“Praying for a hot dog”


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I literally JUST finished CARRY ON, WARRIOR THOUGHTS ON LIFE UNARMED by Glennon Doyle Melton, and to say that it left me feeling inspired is a massive understatement. My favorite line in this book is in the beginning when she describes herself as a “reckless truth teller”. I literally felt a connection to her, and found my voice in hers.  I fancy myself a reckless truth teller, and my brutal honestly, for the most part, has been one of the best parts of who I am. For years, I have worked so hard on starting a book based on my life experience. I have written chapters, and outlines, and one sheets, and pitched my ideas to literary agents, and stopped and started, and I always just give up and become so overwhelmed by the ginormous undertaking of just the thought of writing a BOOOOOOOOOOOK. I mean, I’m not a WRITER. My grammar is sub-par at best. I have been scolded for my misuse of proper English, made fun of, had my hand slapped by pageant coaches for getting “was” and “were” and “seen” and “saw” backwards. I am not an English major, and I tend to write in circles half the time. I have been told for years that as a Public Speaker I should write a book about my experience. However, the fear of being judged for saying the wrong thing, or just not being able to finish once I started has literally stopped me all together. Fear can be a fickle little B@#$%, but there is one huge thing that I have learned over the years…FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD. Writing about my experience has always been a dream of mine, ever since learning that through telling the truth, shame cannot live. There have been many people throughout my journey who have fearlessly shared their deepest secrets so that mine could come to light. I have learned in so many scary and beautiful ways that when I open up about my truth, it inspires others to open up about there’s.

So I have decided today that I am going to start a blog. This way, I can write about whatever moves me that day and I don’t have to put anything in order. It’s way too much pressure, and this just feels more doable.

I once heard that you can sit in a closet all day starving and pray for a hot dog, but the Big Guy (it’s what I call God…just works for me) is not just going to magically make a hot dog appear. I have to pray for that willingness to get myself out of the closet and the strength to get myself into the kitchen to make that stupid hot dog.

I prayed for the willingness to write, and my dear friend Tracy gave me the aforementioned book, which has given me the strength to start.

I am a dreamer to the ninth degree. I love singing, and acting, and hosting, and speaking, and unfortunately a lot of my dreams/gigs rest in the usually uninterested hands of agents and managers. I have trudged the dreamer road for so many years, and God knows I am not even close to what I want to achieve…but I will never stop dreaming. I go to acting school,  I host a television show, and I have the privilege of traveling across the country sharing my experience, strength, and hope to those who struggle with the disease of alcoholism and addiction.  I am fortunate enough to usually sustain myself financially with my dreams, but lately things have slowed down a bit. I am a creature that can “poor me’ myself into a hole, feeling like I will never be good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, popular enough, or just ENOUGH in every sense of the word. I have learned though, that I have to continue to do the footwork, and leave the results up to the Big Guy.

When I was three years sober, I hit a terrible financial bottom that almost took me out. I had moved to Los Angeles, booked several shows, and then, as it so often goes in the industry, I hit a low. No one wanted anything to do with me. I was broke, living out of my luxury car with a massive ego. They say that ego is short for “easing God out”, and I had done just that. My worth was so wrapped up in my “Name”, and my last television show that I had “eased” my way out of several jobs that I felt that I was just too good for. I have found that it is very easy to be close to the Big Guy when I am defeated and beaten into submission, but it is a struggle when life offers up fancy cars and designer shoes. I had taken my life back into my own hands, and as per usual, I totally mucked it up. For the record, I have a filthy mouth and “muck” is not a word that I often use… you’re welcome.

I got to the point where I had to make hard decisions like, should I eat or should I put gas in my car so that I can drive to the nearest 12 step meeting. Thank God for my sobriety and the tools I had learned at the time, because I knew that when I didn’t know what to do I should reach out my hand and ask for help. So I called my sponsor hoping to get a quick fix suggestion, and she told me to get in the yellow pages and look for a job. I was appalled by this suggestion. My ego had zero interest in working at McDonalds again, but I was in enough pain that I took the suggestion and got what I now call a “Get Well” job. It was more like a “Get REAL” job. I learned how to get back to basics. Do the footwork and leave the results up to God. I learned that if I put 110% into my day and nurture the areas that make my life (not my pocketbook) full, I would find that I have everything I need. I was served just the right amount of humble pie, and I am SO grateful for that experience.

Over the last few years as a result of my hard work at babysitting, clothing stores, and car sales, the Big Guy allowed me the opportunity of sustaining myself with my dreams again. My life is always feast or famine, and as it goes it has been more famine in the financial department as of late. BUT, I have been through this before, and have learned from my hard headed past mistakes, and I have sent out my resume for part time sales jobs. I am a big fan of working smarter and not harder, so l live a small enough life to where my outsides don’t cost more than my insides. My needs are minimal, and I just need enough to put a roof over my head, put food in my belly and my dogs, gas in my car, enough dough for acting school, and hopefully enough to work on my fitness and hair lol. Money does not make my life full. What makes my life full is creating, acting, sharing truthfully, and loving deeply. To some, my life may seem irresponsible and unstable, but to me it has been beautifully crafted and I feel so lucky and blessed.

If you want to nurture your dreams, sometimes ya gotta nurture your pocketbook. Sometimes we have to do the things that we don’t want to do to be afforded the luxury of the things we DO want to do. One of the best lessons I learned was from Steve-O. That’s right! From Jackass! He said, “You can’t save your face and your ass at the same time”.

If I want to eat, sleep in a soft bed, have a car that gets me from point A to point B, I have to work for it, and truth be told…I LOVE to work. It gives me a purpose that day, even if it doesn’t fall under the category of “Tara’s Purpose”. I worked at the golden arches when I was younger, and I LOVED IT. I wanted to work the grill, but apparently I was too cute and personable, so I had to work the register. Grrrr

In conclusion for today’s blog, Glennon Doyle Melton has reminded me that it is my duty to nurture my gifts and dreams! If I want to act, I have to study my craft. If I want to write, I need to put pen to paper. If I want to inspire, I need to get honest with myself, and others. I can’t just sit around and pray for a hot dog. I can’t just wait for someone to find me worthy enough to put me in something great. I can’t sit around and wait for a phone call from my agent telling me when I can eat again. It is up to me to beat to pavement, and make my dreams come true. Thanks Glennon, and carry on warriors.


Yours truly,

Mess USA

— Posted on January 21, 2015 at 2:20 am