Focused

Hello friends,

I just wanted to give everyone a quick update, since it seems many of my friends and family are concerned about me.

I’ve always been a fighter. This is nothing new.

However, my last few posts have given off a rather defeatist, sad attitude.

I recently went home to Cleveland to recharge. Since I’ve returned to New York, I’ve been a bit silent, and my friends have expressed their concern.

What I want to reiterate to everyone, is that I’m in a tough spot, and right now the best thing for me is hunker down and focus. My days since I’ve been back have solely been devoted to applying for castings, setting up auditions, attending fittings, working background, singing, going to open mics, writing and really reflecting on what my hopes for the future are.

I know that many of you think I’m just pulling away, but I’m not. I’m not trying to be mean. I’m not trying to ignore you. I’m not sitting at home and crying my eyes out, wishing my life would get better.

I’m just focused.

I understand that everyone is just trying to help, but I’ve realized that when I have 100 different opinions and suggestions thrown in my face, my brain just gets confused and shuts down completely.

One of the problems with my personality is my tendency to reach out to others to tell me what to do when I get myself in a rut. Most of my friends have unfortunately been at the other end of these conversations: calming me down, giving me advice and telling me that everything will be okay. But the problem with these conversations is I never really end up considering what I want. I always try to make a logical decision, and take what I feel like the “best” or “right” advice is from friends.

This is why I haven’t been posting to Facebook, texting, or calling much within the last few weeks. I’m trying to figure out what I want. I’m trying to figure out what will actually make me happy. I’m trying to take everyone else out of the equation because once I consider the fact that someone else wants me to do something, my brain automatically goes into “pleasing mode” and I ignore my basic needs in order to appease another person.

I’m sure I’ll be back to my old self soon, but in the meantime, just know that I’m not trying to become a recluse or pull away.

I also need everyone to respect that I don’t have the answers to anything. I don’t know anything about anything. I have no answers about how to “make it,” how to pursue a “dream,” or how to be “successful.” When people approach me as an expert in the struggle of how to be a creative in New York, it stresses me out beyond belief. I’ll start giving out advice once I reach some level of success. Until then, “all I know is that I don’t know nothing.”

I’m also broke. So if I decline an invite to your show, birthday, hangout, bar night, it is simply because I cannot afford the social liberties of New York at the moment. However, if you want to come to my place and watch Netflix with me or walk around one of the city’s many parks, I would gladly welcome that. As long as we don’t have to talk about my life or career.

So cheers to being young. Cheers to being confused. Cheers to being broke. Cheers to being a struggling artist. Cheers to allowing oneself to be young, sad, confused, broke and struggling.

Shannon Rose Allen

PS: I know that some people will want to respond to this post with comments like, “Keep working hard! You will succeed! Never give up on your dream!” etc, etc. I appreciate the positive encouragement, but I am not inviting lectures on the importance of following my dream. I KNOW you all believe in me, but until you are a broke, unemployed, struggling singer/actress, please hold off on the lectures. I’ve gotten my fair share.

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