I’m imaging the incomparable Laura Roeder (my blogging guru) shaking her head as I confess in the first sentence that today’s post is simply drawn from all that is mulling about in my head today. It’s just what I feel. And sometimes that’s all I have. Because while I am typically terrified of personal/professional transparency, I also don’t really know any other way to write but to start typing. It could be a story I’ve lived with for a bit or a brand new revelation. Today feels like something quite different. I have felt as though I am on a precipice. On the verge of something. And for some crazy reason, instead of being afraid of the unknown in my life, I welcome it and I am not unnerved or worried.
And as things swirl around me, all the possibilities and ideas and hopes and dreams, I have learned to be okay with silence. And that’s a good thing. See I realized that being able to sit alone in absolute quiet while doing nothing means that at the end of the day I am actually at peace. I am safe and comfortable, even in the chaos of an artist’s life. I know who I am. All the light and dark parts. Now to be honest with you (and I do strive to be honest) there are moments, days and even longer stretches of time when I am not so okay with it all. Where I am frustrated and incredibly non-actualized. Where I am behaving as a lesser version of myself. But I think I’m at a point where those instances are the smaller percentage.
Most of the time I am myself. Still super sensitive and in flux but rather content and hopeful. I see my life as filled with options. And I am proud of that. And I always feel blessed to have the chances and the dreams that I have. Because I cannot forget how lucky I am to even have those options, to even get to try. Because it is a gift to even to life this life. So I feel that I have a responsibility. A sense of purpose or the desire to fulfill a purpose. The need to be a good family member and friend, to be a consciously contributing artist, to be an active human being.
Because I try. The medical mantra (not sure if it’s really official) has been coming to mind recently. You know “First do no harm”? The idea that you strive for good but acknowledge that you live in the real world. And it’s messy, and imperfect. So along with growing up and learning to speak my mind and trying to be philanthropic and attempting to be grateful and growing this career I have also decided that I have to (I must) learn to cut myself some slack. Because when I don’t- when I push and judge and fret and doubt- then the silence is uncomfortable. And I find that I have to turn on the TV or keep myself busy with a million other things. Because the quiet just seems to call me out. It questions every decision, incites every jealous tendency and taps into every possible conduit of self-loathing. And if I am seemingly resilient and immune, well then it starts to simply make up reasons to be fearful. Wait, someone taught me something great about fear… that it is False Evidence Appearing Real. So if I don’t shake myself out of it I swirl into pity and shame. Into a crippling sea of the insurmountable.
And I guess it’s easy to start to accept that noise. But I don’t really want to because life is noisy enough, especially in New York City. It is inherently a mental and physical and emotional patchwork all on its own. So I have to buckle down and do my best to let the noise, the doubt, the judgment, all of it simply fall away.
And sometimes all it takes is a train ride in the morning (this morning for example) to crystallize the fact that it is a choice. That while it’s challenging to find your peace and your place, it is possible. So here was my morning ride today. It is a rather nasty day here, kind of snowing/raining at all once. It is slushy and gross. And the train is really crowded, full of people. But I have a seat. Which is a blessing because I can put my umbrella between my feet and hold my bag on my lap. And I am listening to music. The current song of choice, the one that elevates my spirit incandescently is Matisyaho’s One Day. Yep, the one the kids were singing in my Monday post. It’s a mental sorbet, it clears out the junk and leaves only hope. It quiets my troubled mind and restores my faith.
I guess the trick, along with simply trying to be at peace personally (which I acknowledge is not constantly attainable) is to find all of those things- the songs, people, painting, quotes, projects, etc.- that evoke silence. That makes everything shut up, if even for a moment. Then you can choose, with strength and purpose, how to fill your life.
Here’s the original sorbet:
Wishing you well,
Things I’m digging this week: Emily Grace’s Reiki Scene and He Who Laughs Live (cannot wait!)
Dream role: hmmm… how about some Naomi Wallace or some Sarah Ruhl, that would rock