The demons that hide
in my head,
pull them out
smash them dead;
The devils that scheme
in my heart,
lure them out
rip them apart;
The poison that flows
through my veins,
draw it out
boil it away;
The darkness that clouds
my own eyes,
burn it away
with holy light;
Bless my body,
purify my soul,
sanctify my spirit,
make me whole;
The evil inside
Clear it from me,
Let me walk this earth
as a being, free.
As of yesterday, I have been at my new position for two months. I try and find words to describe the past sixty days, but I seem to be at a loss as so much as happened. Just looking at the number ‘60’ makes me realize how fast time has flown by. Has it really only been 60 days since I was in LA, working three part time jobs, struggling to figure out where I was headed? It seems like a lifetime ago (though my flair for the dramatic tends to elongate the time frame between events that were even only a weekend ago).
It’s hard to absorb the days, reflect as each passes, feel as if I’ve made each count for something. I get up early, I stay at work late, I make it home, eat, exercise, and fall into bed in the dark evening hours, only to begin the cycle six hours later. There’s something comforting in the routine though, accomplishing things that must be done and then some. I was able to hit the ground running and be effective immediately. Despite the break neck speed, I’ve finally found my place in the machine, and seen where I can also improve other areas. I feel that my contributions are valued, and that in itself make me confident about the work i’m doing, regardless of how out of my depth I am (my knowledge of hardware and startups and engineering is at a novice level at best).
And yet I feel like time is just slipping away from me as I run to keep up with what I’m doing at work, what I’m trying to do in my free time, what I should be planning to do but have no time. The current struggle is finding the work/life balance, considering work takes most of my time, and even invades the few precious hours on the weekend I want to save for other projects. Ultimately though, the ‘work/life’ balance phrase is misleading in itself, as work is part of life. It should be more…work/free time balance, but that sounds even more awkward and far from the actual meaning of the idea.
I’ve never been good at saying ‘no’. I’ve never been good at separating myself from a job. I always feel as though I have to be ‘on’, even when I don’t need to be. Perhaps it’s not even saying ‘no’; it’s giving myself permission to go from break neck speed to a natural run. But it’s something I have to do if I’m to budget my time wisely between all of the different projects I have planned in my head. Work at a fast pace, be efficient with my time, so I get everything I have to done and then extra.
But who isn’t plagued by these same concerns? We all have dreams we want desperately to realize. Of course, they don’t just happen; the opportunities only present themselves if you have created circumstances for them to appear.
Perhaps these are words that I tell to comfort myself regarding acting and the performing arts. If there is one singular thing I desperately miss, it’s acting. My mother, father, significant other, and friends tell me over and over again that it’s not over, that my passion for the performing arts isn’t dying a quiet death. And I struggle to hold onto that. I struggle to believe that I will be able to inundate myself with it again in the future, with the world of entertainment. To live, breathe, feel the sparks of creativity in the air, see the massive opportunities in the future, believe everything will somehow work out how I imagine it. But how do you keep the hope when sun up to sun down your day is work-filled and finding the time to search for acting opportunities seems small to nonexistent?
I realize these thoughts are probably no different than the average twenty-somethings who themselves are searching for meaning. But I guess that’s what this is all about. This being life. Finding out what’s most important, what we most desire, crave, need to survive, live, and thrive.
And so we go on with time. Fighting to fill every single second productively, pushing towards who we aspire to be.
What a week it’s been.
Last Wednesday, I was offered a position. Tuesday, I began working remotely. Yesterday, I packed my car with some clothes and drove up the state. Today, I have my first day in the office.
It’s strange to think that last week, at this time, I knew my life would be completely different, but I had no visual conception of what it would look like. No conception of what it would feel like.
Two weeks ago, I was eagerly counting the hours until my boyfriend flew in to LA so we could spend the weekend together in Palm Springs. No thoughts about a new career. Just hoping that one of my interviews would pan out.
People say that life can change in a split second. Of course, you never really think it’s going to happen to you in that fashion. It happens to other people. A chance meeting. A wrong turn and an accident. An opportunity from being at the right place at the right time.
But it does happen. One voicemail can change your whole trajectory. Sitting on a cushion, looking into the distance at a city skyline, listening to a woman’s voice and hearing the words you’ve been dreaming of for so long. The moment is surreal; a mix of emotions of relief, dread, excitement, anxiety, nervousness, happiness, joy. The view in front of you becomes distorted like an impressionist painting, and you feel a few drops fall down your cheeks. And in that moment, time just stops. The words echo in your ears. Your body shivers, your shoulders shake. And at the end of that one infinitesimal second, you truly understand the word ‘gratitude’.
And a week later, you are beginning a new journey. Here’s to a new chapter.
Last week, out of the blue, my manager called me up and said she had an audition for me the next day for a pilot. I felt two things simultaneously: excitement and dread. Excitement because I’ve never gone out for a pilot before, dread because it’s been a couple months since I’ve auditioned for anything and I didn’t want to blow it.
Of course at the root of the dread, was fear. Fear of performing poorly. Fear of angering a large ego and getting majorly chewed out. Fear of the unknown. And that fear grew and grew inside me as I thought about the audition.
Some part of my brain knew that this was happening. And so I sought out my Mom for some advice and a way to kick the fear in the balls. As I explained to her what I was feeling in the most monotone voice possible (for at this point in time I started to get emotional), I could feel the walls closing in an a wave of despair drowning me.
All the while the rational part of my brain recognized that this would be one blip on the timeline of my life. However, emotions are powerful things.
My mother has been an eyewitness through my transitional journey for the past two years, from acting to this new job hunting stretch. She’s seen me struggle and panic and cheer. Especially with these past few months as I wrestle with finding a fulfilling career with the intention of still pursuing acting and not feeling as though i’m abandoning my dream. Essentially, she told me that this was an opportunity, like anything else, like any job I might be offered. That I needed to enjoy this moment because that is one of the reasons I fell in love with acting: the fun of the craft. And through that fun, I would stretch myself and facilitate the creative process, generating something to be proud of.
So I memorized the sides, and practiced that night as well as the following morning. I went to the audition, went over the lines again and again until I was called in. And I nailed it. I know this also since the casting directors both said I did a great job.
I’m so glad I talked to my mom, put my head in the game, and went to the audition.
Life is all about overcoming fear and stretching yourself. Because that’s where we grow, and where we can triumph.
“A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown.” - Denis Waitley