It’s Thanksgiving here in the USA (in case that is not your corner of the world). It’s going to be strange and rather exciting when my blog posting day falls on a holiday. I suppose it’s only appropriate to adopt the inherent theme and go with it. In the case, I should write about giving thanks. In quiet moments it is almost shocking to reflect back over the course of 2009. I don’t quite feel ready to do the year analysis yet (five more weeks to accomplish things) but it has been a very blessed stretch for me. Creatively I have achieved all of the goals I set out for myself and then some. That’s usually hard to do given the lack of control normally predominant in my industry in general and my profession specifically.
There is a sense of satisfaction with the work done, the collaborations created and the artistic journeys taken. But I can never quite forget that at the core of it all, I am so lucky to have the opportunity to even take this life path, to even be pursuing this career.
Thanksgiving, or really holiday dinners in general, usually brings with it these strong memories of my Great Uncle Virgil. I know that there are those people in everyone’s life; the people you wish could see those landmark moments. He was proud of me for no real concrete reason, encouraging back when New York City seemed as far away as the moon. He died when I was a teenager and… well I tried to write the end of this sentence four times and I think that I cannot find the words to finish it. I love him for so many reasons, one of which is that he had such faith in me. When family and friends express this kind of faith or believe in me it is so powerful because this isn’t their life, this isn’t a career or an art form that they have any connection to with any tangible regularity. Like most people, it’s simply rented movies and a night out at the theatre every now and then.
But the opportunity to have it in my life daily? To get to focus on art as my sole professional endeavor? I mean even my more consistent money-job is in this industry. Now, that is amazing.
And I should actually be MORE thankful for that than all of the achievements that exist within that allowance. That I have the amazing fortune to live as an artist. I grew up hearing about the working life of a social worker, a lawyer, an engineer, a nurse, a state payroll employee, a county patrolman, a teacher, a farmer, a waitress and the list goes on and on. These were/are the professions of those family and friends around me. I saw that you could make a life doing anything, as long as you make it YOUR life.
Maybe that’s why I never really get scared about my life. Okay, that’s a lie. But I don’t stay scared for long. I know that I was genetically bequeathed the strength and passion to survive and I was logistically provided the education and opportunity to really try, to make a go of it.
So more important than WHAT I have been able to accomplish this year is THAT I was able to accomplish it. That I have been given, through the whirligig of time and geography and countless variables beyond my control, the chance to be this person in this life. I’m realizing as I write this that this fact is what I should celebrate, this is what I should be most thankful for today. And every day. To never forget how blessed I am. And sometimes I forget. I have moments of defeat or petulance or simply being a giant whiny baby, so shame on me for that. Today I take the time to remember, to feel so supremely lucky, and to embrace the work ahead.
I hope that you have had a blessed day wherever you are,
Dream Role: Mae in Maria Irene Fornes’ Mud