Monday, July 09, 2007

Time Limits...

I flipped on the TV this morning to have some "background noise" while working on the breakdowns. Rachael Ray's show caught my eye because there was a woman in the audience who had moved to NYC to pursue her dreams of acting on Broadway. Her parents were trying to woo her back home (I missed the part that said where she was from) by offering to pay her grad school tuition and buy her a car. She asked the Rachael Ray show for advice (why, I'm not sure, since Rachael's show is a cooking show), and Rachael had an astrologer and her mother on the show to give advice to this woman. The astrologer said something about Jupiter being in some house and that she should give it 6 more months. Rachael's mom said that if the woman was asking the question, she must know that her time is up, then they asked her if she had given herself a time limit and she said that she had given herself 5 years, and this is year 4.

This made me start thinking...

when I told my mother I was going to pursue an acting career, she was outwardly supportive, but I think she was a bit disappointed that I wasn't going to go to law school and become a high-powered attorney, or become a foreign-language interpreter and work for the UN (both of which were careers I considered). She asked me how long I was going to give the acting thing. I didn't have an answer. I never planned on NOT getting what I wanted. After visiting New York, I decided to move to Los Angeles, sight unseen.

Now, 9 years later, I look back, having (finally) made some headway in my career. What if I had given myself a time limit? What would it have been? 5 years? 10? Would that have loomed over me like a circling vulture and sent me running home, or would it have made some things happen faster than they have? Who knows? Should people give themselves time limits? Personally, I don't think so. Why give yourself any limits at all? Why not just jump in, see what happens, and adjust accordingly. If you hate acting (or whatever you do) in 6 months, do something else. If you still love it (but haven't made a penny) after 20 years, keep doing it. I do think it's important to define success on your own terms, and allow your vision of success to be flexible so it can grow with you. There are some things that I wanted to do that I no longer want to do. There are other things that I NEVER thought I would want to do, that seem desirable to me now. Life is a living, breathing process, we are all works in progress and I think we need to be open to possibilities. I'm not talking about "loose morals" or "anything goes"--everyone has their own boundaries, of course, but why not push those boundaries out as far as possible to see how far you can go WITHOUT doing damage to yourself or anyone else? I'll tell you why we don't:


Fear of not being enough, fear of being "too much", fear of the unknown, fear of what people will think, what they will say, what they will do if...

Some fear is necessary. It keeps us from sitting down on a flaming barbecue pit or trying to pet the lions at the zoo. Fear of fire and fear of large, roaring animals with sharp teeth can keep you save. "If I wear red lipstick, people will stare at me." So? "If I try to have an acting career and it doesn't work, people will laugh at me." And?

I've had people say that I'm fearless. Uhhh...WRONG!! But I'm more afraid of being paralyzed by fear and regretting my inaction later, so I usually try to do things that scare me. I'm talking CALCULATED RISKS, y'all--not snake charming, lol. I am more afraid of looking back at the end of my life saying "I should have..." than saying "I tried it and it didn't work." This is one of the quotes I love:

"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."
--Anais Nin

Heavy for the morning, but necessary. Bye y'all, I gotta get to the breakdowns.


P.S.--Some woman just used her washing machine as a salad spinner. If any of you out there do that, and I find out you did, I will NEVER eat anything at your house. Ugh.

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