Block 195: September 7, 2013

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I bought a ticket to see Sleep No More again. (It’ll be my sixth trip!) Y’all should expect a few red Cranes in the upcoming days…

Date: September 7, 2013

Crane: 195

Days Spent on Project: 202

Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC

Person I would have sent it to: Jonathan B.

Jonathan, the first year that I worked at the National High School Institute, was the Dorm Director for the Theater Arts division. It was his job to teach us the rules, so we could enforce them- keeping 150 sixteen and seventeen year old high schoolers who were gathered to study acting can get a little, um… trying sometimes.

The rules to follow were plentiful: when the dorm was locked for the night, when the floors were strictly “boys only” or “girls only,” when to use the cafeteria, when to patrol the halls, etc. The idea, of course, was to keep these kids safe; after all, we were reminded that their parents were trusting us to watch over them for five weeks just outside of Chicago.

Jonathan not only did that job wonderfully, but he also taught Voice and Movement classes in the morning. I never had the chance to take, or watch, one of those sessions, but people bragged that they were intense.

Jonathan would always, every summer, somehow get the reputation of being a former Ninja.

He eventually would take a job teaching at a different university, which I believe he still has. He’s also started a business that’s grown quite a bit- he makes Commedia Dell’Arte masks. It’s pretty successful, from what I understand. In fact, a few years ago, when I worked with a director on a Shakespeare that wanted to have a Commedia feel about it, she showed me pictures of his work.

Funny how small the world can be, at times.

Music I listened to while sewing: I’ve got Adele on this morning.

Did you know there are a few dance remixes of her music? Weird, yes, but awesome at the same time.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: A friend posted this on Facebook yesterday…

“Forgive. Forget. Fake it. Chin up. Wear lipstick, make lists, make sure your voicemail isn’t full. Mix protein shakes, send timely thank you notes, sip drinks more slowly, stare at adults’ eyebrows, smile without dimples, develop perfect posture. Be gracious, be kind, eliminate self-pity. Look in the mirror and shift your internal monologue from ‘How do I look?’ to ‘This is my face,’ from ‘What the hell am I doing?’ to ‘This is my life.’ Capitalize your emails, read the news, walk briskly, stay focused, and never, ever let on that you are somewhat lost and sometimes lonely and so completely confused (and would someone please just let me know what it is I’m supposed to do next, where exactly I’m supposed to go–). Just keep going. Go, and do not stop.”

Jennifer Schaffer, A Checklist For The Age 19

The sentiment is nice, but I don’t agree with it in totality. I think we do need to question “What the hell am I doing?” I think we need to ask that question frequently. Yes, there are certain realities we all need to own up to… This is my life: I work in theater; I’m poor; I live in NYC; I have student debt; My freelance career isn’t steady; I have an awesome dog which means I have responsibilities outside myself; I’m in my mid-30s which means I can’t play like a 25 year old easily anymore; I’m not always happy; I’m single; and so on.

Sure, this is my life, but… really… what the hell am I doing? There’s a maturity in accepting the reality of life, and there is also a strength in taking the time to examine what you’re doing and where you’re going. Maybe it’s the freelancer in me, but you can always make a move. At the very least, you own your life. Embrace that.

And secondly, I think there is a certain power in acknowledging and even admitting that you sometimes do feel lost and lonely. I think if more people accepted that they feel that way, that in essence we all do, the world really would be a very different place. (Take a moment today, maybe while you’re waiting in line for coffee or walking your dog or standing in a bookstore or whatever you have planned to do today in public, and think about how everyone around you has felt lost and lonely. Think about how someone near you, right then, might be feeling lost and lonely. Just think about that, you know?) I know how often I feel lost and lonely. It can sometimes be humbling…

Yes, keep going. Never stop moving. Keep working and embracing your life and taking an active part in your world and the world around you, but remember to open up and accept that it’s never gonna be perfect.

We don’t have to accept some things as they are. Some things can be adapted.

And being lost isn’t necessarily bad; it’s only how you react to being lost that’s problematic.

And, I’ve said this before, but being lonely is human. But it’s not a life-sentence. We can fix it.

Cheers.

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