Yesterday was a day.
The day started with horses. I had a brilliant lesson where I finally found my confidence on the horse after about a year away from riding, and I was cantering like a pro. Cut to the later morning, where I met up with my dear friend after almost a week and a half of distance. Mind you, this is the friend I got in a fight with back at the party I discussed awhile ago. We managed to have a pretty swell breakfast followed by a day of hanging in the sun and baseball. Then the evening approached, and my play reading company ran into some issues, only to be troubleshooted by an idea I had to share something special with the more intimate group that really me put me on the spot. The night ended at my favorite bar where I ran into my dear bartender who had asked me to the opera only a few nights previous. Oh, and did I mention the power went out somewhere in the middle of all of this? Oh, and somewhere in all of this I somehow forgot it was the last day of February.
Ok. So needless to say, yesterday was a day. A day full of surprises, joy, closure, fulfillment, acceptance, fear, and love. It was the first day in a very long time I felt connected to myself. I felt the flow of my spirit rushing through me and once again felt connected to the energy that propelled me to create and focus and transform myself at the start of the year. I ended the month of February exactly where I wanted to be; open and ready for March. Not full of disdain or fear or pain or disconnection, but fully present and fully capable.
Yesterday was a day full of decisions. More decisions that I've had to make than I can ever remember.
I will recap a condensed version of the decision making I went through yesterday to shed some light on why I found this to be so important. And for time sake, I'm actually going to bullet point this one.
- Horses: I had to decide if I was going to be in control or let the horse be in control. Often when you are riding, especially in group lessons, it is hard to feel confident because not only are you being yelled at across a field by a teacher, but you're also next to other riders of all different skill level. I know what I am doing, but having to perform on the spot with another living thing can be daunting. But yesterday I settled into my saddle and had to decide that I really did know what I was doing and would be in sync with my horse to really excel at each skill. I rode a new horse named Barney and I could feel our connection. It was stronger that the other horses I have ridden. He trusted me. So I cantered across the field no problem and felt the freedom I'm sure the cowboys of the wild west felt. I was soaring. He was free. Together, we decided to fly.
- Breakfast: So I wrote a little bit about how I got into a fight with a friend at the party we held about a little while ago. Well, this is is one of my best friends. He is the person I turn to in every emotion. He and I have a little history, but our story is a unique one. Unrequited feelings, immersion of friend groups, tiffs and apologies...it's a story. But one thing that I have always trusted is that he is my best friend for a reason. He sees me as I am and loves me regardless. Despite popular opinion (my own included at one point) that we may be toxic for each other, he isn't someone I want to walk away from. So I had to decide if we would meet up alone and have breakfast together, considering the fact that not much time had passed since we agreed to have some space. I had, just the day before, gone to my other friends with tears in my eyes as I described the discomfort I had been feeling since the party. The thing is, I projected onto my other friends what I was feeling inside. It had nothing to do with them. I was confused about what I wanted. Which is something my girl friend pointed out. I had to accept this. I didn't know what I wanted. So naturally, because I am a little masochistic and forever curious, I agreed to meet for breakfast. And I am happy I did. The minute I saw him, the flood gates opened and I was purely honest. I admitted everything I felt. Not to the point of giving away my power, but seeing him made me realize what I wanted. I wanted him in my life and I wanted my power back. So I took it. I took the time we had together and revealed everything I felt and thought so that nothing was unspoken. And as I hoped it would, we both felt clarity. We both felt love again. Sure, we may be toxic some times, but we've already fought, it's already reached its threshold. All that is left now are lessons. Lessons we are both willing to learn. Lessons that we want to share. So I decided to show up, speak up and not please anymore people except myself. Something that is extremely hard for me to do. The same girl friend was straight up with me when she told me I am a people pleaser. This is a tough one for me, because in my heart I know she is right. But as I've grown older, I thought I had grown past this. I don't believe I am the kind of person who will so willingly sacrifice myself simply to 'please' other people. I mean look at the things I admit on here, I don't live in a way where I have to avoid or keep parts of myself hidden, which I believe is another form of people pleasing. I don't put on a tough front all the time and hide my emotions, another form. I don't sweep things under the rug as a way of saying 'that's just how it is' because that is people pleasing too. None of this is bad. It's normal. It's human. But everyone has their own way of people pleasing. Mine is that I like everyone to get along. I like everyone to feel included and seen, because I know what it feels like to be on the opposite end. I know what it feels like to be swept under the rug, so I guess I am a people pleaser. I just had to decide what kind I would be. So I did. Which led to a beautiful day spent together playing baseball and talking and working side by side.
- Work: This decision was a tough one. Without going deep, I suddenly have a few acting offers on my plate. As if I woke up and the universe said 'you're ready' now work. I am so grateful and excited about these opportunities, there's just a little issue. Saying yes to all of these things means investing pretty much all of time for the next four months which somewhat intereferes with some personal projects that have gained momentum. The decision was presented to me: do I accept these offers and push back my personal projects? I didn't know! What if my personal project loses its focus because I am now focused on other things? What if the people involved in my personal projects lose steam? What if these projects I accept aren't that good?! Now remember, I don't live in what if's. I live in the present. So I decided to reach out to my team, use my resources, flip a coin, and see how I felt. Nothing gave me clarity. Not until I was sitting on my bed. I had just finished a mountain of make up work I had missed while being sick, my dear friend was sitting across from me as I worked, and it hit me. I had asked for all of this. I pray every morning to my source for opportunities that will elevate me in this world and open me up to being the artist I know I am. And here I was, with a plethora of options and I didn't know what to do? So I took a deep breath and I decided. I said yes to the projects and I made it known to the people involved in mine that it was going to work out. We would find a way and everything would work out because it always does. So now with two professional gigs under way and a personal project that fills my soul taking up whatever free time I will have, I knew I was being challenged to be the artist I claim to be.
- Pan Plays: So every week I host a play reading group at my house. We gather, drink, converse, and read either an original or older script from plays/movies/tv/etc. I love this group of people, as the same people have pretty much solidifed the group. We have fun and flex our acting muscles in a comfortable setting. The only issue is, finding scripts. It isn't easy to have scripts available to a large group of people without taking a lot of time either scanning or somehow downloading scripts online. Needless to say, it's been the only snag in the operation, but we are working it out. Well yesterday, maybe a half hour before the group gathered, I realized we didn't have a script. All the scripts I had access to on my computer were not able to be shared with others or the script was incomplete. I hadn't noticed this earlier because I was so busy playing catch up that I figured it was all good. So I panicked. I looked at my friend and we brainstormed as much as we could with the small time we had left. If you saw me you could probably actually see the gears in my head spinning. Then it hit me. I had one script I knew I could use. One full script that I could easily share. It was the first episode to the series I created. No one had seen this besides the few that have worked on it. We are casting this series next week. Needless to say, this is my baby and I would be revealing it to the world for the first time. So I decided to go for it. I decided to trust that this was happening for a reason and to use this opportunity to help my project and to help me. I would use the play reading gang as a focus group and use their input in refining my story. Not to mention we had a new addition to the group last night; a girl that I have admired for a very long time. In college, she was the girl I looked up to. The kind of girl I knew I wasn't but always wanted to be. She had her shit together and created things that had influence. And here she was, sitting in my living room and being one of the first people to read my work. Had it not been for her work, I probably would've never created mine. So needless to say, some synchronicity at work. So fast forward to the reading. I decided who would play who and off we went. And I have to admit, it was one of the most fulfilling and scary things I've ever done. Hearing other people say, laugh, love and bring life to my and my co writers words was a gift. The group was impressed. They raved. They wanted more. They offered insights into places where there was an opportunity for more. They accepted it and embraced it and they liked it. I almost cried when i heard another person read my words. I won't give it away but there is a speech in the script that is a direct speech I have given before. It was so moving to have my idea and my life brought out through other people. I had decided to share and expose myself and I am fucking glad I did. This project demands to be made and this was a big step in me accepting that. Oh, and midway through the reading, my power went out, and the entire group stayed in the darkness to finish the session. I mean...not only can I say I have good friends, but the project compelled them to stay in darkness and persevere. If that is not a sign, I don't know what the hell to be looking for then.
- The Bar: So I go to the same bar pretty much all the time, to the point where I know the bartenders pretty well. One of them recently caught me on a good night where I asked him to hang out outside of the bar. Sure, this is risky, as you don't want to compromise your working relationship with your favorite bartender. But I couldn't shake the feeling he and I could be real friends. So this past weekend, he invited me to the opera. This is something I have always wanted to do, but something stopped me from going. I was sick yes, but there was something deeper. A fear. So last night after all of the chaos of the day, my friends and I ended up at the bar and I knew he would there. We got in without seeing him, and I realized I was actually avoiding him. Something hit me that this was not the way to handle the situation. This is not who I wanted to be. So I decided to go straight to the bar and face him. He was surprised to see me as I had told him I was sick only a few days before. Which, I was, but clearly I had a little more life than I had described. And to my surprise, he was totally cool. In fact he even gave me a little 'medicine' to make me feel better. And in that moment, I realized my decision to face him and not be a coward about declining his invitation didn't mean we wouldn't have a second chance. It didn't mean I would fear our friendship. It didn't mean I had to now be cautious in my favorite spot. It meant I had to please myself and do what I thought was right. And I did. And now we have plans for the future, and I can't wait. Oh, and I did run into the bar and knock some things over as I tried to gracefully walk away...karma?
Ok ok, so you probably get the picture. I had a lot on my plate yesterday. I was put in a position to have to decide what I wanted in my life. For the better of a week now, I have been in the dark. I didn't trust my feelings and I didn't know what it was I truly wanted to put my focus on. I cursed February as it appeared to be a month of confusion and disconnection and change. But the funny part about not realizing that yesterday was the last day of the month, was that I had learned its lessons. I had changed. Maybe the people around me did too, but it was me the entire time. I let myself believe the circumstances and the relationships around me were to blame, but it was me that was changing. I was growing. And there's no blame to give in this. It just is. But knowing now that I was the one evolving makes it all feel a little better. That the last day provided me clarity, purity, joy, understanding and love. That all the decisions I had to make, though arduous and aggravating at the time, were meant to be made exactly when they came up.
Decision making has always been tough for me. I like to have my cake and eat it too; a quality that has gotten me in trouble over the years. I've learned to curtail it as I've grown up, but ultimately, it's the act of growing up that I often have trouble deciding on. Growing up is pretty objective thing to me. I don't see others experience the same as me, and if they do, they don't talk about it. But I am very aware of 'growing up', 'being an adult', or 'maturing'. It's because I am so in touch with the child in me that it is hard for me to make decisions that have me move away from that child. The adult scares me a bit, and yet it is the thing I have always been running towards. I've always possessed this maturity and this awareness, but the child in me craves the simplicity of connection and fun. But I had fun yesterday. I had fun being a grown up. Because it meant something more.