Update: I neglected to properly emphasize in the orginal post that any experiences I felt were negative were just that–my own feelings. This post is about introspection and how what is inherently “off” in my own brain projects on my outside activities. I was and remain grateful for ever single bit of experience I’ve had in the past six monts, year, my whole life.
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” – Annie Dillard
I prefer the term waffling to say, existential crises of identity and meaning.
There are many who have faith and take comfort in the old belief that everything happens for a reason. And it’s no wonder–randomness is dangerously close to meaningless-ness, which is scary as shit. But there are times when one can take comfort in the concept of a meaningless, random universe.
Like for instance, right now. All the signs (if you want to look at them that way) in the past half year or so seem to be pointing me away from theatre and my performance life. First and foremost, the fun on my last few productions has been outweighed by the not-fun. That becomes all the more relevant when you consider I do this mostly for love of the art–translation: for free. When you’re working pro bono, and the only person who’s bono-ing is you, masochism isn’t so much selfless as pathetic. Not that I’m equating theatre to masochism, but certain of my recent experiences have been borderline unpleasant and certainly wasteful.
Other nudges have been less abstract. Circumstances recently made me have to drop out of my next gig. Financial circumstances have forced me to quit my voice lessons and dance classes. My agent’s been spending more time playing farmville than sending her more than 300 talents out. I was personally invited to an audition but I can’t make the dates. The results of a project I worked on some time ago were very disappointing. Then followed a callback for a role in a professional show, one that would have really been a breakthrough into something like a legitimization of my life’s work–which I didn’t get. Not an unusual occurance in itself, of course. What worries me is the relief I felt on reading the rejection. I took a deep breath today and realized I had nothing coming up at all. The fates seems to have made an empty vaccuum of my creative life.
But my parenthetical emphasis in the first sentance above is exactly the point–is there really any such thing as fate? As a “sign?” Is the universe really aligning with my subconcious to prod me into some alternative action? Everybody in their twenties wonders from time to time if they’re on the right path, but most at least know their intended destination. Or if not, they wander aimlessly by choice. In this deep breath I’m taking now, against the vague sense of a burden lifted, my involuntary aimlessness is set in stark relief. It’s comforting to think a little riptide of randomness has pulled me under. The thought that some cosmic force or some higher power put me here is much more terrifying.
Whether the forces be cosmic or random, the only way out is forward. But there are so many directions. Looking back on the way I’ve come so far, I have no idea if the paths I’ve taken have been the right ones, or whether they’ve been paths at all and not just dead ends. Every day I have new thoughts and new plans. I spend my most of my waking hours in a soul-crushing office enviornment, and equally as many hours imagining ways to get out of it. Ironically, it’s the sheer number of plausible ideas that I come up with that have probably put me here in the first place. Looking back at my life, there are so many things and ideas I’ve abandoned..enough to fill multiple lifetimes had I seen them through to completion. Theatre is my sole truly consistent endeavor. If I abandon it, I’ll be totally lost.
Therefore I’ve made a decision NOT to make a decision. I’ve decided to enjoy a great big waffle right here in the middle of the intersection and wait until my eyes adjust to the dark enough to read the signs.