“Life is to be lived. If you have to support yourself, you had bloody well better find some way that is going to be interesting. And you don’t do that by sitting around.”
— Katharine Hepburn

Written by one of my most favorite actresses and about some of my most favorite topics: life, work, and doing shit.
As I enter the new year I have been spending lots of time thinking about where I am and where I am going. Who I am and what I want my life to be filled with.
Never before have I ever stopped this long, been this quiet, and thought about myself this clearly.
I took some time off of everything over the holidays and really started to look at all the things I spend my time on. I suddenly realized that I am a big fat liar.
So many of the things in my life I claim to want or have are only because of the way this looks. Like I am always simply playing a part.
How silly, what a silly waste of time.
What would happen if I disregarded the “character” I am attempting to portray and actually lived for me.
This was a huge “aha!” moment I had in Ecuador.
Traveling with my girlfriends I started thinking about why I do anything.
Why keep a clean house if it is not for the company that comes over?
Why wear make up if it is not to have someone think of me as beautiful?
Why write a blog if it is not for someone else to read it?
Why play a part if it is not for the applause?
As I started to ask and answer these questions for myself, I started to see why I do these things, really.
What type of experience I am seeking for me.
Yes, we are an interdependent species. We are creates of effects and we cannot disregard our responsibility in this world.
But that being said, we must take charge of our own experience and know and understand our own journey for us.
Know and understand your own journey for you.
Know and understand my own journey for me.
That way, when I am in the experience I am in it for me.
Living it with no fear or attachment to the outcome, only the experience.
This will be the practice of 2009.
A practice free of obligation and filled with honesty.
A year of truth that will be the start to a lifetime of depth!

Add yours Comments – 73

  • Ross UK

    on January 20, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    It’s an interesting idea that you propose – that we tend to live our lives to the ideals that are expected of us. There is novel called “Neverness” by David Zindell which touches on theories of predestination. In short, he suggests that fate is no more than the result of other people’s expectations. If you have a choice to smash something or not and choose not to, it is not because you made a choice through Free Will, it is because it is how you’ve been ‘programmed’ to behave by society – it is the expectation of others.

    My own life receives very little scrutiny from others, so I feel comfortable enough to say that I am not who I am because of how I want to be perceived. I consider myself a moral person because that is the person I want to be, not because I wish to prove myself to others. That’s not to say that I am satisified with being the person I am now – the reassessments you have been talking about in recent blogs are a perennial thing for me. I am forever identifying things about myself that I want to change, that are holding me back, but actually taking steps to make those changes is easier said than done. I’m afraid I’m a little like the person that David described above – waiting for something to happen, for the right person, the right job, a lottery win, all to fall into my lap, and then everything else will fall into place. I find myself making frequent, frantic efforts which cannot be sustained, then I fall back into lethargy and apathy.

    At the end of the day, it is I think like you say – understanding the journey. The destination is not the be all and end all, it’s about understanding the route you want to take, and why you chose it.

  • Bouroux

    on January 20, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    Hi Allison.
    It is a very interesting analysis of the behavior that you did.
    It is true that we are liars. When someone asks if I feel good, I always replie yes, to avoid having to explain.
    The reaction of others is very important especially when you are young. Then we realized that our models that seemed so perfect have weaknesses.
    “What would happen if I disregarded the “character” I am attempting to portray and actually lived for me.”
    I think that there would be some changes in certain circumstances but in all the character you play is wrote by you.
    You direct your character in fonction of different influences.
    In fact it is to ensure that the characteristics of the character that you play respect well our values and not those of others.
    You are a truly inspirational person and this is really you in the depths of yourself.
    In your blog Barbies, there were descriptions of the differents Allison.
    In some circumstances, you have to play the role that we can achieve our objectives.
    To become a doctor must be willing to make sacrifices for many years.
    We live in a society that has these rules but to be happy, we must live in the light of our values.
    Thanks Allison to share with us.


  • James

    on January 21, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    I think the perspective that you are beginning to view life seems a little skewed.
    From the examples you’ve given it seems that you want to move away completely from doing things you do for other people and fully live for yourself and your experience. And that sounds noble, but the examples you give from wearing makeup to doing this blog are somewhat disconcerting. And a little set apart from the message of community and discussion you have been putting forth on this blog for the past few years, so I want to ask you this question: If you only do things for yourself (or, for that matter, if you attempt to act always considering fully every existential question you have put forth questioning the way you live your life on this blog) will you do anything at all? Maybe you could answer me in a future blog if you like. I’d really like to know:)

  • Dick B

    on January 21, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    If you do things for yourself it doesn’t mean that you are doing them against other people.

  • richard maxwell

    on January 22, 2009 at 1:16 am

    Lately I have been feeling that my life has not been filled with much truth. Not only do I lie to myself daily, but by doing so I lie to others as well. I am starting to realizes that this is something so many people struggle with. We all want to be loved and excepted for who we are but this behavior makes it impossible for that to truly be possible. I am encouraged to see that we as a people can see the walls we create from within and start to break them down. As long as we try to change for the better there is hope for all. Go Obamma

  • Jade Ruby

    on January 22, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    Ok. So I know I have the strength to do more than fearing a new and potentially awesome situation. Now I must do more than think to myself, “OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG!!!” Time to pull that initiative out of the depths, and take action.

  • Lynsey

    on January 24, 2009 at 5:01 am

    Well, I read your post last night and have been pondering it ever since, so my response is a combination of sleep deprivation and caffeine infusion!
    Shakespeare did say, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players”.
    We all play a role depending on our situation so does that mean that who I am is defined by where I am? No, because all of the roles I play make me… well, me.
    I think the trick is to push through fear and insecurity and do what you do because it makes you happy. Sure, it’s great if someone reads your blog and enjoys it – but does it really matter if they don’t? Not if you enjoyed writing it.
    My goal for 2009 is to do something different every day because only through challenging myself will I find out who I am.

  • Eric Wilson

    on January 28, 2009 at 8:43 am

    Hey, Allison!
    awesome insight.
    I definitely agree on you 100%.
    I believe that when God put us on this earth he did it for a reason.
    He gave me different talents and abilities in order for me to find out what they are and find out the purpose of why he gave me those talents and learn what I can do like playing guitar, and draw pictures!

    Still haven’t figured out my life is though, everyone makes mistakes and i do learn from mistakes and never had a mistake for along time… but i’am still trying to figure out where to go from here I do want my life and myself to have a job as an actor, but i’m stuck like in a little metal cage full of kryptonite i’m 30 years old wish any actress or actor could give me some adivce that i need to know always wanted to be on tv and movies and i have no experience since it cost way to much to go to college these days.

    Allison you are a wonderful talented actress and the most beautiful woman in the world inside and outside… I care about you and i am glad to have you as my friend and I do really love what things you do in life, your career on the show biz is going great and you do an excellent job.. what i’m trying to say is “I am here if you need someone to talk to”, “You’re are not alone” I care so much about you and friends and you will forever be in my heart forever!

    Allison i can’t wait for the episode “Power” I really look forword in watching the episode you are going to be directing and hope you’ll be able to direct an episode again…
    may this day bring you a lots of joy and fun 4 the whole year, enjoy your life 2 its fullest with your friends and family.

    I really hope you have a wonderful lovely week, you are truely a special woman in the world hope you take great care and be safe.

    Showing you lots of love, peace, support and respect!

    Eric Wilson

  • David Harvey

    on January 29, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    One of the things I’ve always wondered about actors/acting is how is a person to know when meeting a person outside of their “roles” really being themselves, or is that person still acting? That is how do you know if that person is being themselves, or are they “putting on a mask” and still playing a part?

  • Silvia

    on January 30, 2009 at 8:47 am

    Joseph T. Hall Says:
    „With all the talk on this site about our goals and dreams and asparations, what about those people who don’t know what those are? Those confused people who don’t know what to do with their life, who sort of drift along each day, not knowing what’s next?”

    – Somebody who doesn’t know what he/she wants usually doesn’t know who he/she is either. Finding oneself is the first thing to do in this case. If you know who you are, you usually know what you want as well. Besides everybody has some dreams even though some of us do not dare to live or realise them. It’s not enough to have some aspirations. Courage, confidence, patience, strength and faith, help to let wishes come true, but one has to dare and to try… and of course there’s some work within as well.

    David Harvey Says:
    “One of the things I’ve always wondered about actors/acting is how is a person to know when meeting a person outside of their “roles” really being themselves, or is that person still acting? That is how do you know if that person is being themselves, or are they “putting on a mask” and still playing a part?”

    Hi David,

    You asked some very interesting questions and I know the answers. First of all you have to understand that actors/artists… well, let’s say they are very special creatures. However, a real actor or actress is always sort of in a role. Yet, this does not mean that they are not real.

    A true actor or actress is always real, but always acting as well. This is their nature!
    If you accept this you’ll never have a problem to have an actor or actress somewhere in your life (circle of friends or so).

    Yet, there are also some actors/actresses who use their ability to fool others. However, if you have a good knowledge of human nature and are able to see through intrigues or bullying, you can’t be fooled.

    I hope I could help you with my reply and now I’ll continue curing my pneumonia.

    Best Wishes,

  • SolShine7

    on January 30, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    A toast to “living the experience”. Cheers!

  • valeria

    on February 4, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    When were you in my country? you should visit Guayaquil too, it is so much better than Quito.

  • Conduit0

    on February 6, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    Ah, there’s nothing more cool than those “aha!” moments. They may tend to keep you up all night with lots of new thoughts running through your head, but it’s a good sort of insomnia that everybody needs to have once in awhile.

    Ironically, I find that a good way to get those “aha!” moments (where you suddenly have a new idea or a big re-evaluation of something) is by clearing your head of thoughts and being one with what you happen to be doing.

    Whether it’s motorcycle repair, baking a cake, painting something, golfing (“Be…the ball”, Chevy Chase), or whatever you are doing, be one with it.

    Stop the internal monologue of your thoughts, tune out surrounding distractions, and just focus on nothing but the act of what you are doing. Be one with it, and you get that zen sense of the present, of the now. And as you wordlessly exist in the present moment, you’d be surprised at the insights that begin to rise up from the depths of your subconscious.

    Those insights tend to be the most important information you’ll get all day, as they will stay with you the longest.

  • david

    on February 20, 2009 at 5:07 am

    I have always heard the phrase “The world is but a stage, and we all are just mere actors in it” and ” to thyne own self be true” for me i have always tried to be open, and honest to every experiance i have, and definitly be myself. Some people like it, and others kinda shy away from it, but for me i like the fact that i can talk openly, and honestly with no regrets. Of course i do have to gauge who i am talking with in regards to their feelings on certain subjects, and not only try and speak openly, but also listen to what is being said. Only cause certain subjects are a little more touchy than others. Shoot, it seems as though i have been searching for my inner self for a very long time, and every once in awhile i will get a glimpse of that inner power, only to lose it again…..LOL

  • david

    on February 20, 2009 at 5:27 am

    I saw an interview with Christopher Reeve in which he had said something to the effect that, actors can take an amazing journey into themselves to pull out the emotions that they never knew existed to portray a charactor, and that the charactor never plays the actor, but the actor plays the charactor:)

  • Eurico Rodrigues

    on March 2, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    You would think life has many things to offer rather than just life itself. I believe it does not offer anything else besides the opportunity for you to use your life in the best way you think/feel/believe it’s fit. So it’s not a question of “why” but a question of “why the hell not”, don’t you think?

  • melotos

    on March 13, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    hello allison, hello lovely people

    i just came across a picture of allison mack- (&recently i saw some (many) episodes of smallville)
    then an act on instinct…a click on her pic.

    wow- she made this day for me.

    didn’t had a good one; what i read on your page and the
    way you wrote it really cheered me up.
    this may sound tacky but thank you very much for this

    just wanted to let you know
    i am overwhlemed by great emotion about the things i found out about your work and yourself!
    ”if you never never try you will never never know.”
    a qoute from the entrance of mattaranka a small town in the land of the never never
    i read this when i was 20, travelling for 1 1/2 years thoughout asia (laos, thailand ,cambodia) &australia (tasmania, outback…., arnhemland)
    at that time i experienced so much new
    the world in my heart
    i was so far away from what i knew and therefor so close to myself
    as you travel you cross magic all the time.
    i will post some of my magical ecperiences on this site soon…
    be courios
    greetings from the black forest

  • Nicki

    on March 13, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    I have been learning that lesson through travel as well. Enjoying every moment and not taking pictures to prove that you accomplished something, but taking pictures to remember the moment that was experienced.

  • David potter

    on March 18, 2009 at 9:12 am

    I am the actor trying to play somebody that is me but who am I ?I have no script even though it all seems scripted at times.I am looking for something I dont know what it is and have never seen it but i know its real.While I am searching for this I feel a monster fallowing me.Its like what I have been searching for my entire life.I have seen it smelt it or even heard it i just know its real because I can feel it.I dont know why I do alot of the things I do only that everything is connected some how.Like most people I wanna be happy.I just dont really know how.Maybe I am looking for somebody or something that might not be real but I keep looking.What is the truth I dont know but what if I did find it would I be happy again I dont know.I have the power to see people beyond the act that they play a gift and cursebut I still cant see past my mask.I am stoping every few moments when I write this to think thats why I have been going all over if its alittle confuseing.I am in Iraq on deployement and I have relised that we are all the same on this earth lost,scared,looking for truth we just dont understand because we are probly to close to the big picture.I wanna travel the world and search for what I am looking for.Maybe I am looking for an experience that I need in life now that I think about it.Just maybe thats what we are all looking for.So many questions so little time.I have never been nothing but honest with everyone around me and myself I just dont allways know the truth even if its all in black and white.I miss my home but Im not sure if that is the place I wanna be.I am a good person I hope.I want nothing but the best and happyness for all.I understand Just what you mean about life.I hope you or somebody can make sence of all that I have written I took my sweet time and went back afew times to see what you wrote.I am not weak nor strong I am just me doing the best that i can while trying to go on day by day and be happy.I feel that im fighting something and the battle has been going on forever so I dont know why am I even writeing this maybe somebody else can make sence of me.If you do please tell me.Funny this all just came to me after reading your thoughts.I think I am alittle crazy.I need a friend. Maybe you or somebody you know can help.Can you help me ? I am the truth and the truth hurts.

  • Lissy

    on April 3, 2009 at 9:07 am

    i was just wondering now that your going into another season (9) of smallville dont you get scared that you might be too comfortable there and it must be scary imagining life after that! i mean speakig from experience nothing is as easy after you have such a great experience you kind of hope to find something like it all the time but things either never give you that same feeling of safety again or it gets scarier to pursue new things (gosh i ramble)

  • Lissy

    on April 3, 2009 at 9:08 am

    also we do things for other people to notice us, we all want to be told we’re good enough or to have our work appreciated its part of human nature

  • Marc-Andre Ferland

    on April 9, 2009 at 6:58 am

    All human beings should try to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why.

  • Adam

    on June 25, 2009 at 2:21 am

    It’s really interesting how I never thought in those terms. So you’re contemplating at the life in front of you, saying : well, how do I want to live it ? Who do I want to be ? And you can actually do it ? Well I almost never took a decision in my life, I mean only a bunch of very little ones, like I always kind of followed the stream. Which is far from being mainstream, if that has any sense, but anyway… I have never been able to choose. At 5 I broke in tears in front of different little cakes, pies etc, because I just couldn’t choose one. It’s terrible but it’s a summary of my life until now ( I’m 30). Hmm… I have to start to change that. Follow your example ! I have a feeling it will not be easy…