Theatre & Life (2)
Who am I?
There's this sensation I am familiar with that reminds me of in mostly sci-fi movies when beams of light shoot out of people, and their bodies are horizontal and usually levitating and their chests rise upward while the rest of their bodies arc away from the peak of their sternum the way magnets of the same pole repel each other.
This is the sensation intrinsically linked to my emotions surging—so intensely that my physical body wants to become the hose that channels the water that is on too high.
I spent most of my day (some days ago when I started this post) revisiting my teenage-to-young-adult psyche (age 16 to 23) thanks to the wonders of the modern world—my livejournal account is still active, no I will not share the link with you. I couldn't understand why I wanted to dive so deeply into nostalgia, especially THAT PARTICULAR nostalgia until...
So much has evolved and transformed and I am so grateful down to the tips of my little toes. For movement. For progress. For nestling into a rhythm of life that serves me, that holds me, that nurtures me, that is elastic and abundant and rich with love.
I spent most of my childhood and adolescence feeling angry, confused, and trapped by my consciousness and emotional intensity.
Not surprisingly, the times when my writing was the most grounded and present (as opposed to frenetically present) were during times of theatre rehearsals and performances. In fact, the livejournal was begun at a time when I was reentering the world of theatre in High School, and rediscovering why I loved it so much even though I didn't really know that at the time.
I have been on this "Nostalgia" train for the past couple of days. Revisiting, rediscovering, remembering—wondering in a way what life would be like if I had chosen a different way to get through some of the darkest parts of my life so far.
Usually I would say this isn't such a great thing to do because I can lose myself in the what-ifs but this has been different. A return to self... sort of. A reinvigoration. The build up to Mercury Retrograde, no doubt, when all of these verbs that are prefixed with "re-" arise.
I am surging with emotion and overwhelm and tasks and wanting, and wouldn't it be cool to have a fairy godmother appear and organize everything into a data set of neatly outlined categories and action items. I'm not asking for everything to be magically done for me, just (haha, JUST) the data processing, the information architecture, so that I can steel myself with a comprehensive awareness of all the areas in my life that I want to clean up. Ironically, information architecture and data visualization are things I LOVE to do. So that'll tell you something, probably.
Finances. Material objects cluttering my existence, padding my consciousness from fear of lightness, boundlessness. My home. My work, in it's many forms. My time... using it to empower my self, my mind, my body, my soul.
Where am I going?
I started writing a piece without even thinking called My Stuff, distilling my existence into the things I love and gravitate the strongest toward. The things that excite a sparkling response in my being—the draft vanished through a series of technological malfunctions (I bet a writer before computers never had a draft spontaneously vanish from existence through some portal right in front of their eyes, note to self, remember this next time you start drafting something on a technological device) and so, being encouraged by Michael to "do it! rewrite it! do your work!" I rewrote it and now it is sitting safely in my drafts because I don't like it anymore, it lost something of it's oompfh because I had to THINK about it, and now I will have to overcome some insecurities in order to publish it.
But Anyway. The point being that theatre is probably the largest or widest or most expanded outlet in my life for processing and creating, but this poem, undoubtedly inspired through Felicia Day's You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) (a great book, almost too great, startlingly great and close to home, thank you Woodzick for lending it to me) was a way to channel all of these "re-" verbs that are coming up into something that I could see and sort of touch in a non-physical way. Something to grasp as I move forward in creating the life I want. Through theatre, yes, but also in ways that I don't understand. In ways that will undoubtedly show themselves to me by way of My Stuff.
Our lives, and specifically our childhoods, have so many buried treasures. Clues and keys to our dreams. I have been uncovering a lot of these lately and it is overwhelming to say the least. I feel like I am at a banquet of all my favorite foods and there is enough for everyone and there are a number of non-weird as well as questionable-weird recipes along with stories about all of these foods and I want to invite all my favorite people and share these stories, but at the moment I am full. Full of clutter. And perhaps it is the middle of the night so most people are sleeping and not prepared for a story-time banquet despite what fun it might be to spontaneously arrive in their pjs.
How am I going to get there?
A quick google search reveals these three questions (the ones that have been italicized as sort of headings in this post) are widely used in many facets of self-development, guidance, life-path, creative stuff. I came to them by way of one Mr. Andrew Grenier, whom I admire with all my heart, through a theatre workshop where I work.
This morning I had a devastating blow when I awoke to the realization that it was 10:00 and I was already late to arrive to his last workshop of the season and he was locked out of the building and I had royally, in my book, fucked. up. Thankfully my boss was there, bringing her daughter to the workshop, so it wasn't like he was completely stranded in the water, but my self-respect plummeted. Not to mention we collectively decided to cancel since there were only two attendees.
This was a program I had created, I had birthed, It gave me solace knowing that it existed because I believed in it, I believed that it was really fucking important to have these workshops and that it was equally important that Andy be the one to lead them. And yet, here we were. The life-force of this thing that I created had been neglected. I felt like I had neglected the teens and Andy and how fucking valuable the program was to myself, too. I still feel that way. (What is it, "Be the person who you needed when you were younger" ? Oofph.)
Andy talks a lot about agreements. Being in agreement and being out of agreement. This morning I was sorely out of agreement, and it forced me to take a look at why, because here was one way I REALLY DID NOT WANT TO BE out of agreement. I had not done anything exactly WRONG to be out of agreement, but the agreements that I had made were not the kind of agreements that I could uphold. Too many irons in the fire. Shit like that. A particular kind of failure of self and those you love and respect.
I think these are the turning points in life. These are the dark gems. The chances, and opportunities to recalibrate, to pivot our perspectives, and adjust our approaches. Granted, ideally, they can happen maybe in a more minor-adjustments-along-the-way sort of fashion, but generally we are all fucking human and cannot escape the ones that hit hard, I get it. But at least we can learn from them.