“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy shit…what a ride! ― Hunter S. ThompsonAnyone who knows me will vouch for my next statement:
I am a proponent for people getting help when they need it. I'm not talking about lazy folks - I'm talking about people who have gone as far as they can to help themselves and need additional assistance to overcome a challenge. The type of challenge doesn't matter - it can be physical, relationship, business, mental, or whatever other obstacles plant themselves in our respective paths. If you need help, go get it from a loved one, an acquaintance, or an expert. Whatever it takes for you to become a better "you."
Some of my readers are not from Los Angeles, so I'll tell you this - in L.A., having a therapist is no big deal. Most of the people that I know have either been- or are currently going to therapy (I swear it's not because of me). And honestly, a great many of the folks that haven't been, really need to go (you know who you are). I have been going to therapy off & on since college. Whenever I hit a snag in my life that I can't figure out and that nobody I know personally can help me untangle, I go get professional help. Once I've worked it out, I stop going to therapy and continue down the road.
I've said all of that to say this:
In the past couple of months, two trusted and valued friends (both fellow Sagittarians, for some reason) have taken a look at all of the things that I have going on in my life and asked me, in a nutshell, what I'm "running from by keeping so busy."
I took a serious look at my life from their points of view, and I get it. I run my acting career (and ALL that it entails), I coach and guide other actors, I paint, I write, I just directed a short in a play festival, I paint, I'm in class, I build websites, I've started sewing again, occasionally I do production work...
not to mention PERSONAL stuff like going to the gym, personal appointments, and nurturing personal relationships.
Oh, I get it.
And I say this KNOWING for certain that I'm not in denial or hiding anything (just go with me here)-
I LOVE WHAT I DO, so it usually doesn't feel like "work."
Is it tough? YES! Is it the drudgery I felt when I was stuck in corporate America, wondering how badly it would hurt if I were able to hurl myself from one of the hermetically sealed windows?
I was miserable during that time. I woke up miserable and went to bed miserable every day except Friday evening, because I knew I had 2 days of "freedom." Saturday evening found me unhappy because I know Sunday had to be devoted to getting ready for 5 more days of drudgery. There wasn't a monetary figure for which I would continue to trade my life away, bit by bit. Blood-droplet by blood-droplet. I hated my life, and I didn't know how to fix it. I was ready to live in my car just so I didn't have to continue down the path that I was on. Thankfully, it never came to that. I went to therapy, got really clear about what I wanted and didn't want, and headed in that direction.
I feel so blessed, privileged, and honored to be in a position to indulge my creative pursuits FULL TIME, that most days I operate as if I were shot out of a cannon. I steal as many much-needed little moments as I can for myself (not many) by taking a nap or turning off my phone for awhile. Or staying up until 4AM when I know nobody is gonna call or expect me to do anything. I might fall ill and be on my deathbed tomorrow - I hope not, but it could happen. Should that happen, just know that I squeezed every single drop of juice that I could out of this life. I go, go, go, until my body says no, no, no. I rest up, and then I go, go, go again. I'm doing my best to find balance, but, honestly, most days I fail. I am working on this part.
I create because I HAVE to. Acting, writing, making stuff... all art comes from the same place: the need to create and express. That part is easy. It's IN me, just like it's in ALL artists. The tough part is commercializing that art. I've grown fond of indoor plumbing and having a roof and walls to protect me from the elements, so I have to sell my art without selling my soul. If I can't sell my art, I either have to whore myself out (figuratively or literally), or go back to the drudgery that I knew before.
And I can NOT do that, so if I'm running, it's literally for my life.
I can't think of a better reason to run.
So, for now, for this, I don't need therapy.
I may not be where I want to be, but I'm sure as hell not where I was.