A Big Life: Encouragement for People in the Arts –
Life this year has been hard.
Not because I am unloved or don’t have friends.
Not because I do not have family who will come and help me if I am ill or in trouble.
Not because of my career or my health or my financial situation.
Objectively speaking, all of these things are going well.
But none of these things look quite the same as they did at this time last year.
(It’s difficult to let go of the old and embrace the new.)
Lately I’ve been having scary conversations with people I love about how I really feel about them. Worrying about people who don’t seem to want to stay in my life. Wondering why the people who have known me the longest seem to understand me the least. Maybe it’s because those people have too many memories of how I used to be. Or impressions which were false which became imbedded over time.
I wonder if it is because people sometimes become so close they can’t really see you?
Some people say that friendships come and go with the seasons. I hate that idea. It doesn’t seem fair when people go. I think friends should remain committed. But it doesn’t really matter what I think. It only matters what I am becoming.
Most people in my life think of me as a strong-willed person. I am not.
I am a people pleaser.
Veteran performer Kevin Bacon says, “Most actors want to have the world look at us and love us, and those who say that that’s not really a driving force for them, I don’t believe.” I think this is accurate. Most of my life I have felt like if there is a problem, the problem must be me. This turns out to be a longstanding mistaken core belief of mine. What I am now learning is that some people have limited capacities for handling things. This means that if someone criticizes my personality, the problem may well lie there. It doesn’t mean the problem is me.
At the moment my life seems to be a quiet time of self-reflection after many storms. Without the usual people bolstering me up, I have begun to feel the pain I had been avoiding due to years of relying on others to help me share the burden. But after tears often comes euphoria. And after pain comes joy. That is something I haven’t felt in a while. Contentment, yes. Anguish, certainly. But joy? That childlike delight I felt in my youth? I’d almost forgotten what that is like. And yet I feel its stirrings.
It will be worth the wait.