I had dinner with my sister last night. We haven’t had much solo sister time in a while because she’s crazy busy (#successful) at her job right now—but it was like butter on my soul. She described her previous week and how exhausting it was—up at 5am and in bed no earlier than midnight, working as late as 10pm. Obviously this isn’t a sustainable way of life, but I found myself so proud, and also envious of her busy life. The past year has been one of space and emptiness. To clarify, I’ve been busy in odd ways—working 40 hours a week, practicing and auditioning, etc. But it all feels oddly empty and I often find myself sitting, knowing I could be doing 10,000 different things, and yet doing nothing.
Back up 10 years, and you’ll see that I ran my life on full blast. I think I attempted to cram a lifetime of learning and experience into the second decade (and a half) of my life. My sister so kindly pointed this out to me, and I realized, my body must want to slow down. And oh so fortunately for me, the timing of a fruitful musical theatre career is just taking its sweet time. I’ll refrain from saying I have no control, because that’s not true, eh? It also occurred to me how easy it is to use busyness as a crutch, or as a distraction from hurts and the empty space of being alone. It’s a simple task to revel in the act of getting things done, and checking things off your to do list to feel like you’re accomplishing something in life. But it’s a very complex thing, indeed, to simply sit in your own company and fill your being with peace and light and love!
My sister gave me a poem (because yeah, we do that) and a few lines really pierced my heart raw.
“I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it. I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your life from its presence. I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, ‘Yes’. It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments."
Oriah Mountain Dreamer
So, here's to embracing life and all the seasons that come our way as an opportunity for growth and learning—with a cheerful heart an' all.