Episode 16

Published on:

12th Jul 2023

Grieving a Dream

Hey there, lovely listeners!

Welcome back to another soul-stirring episode of "Confessions of an Aging Ingénue." I'm your host Jenni Tooley, and I'm beyond thrilled to have you join me today.

Before we dive into the captivating world of our STUCK story, I want to extend a special invitation to all of you. Picture this: a confessional session every first Wednesday of the month, where we spill the beans and share our juiciest tales. Intrigued? Head over to jennitooley.com and mark your calendar for some confessional magic.

Let’s get started! Today's STUCK story is a gem that some might advise against sharing. But you know what? It's vital, and I believe some of you out there need to hear it. Buckle up as I unravel the tale of the memorial service I had for all the dreams that didn't unfold around my movie, STUCK.

Dreams, expectations, assumptions—we all have them. And, more often than not, life takes unexpected turns. My movie, initially envisioned with specific stars and grand premieres, took a different route. And you know what? It turned out to be a beautiful, powerful story with a cast that I now wouldn't trade for the world.

I'll spill the tea on the fundraising journey, applying for grants, and the harsh reality of not making the cut. Indie film stardom? Well, that wasn't our path, and I had to reassess where STUCK truly belonged in this vast cinematic world.

Let's just say I had to readjust my expectations. But you know what's incredible? Our premiere at the Women Texas Film Festival was nothing short of magical. And that moment at the Dallas Video Festival? Pure gold.

Yet, throughout this journey, I realized I hadn't properly mourned the dreams that didn't materialize. So, while on a drive, I decided to have a memorial service for those dreams. A symbolic burial of what could have been.

Why? Because carrying the weight of unfulfilled dreams can be heavy. It took this moment of honoring, grieving, and letting go to clear space for what truly matters—moving forward with a clean slate.

The unexpected clarity on the next steps for my movie? Priceless. No shame, no weird feelings, just a roadmap of what needs to be done. And you know what's crazy? I didn't fully grasp the magnitude of making a feature film until recently.

I learned to celebrate the small victories, set realistic metrics of success, and revel in each step of the journey. So, here's to letting go, making space, and embracing the creative process.

I hope this resonates with someone out there. Remember, it's okay to grieve not only for people or pets but also for the dreams that didn't make it.

Thanks for being part of this heartfelt journey. I'm Jenni Tooley, your host, and I can't wait to hear your thoughts on today's episode.

Don't forget to comment, review, follow, and subscribe—your support keeps our podcast thriving. Until next time, much love, and stay tuned for more soulful confessions!

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About the Podcast

Confessions of an Aging Ingenue
from insecure ingenue to perimenopausal powerhouse
Go BTS into my creative life/career as I regain my integrity and create a system that aligns with my values and supports an abundant, healthy lifestyle.

It’s taken me decades to find my way back to me. The journey has been messy, out of control and all of the things I feared. I fear them no more. Take these stories as your own.

Imperfect. Unedited. Uncensored.
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About your host

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Jenni Tooley

Hi! I am Jenni Tooley and I have a lot going on! I tend to go where I am led, am highly adaptable and have a wide variety of transferable skills and talents. This means I have experienced a whole lot so far in life-- I have owned and operated my own cottage bakery, am a trained birth doula, am a yoga teacher, am a professional actor, have worked in non-profit development, launched a web series and just distributed my first feature film, STUCK. Oh! Did I happen to mention I've also been an actor for over 3 decades and played alongside in Richard Linklater's Boyhood? That all sounds amazing- and super woman-ish, right?

What you may not know is that although I am a creative human, I am also a messy one. I've been around lot of blocks and trudged through around and over some of the deepest blocks within myself. I know what it's like to feel stuck- unable to move forward. I know what it's like to be overwhelmed with self-doubt. I know what it's like to feel like I or what I do is never enough. I've spent years trying to "fix" myself. I have a "chick with a stick" in my brain that loves to whack me around whenever I make a mistake, show my imperfections, or am willing to be vulnerable. She thinks she's keeping me safe. But I'm tired of being abused by myself. My "good enough" is actually more than good enough. I don't have to go outside of myself for validation. And being vulnerable is really hot!

I won't claim to have completely overcome all these things-- after all I am human. But I've gotten through them and continue to build myself up rather than break myself down, most days:) Along my journey I have collected so many tools, a whole lot of experience, and have always been (it turns out) filled with wisdom. I am thrilled to be able to share all of this with you! I specialize in holding space for people, deeply listening, and being able to guide people back to the truth of who they are. The process isn't perfect. And I will never claim to have " the only 5 steps you need to fix yourself for good" because in my experience that's a bunch of hoo-ha. And it sets up a situation where if you didn't get fixed you think there must be something wrong with you(I know, I've had that experience).

I'd love to have you join me on this journey! www.jennitooley.com