Cast Blog: #MISSADVISED

Prom!

Wake-Up Call

Just Say Yes

Self Sabotage?

Breakdown Breakthrough

How Soon is Too Soon?

Changing for the Better

Dinner Date

Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde

In Treatment

Blindsided

Threesomes Please Apply

Witchy Woman

The More the Merrier

Fear of Rejection

Fire Away

Great Lake State

Your Love is My Drug

Never Initiate

Horrifically Brutal

Stripped

Carrie Bradshaw Complex

You've Been Advised

No Exceptions

Prom!

Julia really, really loves prom.

PROMMM!

Oh, prom. Prom, prom, how I love thee.

As I wrote in my ELLE Guinea Pig of Love column, “Why prom? Oh, hell, who knows? Why do some people love bowling and others enjoy chess? Why do some people appreciate beer and others get off on NASCAR? It’s just whatever makes you happy. And prom makes ME happy. I love it. I love everything about it. I love the gowns and the boys in tuxedos and the dancing and the cheesy posed photographs and the limos and the adolescent camaraderie and the milestone event-ness of it all.”I love the process of prom -- the detailed planning, the selection of the date (Will he ask me? Should I ask him!?), the arguably even more important selection of the dress (long, short, puffy, slender, strapless, blue, red, black, pink?), the selection of which questionable creative up-do I should pay $50 at a hair salon to get and then subsequently be miserable about, remove, and do myself.

To me, prom is a moving art installation rife with opportunities for creative expression. It’s the first time in most people’s young lives that they have an opportunity to wear formal wear, for one. And there’s something special about a group of people -- be they at a graduation or a dance or a charity event or a wedding -- all dressed up with someplace to go, someplace reminiscent of 1950s Americana, like the Enchantment Under the Sea dance in Back to the Future or Betsey Johnson’s ‘50s prom-inspired collection. (If I were making the calls, prom would always be set in 1955. But with iPhone cameras.)

More than anything, I love me a ball gown. Especially ones with lots of tulle, those that swish and swoosh around as you walk, those that billow and cocoon you in swatches of glamorous fabric, those that make you feel, well, like a princess! And I REALLY love me a man in a tux (I think we can all agree, every male looks a little more debonair, a little more James Bond, when they slip on a dinner jacket.) I even love Jessica McClintock. Don’t hate. I’m from the Midwest.

For my junior year prom I actually convinced my entire group of girlfriends to wear matching tiaras. Yes, really. Some (sparkly) things don’t change.In case you weren’t already convinced of my inveterate geekiness, senior prom, I went -- platonically -- with my debate partner, Andrew. (Yes, Andrew. Same name as my date in this episode!) The dress I wore? That very same blue tulle strapless gown, bought at Nordstrom, if I remember correctly. Or maybe Bloomingdale’s. Either way, I hadn’t tried it on since I was 18 -- that’s 12 years (at the time this was filmed)! I was terrified prior to surprising Andrew, because I literally didn’t know whether it would zip up or not. And I didn’t have another dress. HA!

But I’m getting ahead of myself. We start this episode with me freaking out about writing. Sigh. As I write in my ELLE column:

My “writer’s anxiety” (which sometimes morphs into the more virulent and better known “writer’s block”) isn’t exactly a new phenomenon with me, but it’s gotten exponentially more severe in the last few years. It manifests as an almost debilitating concern over how others will perceive my words, leading frequently to procrastination and temporary paralysis over articles that (in theory) I *want* to do -- subjects that are engaging and intellectually stimulating and even, dare I say, fun.

I’ve published over 400 print articles and columns, and that’s not counting my thousands of blog posts ... but many of them have been unnecessarily torturous experiences. I find that the more I care about the piece, the harder it is to write. Whether that’s because I interviewed someone I greatly respected or because I was writing it for a magazine I admired or because I was sharing something deeply personal and meaningful. The pieces that weren’t difficult were those I expected no one to read. Let’s put it this way: I don’t have writer’s anxiety in my diary. See the pattern?

Cue Peter Crone, the “mind architect” as he calls himself, or “happiness expert” as he is called in the episode. I greet him at my door, furious over my column, which isn’t going “perfectly.” I’m tense, rigid in my body, and Peter calls me out on it.

 

 

“You’re closed up,” he says.

“You shouldn’t be wearing a shirt,” I think.

Yeah, sorry. It’s hard to concentrate on enlightenment when someone that godlike sits mere inches from me on the couch.

As I go through the three-hour hypnosis (OK, OK, so he didn’t TECHNICALLY hypnotize me, but that’s certainly what it felt like), I felt my body -- and then mind -- relax. Sort of the way you feel after a glass of wine or a massage or ... an orgasm. Calm and clear and very UNblocked.

I write more in depth about my experience with Peter in my ELLE column, but suffice it to say, he began the long process of disabling my inner (nasty) critics’ diatribe -- which comes out both when I write and when I date, and doesn’t make either a more pleasant or authentic experience.As I said to Peter toward the end of our session, I’m not really sure who the authentic Julia Allison is. But I know that I’m closer than ever to discovering it. Or maybe it’s not a static set of traits -- maybe it’s dynamic, ever shifting.

Either way, that authentic Julia hates boring dinner and drinks dates, loves being silly, and adores prom. I couldn’t find an ACTUAL prom to attend (trust me, if I could have, I would have), but I though that a facsimile of one with a few twists -- food truck, empty dive bar -- would suffice. Besides, Andrew dresses up as a donut and raps for a living (seriously: http://www.mcjellydonut.com/), so I figured of all the people in the world who could handle this date, he could.

He could -- and he did. Although somewhat nervous (mainly, he told me, about looking like an idiot in a tuxedo), he loved the food truck and REALLY loved the dancing (the kid can dance). As for our first kiss, standing up screaming out of the roof of a stretch limo? Pretty epic. I never got THAT on prom!

PROMMM!

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Self Sabotage?

Amy Laurent is ready to let her guard down with Kevin.

So things have come full circle for me; I find myself sitting here and thinking about some of the things I’ve gone through and finally trying to understand what has been holding me back with my own personal dating goals.  Not by any stretch of the meaning am I used to focusing so much on my own issues or emotions.  After so many years of ignoring those issues and just focusing on helping my clients, it’s sort of a scary and uncharted territory for me.  Yet, as I’m sitting here I’m recognizing that for the moment I am HAPPY.  Do we all deserve to be happy?  Maybe my answer for myself is finally yes. 

So let’s be honest.  I’m not used to a guy like Kevin -- he’s supportive, complimentary, and overall POSITIVE.  What the hell do I do with that?!  It’s a little bit strange for me to be around someone so nice, but at the same time there is no way I can let this set me back -- I’m sick of having anything good fall to pieces and not making good decisions in the name of self-sabotage.  I would NEVER let a client screw this up for themselves.  So why don’t I recognize that I deserve that very same consideration too? I better not screw this up now only because I’m used to young, condescending a-holes. 

The majority of my day of course has me reverting back to work (sorry, I can’t help it, baby steps!) and the fact that I still get my ultimate joy from seeing my client Tim Sykes and Lauren together.  They are truly ADORABLE; I just knew they were going to hit it off and were a match.  Tim has really started to grow on me since that first day I met him, and nothing would make me happier then to see him happy! I will make sure that happens for all my clients, but yet with Tim I feel I have really taken him under my wing.  He’s finally following ALL of my rules!  I am a proud mama hen, and he and Lauren truly seem happy.  I love it.OK, now back to Kevin and the fact that when I got home from work there was a package waiting for me.  Not only is Kevin super sweet (which I’m trying to embrace), but now he sends me a gift before the second date?  Argh, OK I’m struggling here and keep hovering my thoughts between “this is the most thoughtful thing anyone’s ever done” to “OMG this is weird, maybe I shouldn’t go out with this guy?”  But I stop myself.  Why?  Because I refuse to sabotage myself for once in my life when something good is happening for me.  Isn’t that part of my past insecurity of “I’m not good enough” that got me into a bad relationship with AB and completely being the kind of withering, meek girl in front of Lewis that is not excusable for any woman?

I’m really starting to think that I’ve avoided my own happiness and dating by hiding behind my work and throwing myself full on into my clients for so many years because some twisted part of me WAS worried I wasn’t good enough.  I gave consideration to my clients’ happiness, but why haven’t I given that same consideration to myself?  Have I really been treating myself so poorly and beating myself up? And if so, then for what reason?  Things are going to change, and they’re going to change NOW.  My eyes are wide open, and I probably will never be the same after these past few months. 

So damn it, the pajama pants are cute, and I’m going to own this and accept someone giving me compliments and being really sweet to me. You know what? Because I deserve it. There. I said it. I’m finally allowing myself that, because I am worthy. I finally get it.Seeing Kevin for the second date was probably one of the most special and happy moments that I’ve had in a long while, and I’m really proud of the fact that as frightful as it is for me, I’m staying open.  I’m not running away, doubting myself, feeling like I need to please someone or that I have to change who I am in order to be liked.  Sure, we all have flaws and things we need to work on.  I tell my clients this every day and force them to confront the very obstacles that keep setting them back in getting who they really deserve in a relationship.  Well now Amy is finally good enough and worthy enough to take Amy’s own advice for once.  Thank god, something is finally changing.

After the bumps and bruises, one can start to realize change is good.  I am left with so many thoughts after this date with Kevin and the incredible kiss that felt wonderful. My head is spinning right now, but I feel like I’m alive again.  And it’s OK to be human with these emotions.  In fact, it’s really NICE.  I feel like something that was shut off inside of me (without even knowing it) has suddenly been jump-started and is alive again thanks to Kevin and this whole experience.  My stomach is filled with a warm sensation and I literally feel like someone flipped the on switch.  It’s as if some little part in me I’ve ignored for a while is coming back to life.  It’s a bit emotional for me, and I am thankful.  I’m HAPPY.

Oddly enough, sitting in a silent room right now with all of this feels good.  I have a sense of hope and the realization that good things can happen for me.  I’m finally contemplating what it is that I really want for my future and what it really means to be happy.  I’m excited about the future and what it might hold for me.