In the summer of 2009, while travelling Eastbound on the Queen Streetcar, my doctor called to tell me I was pregnant. At the time I was a single writer/actor living alone in mid-town Toronto working crazy hours and auditioning daily. My boyfriend and I were open to having a baby and, being 34, thought it might take a while before I got pregnant. Little did I know it would take me only 3 weeks.
Within a year, I was a new mom and a new step-mom living in my now fiance’s small 2 bedroom condo with my own personal belongings in storage in my parents’ basement.
It was all very Jolie-Pitt Clan, except with far less millions. My Indo-Canadian husband, his 2 Indo-Filipino children, Italian-American me and my Indo-Italian-Canadian-American baby.
Very. United. Nations.
The lack of space, my raging hormones and the challenging dynamics of our new family made me feel like a crazy person. I didn’t trust that I was going to be able to go from party of 1 to party of 5 without completely overhauling my life – without being “normal”.
So, on Easter Sunday of 2010, with my 4 week old baby in my arms, I stood up and announced to my family that I would be giving up my writing and acting career to open a yoga studio. This was the answer to all my problems! I would create a peaceful oasis of zen and tranquility. A safe haven. I could bring the baby to work and make money, all while making the world a better place. Perfect!! I was normal!! I was finally normal!!!!
Sure, I was hormonal and sleep deprived. Sure, my c-section stitches were still healing. Sure, I wasn’t even a certified yoga instructor. Details! Details!
I lactated my way through yoga teacher training and opened the studio in a trendy Toronto neighborhood almost exactly 5 months after I made my big announcement. What followed was 13 of the most disastrous months of my life. Screw zen and tranquility. I was in yoga hell.
I think it’s safe to say that opening a yoga studio will NOT solve all your problems.
Eventually, after my close friends and fiance helped peel back my white knuckled grip on this sinking ship, I knew it was time to let go. I arranged for a nearby studio to take on our members, sold everything I could to pay the instructors and cried the entire way home. I let myself feel like a failure for exactly 3 days and then started writing a book, committed to turning my problems around, finding the humour and being resilient.
Thank God for humour.
It took me 3 months to finish my book and I’m now in a very fortunate situation to have interest from several publishers on both sides of the border. I’ve come full circle; working as an actor and a writer again. It feels good to be back where I belong and I’m thankful for all the new material.
Opening a yoga studio may not have solved all my problems, but it sure did help solve my writer’s block!
I was encouraged by an editor at HarperCollins to start this blog up again since I had such a great response the first time I wrote it. I’ll share my adventures of yoga, motherhood and step-motherhood, always committed to finding the humour. Your comments are always welcome.