"We do what we do because of who we are. If we did otherwise, we would not be ourselves.”
School is fun, and school is interesting. In the span of eight days I saw five plays, two movies, and an improv show, the total cost of which was barely more than a few hours’ pay at my current job (would have been less, but that POS Avatar ate about half that cost). I love that my chosen career path is completely coincident with a medium primarily designed and utilized for entertainment. Due to the nature of a Theatre degree, I have the opportunity to explore everything I do, see, and read under the guise of intellectual stimulation. I can’t imagine having more fun exploring every facet of any entity other than this. I decided to pursue a career in art for three reasons: to entertain, to educate, and to inspire – not necessarily in that order. I adore that I get all three aspects fulfilled every day.
But this path has not been without challenge. My personal life and academic explorations are bouncing my identity around like a pinball in a machine. Over and over I’m being diverted from my usual pattern of habits into the exploration of the physical, emotional, and intellectual trifecta that comprise that which I call myself. I’m learning about which traits combine to make me who I am, many of which I had no idea I had. A small example – I’m a highly analytical person who intellectualizes, plans, and prepares for every conceivable situation regardless of the likelihood of its occurrence. I rarely, if ever, respond instinctively and/or emotionally to any circumstance. Additionally, I attempt to control nearly every situation I’m in, trying to bend the world to my will, instead of responding and adapting to the situations set before me.
I never would have considered myself such a person if asked; but once pointed out to me, this became as obvious to me as it has been to those who have known me several years, or just a few weeks. I quickly came to realize I didn’t mind these things; I’ve accomplished a lot in life, and I can attribute many of those successes to these aspects of my nature. But my instructors have all illustrated that these very things that give me strength are the things which can (and do) harm me just as easily, especially when it comes to achieving the end goals of bringing truth and reality into my acting. And one of my oldest and dearest friends shared that as long as she’s known me, it is these sides of myself that have been at the root of some of the greatest pains, miseries, and failures of my life – especially as it relates to my relationships. My last one most especially.
And these are just the revelations of the last seven days. Not to mention those qualities of myself that I knew already, some I’ve embraced and some I have not, that have caused just as much harm as they have assistance from the birth of my sentience to this very afternoon.
Now I’m beginning to question who and what I am, who and what I need to be to lay a solid grasp on my greatest dreams. I need to balance the emotional with the intellectual. I need to embrace chaos and allow it to offset my predisposed order. I need to display some fucking adaptability, Shaftoe. And in the meantime, a little aspect of me sits on my shoulder and watches me change into something other than myself. It is confusing. It is terrifying. It is sorrowful as things alter, wither, and pass, and it is wonderful as new stabilizing factors form to take their place in the new way of things.
The world changes around us all the time; through the choices we make, the influences of individuals, of groups, of accidents of nature and of acts of God, and a combination of all of these. Add to that our attitudes and reactions to it all, and it’s a wonder we don’t go crazy. Sometimes we do. But in the end I have been taught (and I strongly believe) that one must change, or die. You’ll live longer – and happier – if you increase the limitations of how much you let yourself change.