Lights, Camera… Happiness by Lauren Harper

When Life Hands You Lemons…

In a world surrounded by it’s own little world (Hollywood!), it’s hard to spot the happy people from the unhappy people. This is simply due to the fact that you’re usually unhappy too, and we all know misery loves company. 

So yes, Hollywood is it’s own world but happiness in and of itself is a world too. Combine both and welcome to my ship. These are rough waters and I don’t know where the hell I’m going but I’m going full force into that beautiful horizon.

Man, I have questions, so many questions, questions galore and all the time living in Los Angeles. The following questions are usually swinging around inside my skull like a piñata: Who is happy? Am I happy? Is she happy? Is that chihuahua in a pink sweater happy? Who is unhappy? I usually guess that the majority of people I see with nice cars and gelled hair are happy, and those working a cigarette stand on Sunset Boulevard are unhappy. I’m sure I’m right, but at the same time I’m sure I’m totally wrong. What’s even worse? People don’t smile anymore! I blame the botox.

As you grow older, life gets harder… like, really hard, sometimes one is even wondering why the universe is being so cruel, rude and relentless. Ups, downs, twists and turns, hopeful then hopeless. Then there are the nights where you binge eat Chinese food only to find out that your fortune cookie has no fortune.

Here’s my life for example: One day I get an audition (cool!), the next day I go to the audition (I think it went well!?), a week later I still haven’t heard if I got the part (this is when I usually stare out my window asking, why L.A., why?) Next, all I want to do is drown my sorrows in a soy latte and then suddenly… I’m in the self-help section at Barnes and Noble. Holding four books.

Uhh Lauren! Don’t be an idiot! Put those books away, you can do this. You can absolutely change how you feel in a heartbeat. Turn your frown upside down, right? Well, actually yes. It’s possible, and I’m learning how to perfect this. Happiness must come from a place hidden deep inside, everyone has happiness swimming through his or her veins, it’s a matter of allowing yourself to feel it. Once you take a deep breath, know you’re the only person that’s 100% authentically you, and only YOU and can only be YOU… that is when you can’t help but smile. Easier said than done? Totally, and  it takes practice and knowing you’re one of a kind. Go try and find another Lauren Harper with my face, height, hair, nails, laugh etc., you can’t! (unless I have a twin my mother never told me about)… Do you see what I’m getting at? No, it’s not a Hallmark card, it’s a simple motto: Be yourself because no one else can.

Life will always hand you lemons and at times extra damn sour ones. Some people deal with it and make lemonade or whatever you’re supposed to do. Some people feel life is a firing squad viciously shooting lemons at you until you feel dead inside. Sure, you could be boring and make whatever it is everyone else makes OR you could concoct something entirely different, something sweeter, something stronger … lemontini anyone?

I know this is a lot of absorb. Let me state that I am not a doctor. I am also not an individual that can prescribe you pills or hand out balloons at self-improvement seminars. However, I am an individual pursuing one of the hardest professions in one of the most superficial dog eat dog towns. I am an actress living in Hollywood.

I’ll leave you with some food for thought. I wandered aimlessly around whole foods one day, staring at all the beautiful people piling tofu in their carton at the salad bar, deciding red wine or white wine in the liquor section and sniffing vanilla pomegranate whatever-the-heck-it-is incense in the candle area. I was about to check out with my coffee creamer, feeling highly inadequate among the swarm of breast implants, handsome men with Gucci shades and toddlers dressed to kill. It wasn’t until I stumbled upon a collection of magnets that I realized being myself was the answer. One jumped out at me in particular and read, “Life isn’t about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself,” and with that I stood up a bit straighter, grabbed my grocery bag and waltzed to my car. Before I drove off, I swiped on my hot pink Mac lipstick, ran my fingers through my hair and knew that there’s only ONE me, and off I went into the horizon on Santa Monica Boulevard… smiling.

Mary Carey and Lauren

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About the Author: Lauren Harper is an L.A. woman with East Coast blood. Born in Greenwich, Connecticut, she is an actress and writer residing in the heart of Hollywood, California. Lauren graduated from Penn State University with a B.A. in journalism and a minor in French and Francophone Studies. Fast forward to 2012, she has continued to work, successfully carving a niche for herself in the entertainment industry. Lauren is excited to contribute to Happiness Series with Lights, Camera…Happiness and her interview series, Lights, Camera…Interview. Lauren hopes to further enlighten herself and you with each entry. Find out more about Lauren Harper | Twitter: @TheLaurenHarper | Official Site: http://thelaurenharper.com | e-mail: contact@thelaurenharper.com

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