Treatment #7

5 mins early.

What’s your name?



( Don’t say good job. Don’t say good job)


10mins after my scheduled appointment:

Marsha, we are waiting for BLANK to get back from lunch, then you’re next.

15mins after my scheduled appointment:

Marsha? Right this way. You can sit in here.


Am I pronouncing it correctly?


I was being weird. She was trying to be kind and welcoming.

Another 10 minutes.

Zap. Zap. And out.

Before I reached the door, the receptionist apologized for the long wait and offered another free session. Wait. Really?

I accepted. She booked it with me and we confirmed. I thanked her for her kindness.

Mind you. I still have one more. #8. So now I get a grand total of 9!

Two more treatments to go…


Treatment #6

The appointment is scheduled for 1pm. I was lucky to be squeezed in. Everyone and their mom is trying to get in their treatments before the holidays.

12:45 and I’m walking through the doors. The receptionist/sales person is in heavy consultation talk.

Hello! And I bolt straight for the bathroom. But before I reach the door, I hear: what’s your name?

I hate that greeting. It’s the only one they are capable of. Why does that question seem so rude to me? Why does it feel so confronting? What happened to: how may I help you? Or hey there, you already had an appointment?

I spell it out for her: M A R S H A and walk into the bathroom.

The toilet paper roll is almost out. I switch it out for a fresh one. Yes, I’m that person.

I finish up and go to awkwardly sit two feet from this graphic consultation and pretend like I’m not there. In all fairness, all consultations in this office are detailed.

Luckily, I don’t have to sit for too long. I get called in by someone I hadn’t met before.

She asks all the appropriate questions: any anti-biotics? Prego? New medications?

Before we get started, she chalks me up. This is new.

She explains she’ll work in sections. Okay. I’m cool with clear expectations.

Minutes later the torture is over. Andddd out. Thanks team.

Two more to go. Let’s make those count.

My phoneith got runnith over.

I knew I packed too much: lasagna, pumpkin spice creamer, and a Greek yogurt parfait. Along with my usual change of clothes and bulky highlighter jacket that I wear on the ride home for safety. It’s a small backpack, but I crammed it all in there.

The pocket where I usually store my phone was too tightly compressed from the other items, so I slipped it into a different pocket this time.

When I got to the guard gate, I swiped in as usual and I noticed a coworker nearby. She was headed in the same direction. I tried to get her attention to say hello. And hello! We walked together to the building elevators in silence. It was much too loud on the lot to speak. Trucks, cranes and lots of grip equipment. A very busy morning on the lot. The noise is how I didn’t hear my phone hit the ground.

When I got to my desk to unload my food rations, I couldn’t feel my phone anywhere in my backpack. I immediately checked FIND MY IPHONE to see if it was still on the dining room table. Nope. Here on the lot. How so? Where?

I emptied out the backpack and instead of going to the bathroom to change my clothes– I follow my gut to retrace my steps. By the time I got to the guard gate, I still see nothing on the ground. I almost didn’t want to bring it up with security. I didn’t want to bother them. I felt shame in loosing it in the first place. I finally spoke up awkwardly:

Me: I dropped something, but I don’t see it. Meh– must not be here.

Them: Is it a phone?

Me: Yes…

They show me a phone with a badly shattered screen. It’s mine. Definitely mine. Definitely in very bad shape. Pieces of glass missing. Definitely ran the FUCK over.

I couldn’t help myself. Tears. Tears of not-today. Of not-now. Of auughh-gawd.

Sharp stories fill my head: This is why I can’t have nice things. This is what I deserve. This is a reflection of your ability to be a responsible adult. A reflection of your worth. A reflection of your maturity. All not true. All hitting me at 100 mph.

Just that morning, I was feeling especially annoyed with my Iphone for being glitchy and slow recently: a sticky home button, notifications upgrading and glitchy text messages interfering with my communication with loved ones. I then told myself: be patient until next Fall. Then you’ll be able to get a new phone. Yours works, kinda-fine. It’s alright.

Well, the universe said– you need a new phone NOW. But did it?

Or is my phone a metaphor for me? I was working kinda-fine. Getting by. But I took a major fall to see the truth, the damage and the true need for repair.

And repair I did. I took my phone to a guy that only needed 15 minutes and $65 in cash to make my phone look brand new. It got ran over. How does it still work? How was it just the screen? I was ready to throw it out completely. Baby with the bathwater.

My final thoughts:

Repair is done in practice. I’ll try not to be over zealous with packing my packpack.

I’m learning to be at peace when it’s time for change– being at peace with accepting the new. And being grateful for the entire experience.


That WGA Holiday Party 2017

  • It was a first for me to step into an Uber I didn’t arrange. Is this what fancy people do? Am I fancy?
  • Taking Kurt up to MY SPOT was my opportunity to show HIM around town for once. It also reminded me of my uneasiness with heights.
  • Arm in arm we step up to the plate and give his name. I’m a happy plus one at this party.
  • What do you want to drink? I don’t know. What do you want to drink? No, what do you want to drink? Huh? What do you want to drink? Vodka-Cranberry? NO. Um, whiskey? Are sure? Yeah? What kind? Huh? What kind of whiskey?– we should have figured out a plan before stepping into the club.
  • Hey look it’s JJ! HA! I got you.
  • Let’s count how many people here aren’t white. Now, are they writers? Or a plus one?
  • Cochran? Who? Johnny?
  • The food was cheeses and roasted veggies. Is this what Hollywood eats? Do writers subscribe to being a size 2, too? Gluten free? And here I thought they were the normal ones.
  • Clusters of people who aren’t white. Clusters of safety.
  • How to introduce yourself to a stranger at the WGA Holiday Party:
    • Hey, you look familiar to me. Have we met?
    • Tap on shoulder– You’re a writer! Right? Hi! What do you get to work on?
  • How NOT to introduce yourself to a stranger at the WGA Holiday Party:
    • Are you a plus one?
      • Especially if they are two women– don’t do it. James!
  • Welp. We inadvertently blocked you from the food and now it’s all gone. All is fair in the world?
  • What I said: You work on the Young and the Restless? I loved that one! Every summer in high school and college. That was my jam!
  • What I didn’t say: my heart belonged to Passions. It hooked me in with the creepiness and mystery. It captured me with the sillyness. Teresaaaaaa, you always fuck shit up! Listen to Pilar!
  • And the lights come on. And we’re allllll ugly. Goodnight!

Courage to be Imperfect

Kyle and Kendall. No, that’s not a misspelling. They are boots from Steve Madden. Very similar in style. I just couldn’t decide on which ones from seeing them online.

So, I did a normal thing. I walked into a store. I asked to try on both in my size. When she asked if I liked them, my anxiety shot up. Yes, I did like both. And no, I wasn’t interested in getting either.

My goals were to figure out my size and figure out which I liked best to buy online another time. I felt especially terrible when she said it was Buy One Get The Second Pair Half Off. I responded with: Oh, good thing I’m considering two!

My next thoughts:
Fuck. I got her hopes up. I’m not going to buy these. Like, not even close. $150+ on two shoes, no. Not today. I’m such a jerk.

When she walked into the back of the store to grab another pair for another customer, I knew it was my chance to bolt. And bolt, I did. Out. So quickly, I didn’t realize that I had left my Nalgene water bottle on the bench until I was too far gone.

Fuck. A mistake. Imperfection. Yet, mistakes are okay. Accepting my anxiety in those moments, that’s okay too. It’s all okay. Time to get another Nalgene.

Treatment #5

The receptionist was professional and welcoming. How are you this morning? Good. And yourself? Busy, but pretty good.

More small talk–

Receptionist: this is your fifth treatment. How is it going?
Me: Meh, okay.
Receptionist: You should be seeing about a 10 percent difference after every treatment.
Me: Nah, no.
Receptionist: I’ll make note of that and we’ll see how we can adjust your treatments.

That was comforting to hear. Not sure that message made it to the technician.

The technician looked at my legs after I sat down. I had to tell her I wasn’t doing any treatment on legs. Up here, I said.

So, the treatment was quick, as usual. The technician was kind, as usual. And this treatment was spicy, as usual.

3 more treatments to go. It’s been painful. It’s confronting. And it’s exactly what I wanted.

My entire childhood, I cursed every hair on my body that wasn’t on my head. I was ashamed of all of it. I felt shame when others saw it. I felt shame when they spoke of its existence. I now have empathy for my younger self.

She didn’t deserve the feelings of shame. She didn’t deserve to feel powerless and not valued in her world of Western beauty ideology. This experience has allowed me to confront the past and allowed me to change my perspective of myself.

If this silly decision of laser hair removal has created a space for me to have empathy for myself, perhaps this is the same door I can access for more empathy for myself in other areas of my life.

Empathy kills shame. Thanks to Brene Brown, I understand that secrecy, silence and judgement gives life to shame.

Inhale. Inhale. Surrender

I paid $23 to lay down in a meditation room and breathe with other people. I’m very glad I did. And I can promise you I won’t do it again.

A very good and generous friend of mine suggested the class. And of course, I said yes. Yes is the response these days. Yes to inner-work. Yes to healing from the past. Yes to owning the present. Yes to taking ownership of my future personally and professionally.

I considered having to pay for valet parking, but I was very lucky to snag a spot on the street. A free spot.

After checking me, they confiscate my cellphone. No problem. I’ll just sit in this gorgeous lobby with ‘shhhh…’ signs around me until the class begins.

I sat and discovered there was competition.
She said: oh, have they opened up the doors yet? I want to get my spot.
She added: Breathwork is really in right now. I haven’t a lot of these people here before.

They meant me. It’s a Saturday night in LA. And we were all waiting to lay down on cushions to breathe. For $23 or less. The 23 was the drop in rate. One and done.

The class was a combination of therapy and a call to altar. It was comforting to hear words of encouragement that I’ve heard before. And the tone was very familiar too– especially in the spoken volume to be heard over the crescendos.

I didn’t expect to hear so much crying. I knew it was going to be a safe space, but I wasn’t expecting a chorus of weeping. And as a group, I felt the strength of the community to surrender.

Inhale. Inhale. Surrender. There were so many phrases that resonated with me. I’m sure everyone else felt the same. There was so much said by our worship leader– I mean, meditation coach? Breath-work Instructor? Fearless Leader?

I am Whitina on the Westside. I am a daughter of immigrants. I will not pay to breathe again. I will take what I’ve learned for 23 dollars and try my best to use the practice in my daily life.