Block 264: November 24, 2013



It’s 20 degrees outside. What the what?

Date: November 24, 2013

Crane: 264

Days Spent on Project: 281

Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC

Person I would have sent it to: Karen.

Karen was a first-hand in the Actors Theatre of Louisville costume shop. I believe she was over-hire during our busiest times of the season (usually the Humana Festival and maybe around the holidays), but was brought on as a full-time position my second year.

My second year, I wasn’t actually the design assistant anymore. I was hired as a stitcher, so I spent most of my time at sewing machine, amongst the ladies, learning about costume construction as I went. I honestly don’t know why they kept me on for that next year… did they like having me around? did they think I knew that much about sewing? did they realize I still didn’t know what direction to point my life in? did they know they had much more to teach me about theater and design and life before I left?

I don’t know. In ways, I’m incredibly grateful that they kept me on. Without that second year, I wouldn’t have met the one person who finally convinced me I could go to grad school for theater, I wouldn’t have become comfortable enough to want to leave, I wouldn’t have realized that I was too young to settle in. That second year, as emotionally turbulent as it started (I’ll get to that soon) and then continued to be, let me grow enough that I knew I had to go.

Now, some 11-12 years later, I want to go back.

Anyway, Karen and I got along quite well. During one of the first shows of the season, The Importance of Being Earnest, she really taught me the beauty of a well-executed and precise cross-stitch on a dress hem… and how long that can actually take when a period dress hem is HOW MANY YARDS LONG… and how basting a hem until you’re certain is sometimes necessary and a waste of time.

Karen was really nice. I wonder, looking back, how many of these women in that shop saw themselves as mother-figures to a guy who was 22 through 24 and obviously still learning.

Music I listened to while sewing: Based on my time listening to Fort Fairfield, Spotify has today recommended the artist Submotion Orchestra. I’m not sure they’re making me feel the same way, but nice attempt, Spotify.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block. Didn’t sleep much again last night. Was up until 3, thinking.

Got up at 7 to take The Dog out. When he realized how cold it was outside, he ran back in and went back to bed. I managed to get two more hours of sleep.

I’m just worried. That’s all there is to it. I’ll admit I do not feel secure in a variety of ways, and I’m at a point where I don’t know what else to do but keep trying. I’m also worrying that this is it: I’m 34 and thoroughly entrenched in what I do and how I live and… well, is this it? I want so much more- not just things like financial comfort; I’d love better friends, more consistent relationships, better self-esteem, and confidence. There was a time when I knew I was good and deserved “good;” I want that time back.

Here’s a quote, and I apologize that I can’t remember the person’s name who said it:

“Our job is not to say, “Look at her, she’s perfect!” That’s not our job; our job is to say, “You’re imperfect and you’re wired for struggle, but you’re worthy of love and belonging.”

You are enough.


3 thoughts on “Block 264: November 24, 2013

  1. I don’t mean to be a total pessimist, but screw those expectation blues… friends, relationships, family, career, self. What you do in your career is stunning to most of the rest of us. You talk of it as though it is just run of the mill. Run of the mill it is not! You’re not just rockin’, you are wailin’!

    • Thanks for the slap…

      I don’t think that makes you a pessimist at all! I think you’re just more of a realist, as opposed to my dashed-idealist right now. I think I’m still coming down from the fun I had in LA a week ago; I spent three solid days with friends, just enjoying myself and not worrying about work, networking, shopping, sewing, money, etc. It was glorious and made me want to find more of that attitude in New York. I’m trying!

      • Once you’ve experienced glorious… where can you go but more glorious? I was reading about Kaffe Fassett, one of my favorite designers of fabric, quilts, well nearly everything, and his partner Brandon Mably. How incredible to be so freaking talented and successful. I think you’re one of those guys who will rise to the top and not even realize it. I, for one, am hoping that for you!

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