have said some mean stuff and I thought Jon Stewart's bits have been pretty fucking funny. I even LIKED a mashup photo of Miley Cyrus treating Rob Ford's face as a Wrecking Ball. He needs to step down, and then do whatever healing work he's ready to do. But I'm a product of this society and I am committing to you… no more Rob Ford jokes. It's getting old and it's getting sad.
Because my JOB is to be a role model for the kids I teach and nanny. And how are our kids supposed to NOT bully - either inside or outside of school - if all they receive on the media is that "Bullying is Cool, Bullying is funny, and it's only OK if you go for the easy targets". Have some compassion, everyone, leave the guy alone. And maybe… just maybe… you might find that as you take your attention off an easy scapegoat, you might just look inside… and see you have some healing work of your own that you need to do.
Posted by Megan Phillips at 8:38 PM
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
The more I experience, the more I realize my pattern of just running towards the "new" and away from the "familiar". Why is that? Maybe the "familiar" is synonymous - in my conditioned way of thinking - with the "imperfect" and therefore the "unworthy".
|The Banyen Tree in Lahaina, Maui is one huge tree with extensive roots.|
I've really been noticing recently how scared I am to confront certain aspects of myself, and to set boundaries in some certain circumstances. And I won't get too much into the deep personal details - because honestly they don't really matter - but rather than have conversations, deal with things, and keep showing up, I've just wanted to cut and run. "A new situation would be SO MUCH BETTER than the one I have now... a fresh start... I can be a whole new person... ".
Is that really true?
Sure, a new situation means new people who can meet me and take me for my word when I introduce myself to them. But the thing about new people - and this is a broad generalization, so bear with me - is that every new person we meet (especially in society) - is one more person where I can live in STORY. And I'm realizing, more and more, that when I'm in STORY, I'm avoiding GROWTH. Does that make sense?
I'm reminded of plants here. I know, I know, I know it's cliche. Plants without roots die. Any ol' kinda plant. I understand some plants thrive with smaller roots than others. Some don't need soil, they can hang out in water, some roots are so extensive they can be just one plant and take over a block (have you ever seen the Banyen Tree in Lahaina?).
When I live in story, my roots grow horizontally. I grow sideways, I grow on the easy part of the soil. The part that gets used up quickly before I have to go to the next one. Akin to the gas-guzzling car, I am a voracious consumer of people's energy. I tell these new friends stories about my life, about my ankle, about my personal growth, about my Arbonne business, about this and that show I'm doing ... you name it. And in different countries, I get to have a whole story about being CANADIAN! Oh isn't that exciting - there's so many things they don't know about this country! And suddenly I get to be someone else.
Do you think it's a coincidence I became an actor?
Don't get me wrong. Travelling is one of the best things we can do as a society to broaden our horizons, and I intend to travel regularly until my last breath. Meeting new people can blow your mind wide open and teach you so many cool new things about different cultures, different perspectives, different ways of thinking.
But if I don't work on the relationships I have with those near and dear to me, who I let see me at my worst, who I see at their worst, who I teach myself to love at all stages, and who provide the mirror for me to really look long and hard at who I am and what I stand for... who are the people I'm attracting into my life, really? How am I teaching them to treat me, and what do I have to offer them in return?
Because if I offer them a shallow root system, I am a shell of what I know I could be, and the slightest wind will knock me over. Trust me. I've seen it happen again and again and again.
So, today, I pose to you: How can you grow your roots a little further, be a little sturdier... and where is your STORY wanting you to uproot?
With so much love,
Posted by Megan Phillips at 12:00 AM
Monday, August 26, 2013
Just touching base. It's been a rough night, and I thought I'd share some of my thoughts with you.
September, 2013. Here we are, right back at September... and, once again, after having a huge, life-changing, quantum-leap summer...
I'm right back to where I started.
Did I even go away? Did I really have experiences?
Has this ever happened to you? Have you gone away, had a major life-shifting event... then coming back feels like -- as my friend Paula says -- your "toes are cut off trying to fit back into your shoes?". That's where I'm at.
Don't get me wrong - Vancouver is beautiful. I'm lucky to be employed at a job that pays reasonably well for the hours that I work, and to have such thoughtful, caring co-workers. There is so much gratitude here... yet, why does my heart hurt so much?
New York was LIFE-CHANGING. I think. I mean, everything was clicking, the Universe was offering me gifts upon gifts, people's schedules just magically would merge with mine, and I just felt like I had valuable pieces to offer the world. And I come back, and it feels like I've been running and just slammed my solar plexus into a hurdle. The wind feels knocked out of me.
I can't continue living this way, I just can't. I can't keep having to "come down". And therein lies the choice... does one choose to not have expansive experiences because it's just too painful to contract back into where she was before? Or does this same person simply throw caution to the wind and negate all prior responsibilities following the perfection that is a 6-week vacation?
Has anyone else ever experienced this? What have your choices been... or did Providence step in at the very last moment and make the decision for you? I'm all ears.
With all love,
Posted by Megan Phillips at 9:30 PM
Sunday, August 4, 2013
Dear New York City,
I've been lucky enough to spend the last 3 weeks hanging out with you. Yes, you are stinky, your early July heat wave really left you needing a shower, you're an expensive date, and a cab driver honked at me one day for walking too slowly across a crosswalk... BUT. I have reaffirmed my love for you. And why is that? Why are you such a gorgeous, artistic mecca?
First, let's start on where I currently live: Vancouver, British Columbia.
An ex once said to me, "Vancouver is the end of the world". I had no idea what he meant by that - after all, I had just moved back to Vancouver, and I was planning on shipping on out within that year, or perhaps in the next 2 years. I didn't understand what that meant! And he explained,
"Everyone who you've ever met that lives here has meant to only be here temporarily. But this place, this style/quality of living, it reels you in and keeps you here. People try to leave -- and Vancouver just sucks you in".
I completely rebelled against that at the time. I was someone different! I was going places! .. And that was almost 7 years ago ... and I still call Vancouver home. I've travelled to a bunch of different places in those 7 years... but I still live there, even though I balk against the arts scene, and just the general vibe of the city altogether. Why is that?
Let me state some of the amazing things I have experienced with you, dear NYC, that have NEVER happened to me in Vancouver:
1) I went to a New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) show, saw a musical (VOLLEYGIRLS - y'all should TOTALLY keep your eye out for it!) that could very realistically happen on Broadway. I met a Broadway star - someone who has been recognized for her creative & writing talent - and people around her recognized her for her talent, NOT for being on a TV show. And she was AWESOME!
2) I met a playwright and another writer at a little personal development meeting I went to, and both of them were interested in taking my flyer.
3) There's clear rehearsal studios to drop flyers off at
4) This exact interaction happened on the subway: I couldn't hear what the subway guy was saying about changes on the route over the weekend, so I got off the train, thinking I had to wait for the next train. It was REALLY hot. The subway conductor leaned over the side and yelled at me.
I didn't know he was talking to me, so I ignored him.
I continued to ignore him.
"MISS!!!" I looked up, realizing I was the only one on the subway platform.
"What you doin'?" he barked.
"Ummm, I thought you weren't stopping anywhere before 42nd Street".
He looked very mean: Picture Billy Goats Gruff here.
"Where you goin'?" He continued.
"Um, 13th Street"
He curtly beckoned his head towards the train.
"Get on the train. I'm goin' there. Too hot to wait in the subway".
As I blindly refocus my thoughts, he impatiently waits as I scurry back to the train. I then realized that the muddled words over the Subway were saying that the train was NOT an express, JUST a local until 42nd (I had thought it was the other way around).
But the fact is, he cared about me! As I left for my stop, I flagged him and I said, "Thank you for taking care of me!"
He shrugged, and replied, "It's too hot to wait 10 minutes for the next train." And then he left.
In Vancouver -- a) the skytrain is automated (seriously, they really only care about you if you HAVEN'T paid your fare), and b), I've never heard a bus driver talk to me once in my adult life of living in Vancouver.
5) We were at a food place, and my pal got served ahead of me (it was a deli-style place, so you had to order at the counter). I had taken some time to decide what i was going to eat, but finally I was ready. The deli worker didn't see me ready - his back was to me as he made coffee, cleaned the machines, etc. After about 3 or 4 minutes, I cleared my throat (I know, I know, passive aggressively, I'm working on that, guys) - and he turned his back. I was a little stressed as we had somewhere to be in 10 minutes and it felt like I was wasting time, plus I was hungry. I'm sure I looked very curt.
He looked at me, genuinely surprised, and said, "Oh, you want food too?"
I said (curtly), "Yes, I've been waiting".
NOW -- this is where the difference lies! In Vancouver, my experience has shown that the workers would grow obsequious, and fawn all over the "customer" (for whatever reason), apologizing, etc (even though it wasn't their fault).
This worker, however, no way. He grows incredulous and a bit pissed and says, "Well I didn't know!"
And ya know?! it's true! He didn't know! And it's not up to me to get on my high horse and say he should've!!
6) I had the best copy experience OF MY LIFE in Astoria. It's too much to go into detail over our interactions, but suffice to say that the lovely man at the copy shop was a total prankster, a real sweetheart, and a genuine, lovely man. I can say with complete authenticity, I have NEVER EVER EVER EVER had this lovely photocopier in a mom and pop shop give such incredible service.
So. it's possible (probable?) That this is all a gross exaggeration. Of COURSE, not everyone in NYC is awesome, and not everyone in Vancouver is horrible. So please don't think that's what this article is about. And perhaps because I'm on vaycay, my energy that I'm putting out there is just positive and frolicking.
HOWEVER, as I sit on this delightful grassy knoll in Central Park, watching a bunch of people interact in exactly the same way as people do in Kits Beach, or Stanley Park, my heartstrings tug a little bit. I feel more at home in NYC than I have ever felt anywhere else.. EVER.
This isn't the end, lovely city. Thanks for being so welcoming, kind, and just plain wonderful.
Posted by Megan Phillips at 3:45 PM