Monday, June 13, 2011

There's A Place For Us

Last night I allowed my geeky self to shine through. Not in front of anyone of course, but never the less there I was in all my dorky splendor enjoying every second I could of the fabulous display in front of me. Of course I am speaking of the Tony Awards. My once a year day where I can openly get really excited about a production number or cry along with the Tony winner as they give their heart felt acceptance speech. As I sat there in my dad's over sized t-shirt and my favorite pajama pants, I might as well have been wearing a ball gown that I couldn't breathe in and sitting in the audience myself. That's how excited I was. But as always when it came time for the commercial break, I allowed myself to think about some things that I don't really like to think about, and by the end of the telecast, I had learned something about myself.

I am going to be totally honest here. I have no idea what I'm doing. There I've said it. I have absolutely no idea what I think I am doing. But even more surprising than that. I am OK with it. Me and the unknown have somehow come to some sort of peace, and have decided to walk in tandem through this journey of life, and not nit pick at each other the whole way. Everyone knows that I am a performer. It is not just what I do, but it is who I am. But recently I have been tossing around the idea of where it should fit in my life. Should it be my career or my hobby? Should I continue to work locally as a professional or should I submit to other regional theatres and risk uprooting myself again? Do I want to move to the city in a year or is that still way out of reach? Is this even what I want anymore? I mean I have another great opportunity right in front of me as a Marketing Director and all that other really big corporate title talk.. and I love it. But can I really have both?

As I watched performance after performance my heart began to scream at my "you fool this is what you were made for. This is your purpose." But my head kept saying "You have more than one purpose, and do you really think that you can continue to keep up?" As my heart and head battled in the front seat of the car I sat in the back and just listened to all the beautiful sights and sounds that were being offered to me on this award shows. What I saw in every frame and every camera shot was joy. The joy of performing. The joy of theatre. The joy of remembering. The joy of achievement. But most of all the joy of sharing emotion with everyone else in the room, and having the guts to stand there and say "look at me, I am human. I want you to watch me live." That's when I figured it out. I am not what I do as a profession. I am a person who chooses to live life every day and say "Look at me, I am human. Watch me live." I mess up a lot. And by a lot I mean ALL THE TIME. I know that I don't have it right. But I certainly don't have it wrong. I have life. And I hope that I never forget that.

What I am trying to say is that I know that there is a place for me. I may not know where it is, but I am confident that I have one, and when I find it, I'll know. It's a beautiful place I'm sure. However, what I do know is that the journey to this beautiful place is just as spectacular. And you want to know what the best part is? I don't have to do it alone anymore. For so long... so very long I thought I had to be the strong one and do this for myself, by myself. But one of the beautiful lessons I have learned while growing up these past six months is that I am certainly not alone. I have some of the most beautiful people in the world that God has given me to hold my hand while we find where we fit. So hold my hand and we're halfway there. Hold my hand and I'll take you there. There's a place for us.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Just Live Until I Die

I want to be a hero. Instead I wait for someone to come save me. I want to change the world. Instead I wait to be told what to do. I want to believe in more than just you and me. But I can't even look at the reflection in the mirror. I want to have my fairytale. But I let reality convince me they don't exist. I want to be extraordinary. But I settle for just OK. I want to rule the world. But I can't even rule my own life. I want to take control. But when I look around all I see is chaos. I want to be loved. But how can I allow someone to love me when I can't even say that I love myself. I want to be "enough" in the eyes of the ones I love. But how will I truly ever know what enough is. I want to be a dreamer. But I always let reality wake me back up. I want to just be. But I never just want to exist.

Have you ever thought any of these things before? I know that I have... I mean obviously since I am the hand that wrote them. This paragraph makes me sick, because it's what's wrong. With what you ask? With everything. It's what's wrong with the way we prioritize what's important. It's what's wrong with how we give advice. It's what's wrong with how we raise our children. It's what's wrong with how we run our government. It's what's wrong with how we love this beautiful world full of immaculate people that were created out of pure love just for us. My hands are shaking with emotion as I write all of this out.. and that hasn't' happened for me in a long time. This is what I truly feel deep down. That we put on a face, a veneer, a show even for the world and we never get down to what we really feel and think and need. And trust me. I know all about putting on a show. It's my life. And unfortunately I know how to do it all too well.

This weekend I have been doing a lot of thinking and a lot of procrastinating. I have been thinking about basically everything that has been going on for me recently and have been procrastinating with everything I need to be doing to keep up. I began to think about these relationships I have been building with people. And how happy I am now that I've done it. But deep down I know that I am still holding back. I am showing them the Courtney I already know that everyone will love. The performance Courtney, the surface Courtney. So then I began to wonder what would happen if I changed the plot of the show, and came out as the less sparkly version of myself. Instead of having all of these beautiful production numbers backing me up, what if all I had was a simple stool, the ghost light, and my words. And what about my list? What if I came at it with simple determination to get it done to the best of my ability, not with the absurd idea that it has to be perfect. That I have to be perfect. It doesn't work that way. And if it has worked for you, please, write a book about it so that I can tell you that you're wrong.

So as I have been sitting here on my bed. I began to wonder. I HATE wondering. I want to know. Knowledge has always been my friend. My power. My back up plan. Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we sabotage everything wonderful we have going for us with a simple smile and a complacent attitude? What happened to the fight for what we really want instead of this settling for what we are told? Why do we wait for someone to save us when we know that we can save ourselves? Or, why can't we realize that we don't really need to be saved, that we just need to live. Keith Haring, one of the greatest artists and humans I have had the pleasure of studying put it perfectly when he wrote in his journal, "I only wish that I could have more confidence and try and forget all my silly preconceptions, misdirections, and just live. Just live. Just. Live. Just live until I die."
-Keith Haring.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

If You Just Smile

I woke up this morning fully prepared to go through the motions of my work week. You know, living in the rut I have happily created for myself, and completely satisfied to stay confined within it. I had no expectations of greatness. I knew that I would wake up, get ready, go to work, and then come home. Very simple. Very mundane. Very routine. I had no intention of having a day to write home about, but that's the fun thing about life, it finds you when you least expect it.

In fact, today was more of a down day for me. I woke up not feeling well, and ended up having to pep talk my way to work, because that's what adults do. They go to work even when they don't feel like it. Once I got to work there were piles and piles of things on my desk that needed to be done, and done today. I knew that it was going to be not only a daunting task, but probably and impossible one. I watched $210.00 go down the drain as I paid for my speeding ticket over the phone (at the VERY last minute might I add) and learned that I have to take a four hour traffic course to keep my insurance down. I stayed over time to try and attempt to finish my back logged work and still didn't even come close. I gave myself a migraine. I had to pay another bill. By the time I got home not only did I really not want to talk to anyone, I wanted to sit in my room alone and pout. For the rest of the night. But leave it to my loved ones to come to the rescue, even when they have no idea that they are doing it.

My Shannon decided that tonight we would be having a movie night. I recently found her a job through the employment agency I work for and we are both already worn out from work this week. So we decided that along with just enjoying each other's company, we could relax and just watch a Disney movie. These plans were made when I wasn't jaded by life, so by the time I had become completely sour I wanted so desperately to just stay home, but I couldn't day no to Shan. So after procrastinating as much as humanly possible I hopped in my car and drove to her house, armed with Aladdin and a not so great attitude. I figured I would cheer up when I got there somehow, but if I didn't she would understand.

When I got to her house I was surprised to see that Dawn was already there, another "new" fun friend in my life. They were just chillin out in her room watching youtube videos. So I just joined in. Soon I was hearing myself laugh. Cackle even. Then I felt that pain in my stomach that is only caused when you can't catch your breathe because you are laughing so hard. Tears stung my eyes. And it wasn't really anything spectacular that we were laughing at. We were all just bent over in a fit of giggles, and it was the best cure for a poor attitude ever. That and donuts. You can't forget about the donuts.

Soon there were several more people that joined us at Shannon's house... she's a popular gal and we all like to get together when we can. More of my new and favorite people came, and there were even some people there I hadn't met yet. As the group grew, so did the laughter. Soon it was way past my bedtime, and I wasn't even concerned. I was laughing. A lot. And with the people I most want to share laughter with... and I was even making more friends. I soon realized that I had been without my phone the entire night (which is a HUGE thing for me) because all of the people I would be begging my phone to tell me that they had called were already sitting next to me. For those few hours the only concern I had was making sure that I breathed in between fits of laughter.

However, at some point I had to be responsible and go home because tomorrow is a work day. After saying goodbye to everyone, I jumped in my car and began the easy drive home. While sitting there in silence I marveled at how simple it was to turn my day around. Life is too short to just get by. Each day is precious, why settle for routine? Find some way to surprise yourself. Life shouldn't just live in the middle, and every day you should find the excuse to just smile, and if at all possible share that smile with someone else.