Another Absence, Another Excuse

Tonight is the first free evening I’ve had in a while – my play’s run having finished on Sunday.  I’m surprised it took this long to get to a free day, in which I had few obligations to keep me away.  In fact, I had to ignore a prior commitment to make this appointment with myself.

I hadn’t intended to write anything tonight; there was no real reason for that, it just wasn’t in my mind.  But I’ve missed it.  Whenever I pick up acting or singing or dance or writing, and one of those as a result, I miss it.  I’m not sure how to fit them all into my life at the same time, I’m just not, but it’s clear that I need all four to feel completely happy.  What a strange thought.

There were a number of other things I had planned to do with my first free evening in over two months, but the depression hit about the moment I entered my room.  After setting my backpack down on my bed, I found I could not get up again – could not force myself to do anything productive or leave.  I had a birthday party invite from one of my castmates from the play, and I simply could not make myself go.  Granted, I had asked her for details and she hadn’t gotten back to me yet, but still I could have gone and I didn’t.  I told myself I didn’t have the money – but I could have.  I told myself I didn’t get her a gift and I didn’t – but I could’ve brought a card or bought her a drink or something.  I gave myself all these excuses, but I realize now that it was the depression talking.

Show runs end – another audition lies around the corner – school goes on – work never ends – and the damn sun keeps on rising and setting on the same bloody schedule every day of the year.  Here I sit, wishing that once – just once – it would stay down and let me sleep for a while.

I got quite a lot of good news this week relating to my voice training and performance, but post-show depression has managed to trump even that.  Finals are in 8 weeks, I have a lot of catching up to do and a lot of auditions coming up – I do not have time to be depressed.  On the other hand, I need to deal with this so that the stress of it doesn’t eat at my body and cause me to get sick again.


There are so many paths my life could have taken – I can see so many different endings from moments now long behind me.  I could be a mother now, married to my first serious boyfriend out of high school.  He was going to propose to me, which I only found out after I broke up with him.  I wasn’t happy and I had no idea why, but my friends and family convinced me that he was the reason.  To be fair to them he was a rather large part of it, but not the only reason.

Later, I fell for line of the wrong men – each in a horrible time in their lives, each broken in his own way, and each made me more and more unhappy.  I could have shut my mouth and landed with any one of them, but I kept fluttering away (sometimes chased and sometimes during pursuit).  I even fell for the wrong woman – who turned out to be crazier than any guy I’d dated previously.

The wrong woman led me away from my first main cage and into one of her own making.  It’s funny how much someone can love you when you’re free to fly away, how much they loath you once they’ve locked you up behind their bars, and how much they shame you for trying to or even succeeding in breaking free.  Once I was thinking for myself, I realized how crazy and controlling she was and saw how I’d placed myself into that situation, questioning nothing and letting myself feel as though I deserved it and couldn’t do better – yet more reasons for my unhappiness.  I left.

I can see, however, a life that could have led from that.  A marriage.  An adoption.  The gods forbid, a pregnancy (not hers because she was hell-bent against that, but my body wasn’t hers so it mattered far less that I was hell-bent against doing that to myself).  A house.  A lot of unhappy years at a job I didn’t like to support her and the kids – well, him now.  I can picture it so clearly now.

All of these possibilities lurk in my peripheral vision, endless futures that will never be.  I don’t want them and I don’t wish I could go back and make any one of them a reality.  The only thing I wish is that I could go back and tell this amateur figure skater that no adult knew fully what they were talking about.  That a young woman who started skating at 15 could go on to make a future for herself by following her dreams – it might be unrealistic but realism is overrated anyway.  I wish I could tell her that she was beautiful and bright and talented, and that she should ignore anyone who told her otherwise.  I wish that I could tell her that she could do anything she wanted to do as long as she worked her ass off, and stubbornly pushed against every block others placed in her way.  I wish that anyone would have told me these things – just once.

The thing is – I’ve finally realized these things about myself, and it only took a lot of years of good friends and even some random acquaintances telling me these things over and over again before I could allow myself to hear them.  I know I’m not alone in feeling this way or discovering these things later in life.  Hell, I think it’s so common that anyone who manages to read this far can post this on their own blog as though it were their own with few to no edits.  Yea, I’m that confident.  That does not, however, mean it’s a useless thing to state or write here.

Because I can see it now – a bright future doing exactly what I want to do with my life and, yes, making a living that way.  I can see it.  It only took me ****** some-odd years, and a lot of what I used to think were empty compliments – words that people just threw at one another – until I really started to hear what was being said to me.


Writing – I’m going to do my best not to abandon it in my pursuit of other passions.  I need this, too – this release.  It keeps me sane, clears my head of all of the echoes and needless chatter or screaming.  And silence is the best state in which a mind to finally get some sleep.

Dithering

I have been quite bad at keeping up with this blog lately, and I know it.  Life has felt so like a whirlwind this year that it’s difficult to find time to update, particularly when things don’t feel as though they’re going so well.  For those who have continued to follow me despite my absence, I thank you.


 

Dithering

This semester is already moving at the speed of light.  My world is spinning, reshaping itself, and moulding me into someone new.  I am still me – same experiences, same inner universe, and same face – but I am also becoming someone new.

I read somewhere – or perhaps it was an old friend who told me – that human beings change or are ready to change drastically every 5 to 7 years.  Perhaps that is true and perhaps it’s not.  I, however, feel as though I’ve changed drastically once every year since moving to California five years ago.  My mind, my perspective, my path, and even my body seem to have a new shape at the beginning and the end of every semester.  I don’t know who I’ll be in four month’s time or what I’ll believe and think after the next nine.  I don’t know what I’ll look like or who will be welcome in my life.

Perhaps it was the death of my grandmother last spring that so dramatically shifted my inner self.  Maybe it has to do with the fact that I’ve been working hard to understand and overcome my depression.  Possibly it’s the fact that I took an Applied Psychology course last term with a professor who made it my personal four month task to use meditation, dream analysis, and past experiences to better understand the way I interact with the world around me.  Likely, it’s a combination of all of these things and so much more.

Whatever the reason, I’ve realised that I’ve been dithering.  Dancing from foot to foot in worry, impatience, and fear over my own future.  I quit work in an office to return to school because I was so unhappy with my life that I was beginning to seriously consider suicide as the only option left to me.  I don’t want to go back to that.  So I struggled through 2 years of school, chose a major and a minor in subject areas I enjoy, and then spent the last year and a half having people who failed in these fields tell me how unlikely and unwise my choices were… I let other people make me second-guess my path.  I faltered… I fell… I dithered.

It is as a result of this that I’m still struggling to get back on my feet and find that solid path once again, and I know that I only have myself to blame.  There will always be someone out there who, out of fear or jealousy or whatever else, is ready to tell me I cannot reach my dreams.  I have so much personal experience with this sort of thing, and still I let it happen.

There’s just something about this semester, though, that gives me some hope for the future.  It’s a tentative and anxious hope – but it’s already far better than the fear and failure and despair I have been dealing with for the past year.  The people around me have noticed the changes in me, even if I hadn’t realised it was happening.

I am drawing people to me in every avenue of my life – sports, performing, school, and work.  These people have been helping me, taking care of me, boosting my ego, and encouraging me on my steep and unlikely path.  They have no incentive to do any one of these things for me, and yet here they are – doing them.

I cannot understand quite what they see… I’m afraid that it’ll all disappear, melt away, and I’ll be left alone once again.  I don’t trust it to last.  Yet, I feel as though I should dive forward in every avenue of my life and exhaust this gift while it lasts – soak it up and use it.

Still, at the corners of my mind lurks that fear and despair and hopelessness.  It waits for my body to burn off what little food I can currently afford to purchase, it waits for the adrenaline, blood sugar, dopamine, endorphins, energy, and serotonin to run low, then it hits me full force, sending me to my knees with the pain of it.  The pain of wasted time and lost moments and loneliness, and I despise my parents for my own past and my family for their ignorance and my life for its pains and struggles – I hate myself in those moments.  I see nothing – useless and pathetic.  It’s the way I see myself, I don’t know why… and I’m trying to change it.

My own monsters lie in wait around every corner, waiting to take full advantage of every stumble, trip, or fall.  I need to fight them, but these great, cresting highs are only followed by despairing, crashing lows.  I know that this has always been the way I have interacted with the world, and perhaps this is why I take long breaks from friends, lovers, and life.  Yet, feeling the straight line that borders emptiness and depression is no way of living – it’s barely an existence.  It’s intangible and grey.  I want the intensity of these experiences – but I’m afraid of the valleys, holding such doubt and pain and self-loathing, that lie in wait beneath every single cresting wave.  To say that falling hurts is an incredible understatement, but that is the reality of it all.

Sometimes, I just wish I didn’t feel things with such intensity.  Sometimes, I wish I could trade lives with someone less artistically inclined, and see if they live life through the same scope of starry highs and abyss-like lows.  Does it all swallow them, this way?  Do experiences make them feel anxious and excited, both at once?  Do they dread the end or the beginnings of great new relationships?  Am I normal?  Am I special?  Am I wrong?

I don’t know… but I do know that I am an artist, and I am done dithering.

I’ve Lost My Drive

So anyone I’ve talked to about my studies or my future will tell you that I’m very passionate.  I know for a fact that I’m determined, a hard worker, and someone who just doesn’t give up.  Lately, however, I just haven’t been able to care about anything on my to-do list.  

I’ve been questioning my path since this year began… I don’t know what to do.  I feel as though I’m in a kind of limbo… and what’s worse is that I honestly don’t care.  

To Act or Not To Act

This has been my recent consideration: do I continue to pursue acting the way that I had planned, or do I get a more reasonable degree and just act in my spare time.  I have to consider this quite logically, even though the reasoning might not be all that logical.

Pros:

  • I love acting.
  • Acting makes me happy when I have good partners.
  • I have never felt more fulfilled in my life, except when working toward figure skating goals.
  • Theatre holds people who understand me, who I understand, and with whom I mesh quite well.

Cons:

  • Some of the worst people in my life have come from acting.
  • Some of the worst betrayals I’ve experienced have been as a result of these above individuals.
  • It’s a lot of work (not that I entirely mind that, just that you don’t get paid for most of said work).
  • It’s a lot of time.
  • I’m not likely to make a lot of money doing it, barring extreme circumstances.

The reason I’m making these lists:

I’m currently still debating between two focuses for my major in college: Theatre Arts and Creative Writing.  I love both, I’m not sure I can decide between them.  However, I recently considered the possibility of getting a minor in Accounting.  Would it be completely impossible to double-major, as well as minor?  Also, if I go to school for Creative Writing with a minor in Accounting, would I still be able to attend a master’s program in acting across the pond, or would that be out of the question if my major and minor were no longer theatre-related?

These are all things I’m currently considering…and I don’t currently have any answers, yet.  Finals are accosting me, and I have less than two weeks to pack up an entire room, donate what I no longer need and what won’t fit in my new place, and move.  My body has about had it, I’m mentally exhausted and have been for months.  I need some time and space to think, and don’t know when I’ll get it.

Apologies to anyone who has read this expecting some kind of semblance of sanity, or a reasonable conclusion, I can currently offer you neither.  However, I am hoping that someone may be able to offer me one or other of the above listed endings that I may at least consider them.

Thank you for reading, and have a lovely day.

Here We Go Again

I’ll be honest, I’m a bit tired of the workshop environment that I’ve been in for the past two years.  I’m burnt out.  I want to act in a production, to sink my teeth into an entire character not just the one scene it’s been decided I’ll portray them in for a four month class.  It does not help that the professor is retiring, I’m sure, and thus has taken a few specific people under her wing to push up for the rest of us to fracking emulate… and it definitely doesn’t help that I’m one of those people.  I just want to train, and use that training to work.  As it stands, I feel I’ve trained in everything except HOW to get work, and that seems a bit counterproductive to me.  So what we’re working on this semester is how to do the job once you’ve gotten it, which is what we’ve been working up to for four semesters now.  I’m not sure if this sounds defeatist of me, but I’m done.  She teaches nothing new, and I need a new teacher; I’m ready for a new teacher.  

Don’t get me wrong, for the basics, for an intro for those who REALLY want to study this as an art-form, she’s amazing and perfect and tough and everything she needs to be.  However, if you want to improve, to move on from there, it seems she can only give you so much.  I’ve stopped feeling challenged, despite my own challenges this semester.  It has stopped feeling like something to take on, to grasp hold of, and to overcome.  It hasn’t even progressed into that stage that every art-form hits at one point or another where it just feels like work.  That happens, yes… but here… it feels like she gave up on us when she decided to retire, or she gave up on pushing us.  Not sure which, but does it really matter at this point?  

It also doesn’t help, I suppose, that she has been being super inappropriate with me, lately. Not sure why, exactly… she’s been inappropriate with a couple of the guys in my class for ages, but apparently they like it (or so they told me on several occasions).  I, however, do not like it, and I don’t really know what to do about it.  I badly want to just drop the class, take the ‘W’ it’ll earn me, and never take another of her classes again, if I’m honest.  I just… I don’t want to do this with her, anymore.  I may mention it to a counselor next week or the following week, when things calm down in my schedule a bit.  

I’m not sure what else to do.  I don’t just want to drop it because I feel scared of something happening or not happening again, but I’m kind of over even the idea of it all.  Perhaps it’s time I left the nest, as it were, and moved on to other things.  Maybe I’m just a restless chick with the strength to fly away from the nest, but remaining trapped to it by some invisible cord to which I cannot put my teeth.  I want to escape now that I see the workshop for what it really is, and the people in it for who they really are.  Disenchanted, that’s what I’ve become.  I don’t want to surround myself with fake people, egotistical people, lazy people, and, I suppose, every stereotype that can, has, will be assigned to most people who call themselves actors.  

I don’t want to be a stereotype, and I don’t want any of those things (lack of honesty, my ego, laziness, or anything else) to get in the way of becoming the best actor I can become.  I can’t stand seeing it in others, those people who treat me as though I’m on a lower rung than they are just because of the preferential treatment they receive in class, and I won’t have it in myself.  

It just makes me question whether or not I even want to do this anymore.  How does that work?

‘This Is My Muse’

I have to say that I have never before been referred to as someone’s muse.  I’ll be honest here; the first thing that passed through my mind was that he was taking the piss.  Seriously.  I thought, ‘You don’t mean that,’ which I think says something more about my own issues than about what is arguably the sweetest way a man could ever use to introduce his date to another person. 

It makes me wonder, though.  Does he really think of me when he’s writing, acting, or striving toward his goals?  Do I really inspire him to greater things, and do I give him inspiration when he’s struggling with a story or an action or anything else he does in his everyday life?  I mean, that’s what a muse does, right?  A muse provides inspiration when it is needed most, giving that strange flavor to a story and breathing the artist’s body to life in a way that they did not know existed before.  Without a muse, we are nothing as artists; lifeless and void of everything that gives us strength in the form of inspiration.  So if I am really and truly his muse, then what an influence I must be in his life whether or not I am physically present in it at any given moment. 

What I find interesting is, if I’m honest with myself (and all of you), he is also my muse.  He has inspired things that I had not previously thought were possible, both in everyday life as well as in my art.  I had been struggling with my writing until he came along, and now I can pull stories from midair the way that I used to.  I had been struggling with acting before we began getting to know one another, and now I see ways to add life to characters I pick up like I did before my acting-block.  He is my muse, as well, and it’s a wonder that these supposedly observational artist’s eyes of mine could not see it before he gave his description of my influence on his life to a complete stranger in four words: This is my muse. 

Tomorrow

Here I am stressing, keeping it to myself, trying to pull it all the way in when it occurs to me that I have a blog that could be used for getting some of this emotion out.  Why am I feeling stressed?  Well, tomorrow is the first time in about three months that I will perform in front of my acting facilitator, and I’m not entirely happy with how my monologue is going.  It is also the first time in a month that I will be performing in front of a group of people who used to be my best friends in the world.  I’m not going to lie, I’m hoping they decide to skip out.  I don’t want to deal with their negative energy, or their egotistical rants about how little work they assume I put in compared with them because I know very well how much they want to see me as ordinary now.

The only reason I’m not happy with this monologue at the moment is because I know I can put more into it.  I hate the beginning work on a scene, the work that happens when you’re just finishing the very basic character work and haven’t fully bitten into the character quite yet.  I hate the blandness, the skeleton that the scene has to be.  If I’m going to perform, I’d prefer to do it after the bones have been filled in with a little muscle here and there.  Then again, I know there are good reasons that directors want to see the bones.  It is far better to build upon a solid foundation.

I just wish the energy from last semester had flowed into this one, and the friendships – garnered, strengthened, intensified – had lasted.  Of course, the Earth revolves, time passes, life goes on, and things, constantly in flux, change.  Sadly, in this instance, that means losing a troupe of friends that I had thought to be, more or less, permanent.  Our energies seemed so well aligned.  It may not be permanent, but how we can come back from the recently exchanged blows, I cannot fathom.  The Universe sends people to us who we need in our lives, and she takes those no longer necessary away.  May my troupe be replaced by those who can teach me and support me and fill my life with a lovely new energy, and to whom I can offer the same gifts.  I may have already found one, if he will have me, and never lost another, who is practically family.  It is a hope, and there are many more.

Of course, the only reason this post is happening, you may like to know, is because Game of Thrones Series 3 is not out.  Now, I watch the show online because I do not have cable or a television, and the place I watch it has Series 3 Episode 1 listed as available to watch.  Since, however, that episode doesn’t even come out until the end of the month all the site could really show me was a 2 minute teaser trailer.  Well, that was not what I had originally planned.  No.  I had planned on being distracted for another hour, and then going to bed.  Perhaps the audiobook will be a better distraction, and help me get to sleep before my heart manages to beat itself free of my chest.

May the Sun guide you ever on your journeys, the Moon cover you as you sleep, and the Stars offer comfort when all seems dark.  Thank you for reading and have a lovely evening.  ^-^