Tuesday, June 09, 2020

The world is changing, and so am I.

To be fair, everything is ALWAYS changing. Sometimes things change so slowly that we don't notice. Other times we see the changes and deny them in the name of "security" so that we can continue pretending to have some control over our lives.

That artifice has been stripped away and reality laid bare. We are not in control. We never were.

"Change is the only constant in life." - Heroclitus

Some thrive on routine, but I've always favored change. I remember how- when I was much younger- thoughts of a lifetime of 9-5 work hours loomed large like a prison sentence that systematically and routinely furloughed you just long enough to squeeze your life into evenings and weekend hours. I got caught up for a while, and was fortunate (and headstrong) enough to wriggle free. I am thankful. It wasn't where I belonged, and I don't know what would have become of me had I stayed.

I am an artist. Because I see nothing romantic about starving, I ply my various crafts for money to eat, keep a roof over my head, and enjoy a few creature comforts. I enjoy what I do enough to make peace with the parts that I don't like. My goal was always to "make a living as an actress." I've done it for a long time now, and several years ago, I realized I had nothing else to prove to myself on that front.  Over the past year, with the virality of the State Farm "She Shed" commercial, I've let go of my need to prove anything else to my family. They're proud of me, they can forever and ever tell people that their daughter/sister/niece is "She Shed Cheryl," and nobody ever tells me to "get a real job" anymore.  Hallelujah.

So now what?

Well... how about a pandemic to upend things, with a rebellion against racism thrown in for a little razzle-dazzle?

The last 18 months of my life have been busy beyond belief. I prayed for rest even as I opened my hands to receive blessings. I didn't want to be ungrateful, and I didn't want to be lazy, but I was so mentally and physically exhausted that I wondered if there was a different word for the level of fatigue that I was experiencing. I'd say "I'm really tired. I don't like being this busy." to friends and family, and the response was always a variation of "Be glad you're working." So I did the best that I could to keep pushing until I could find a clearing in which to rest, and resolved that when I wasn't tired anymore, I needed to find a new normal.

Enter, COVID-19. I have respiratory issues, so having just recovered from a 6-week long respiratory illness in late January & early February (with symptoms suspiciously similar to the coronavirus), I knew I needed to be safe. I stocked up on essentials, thanked my lucky stars that I already had a bidet, and self-isolated. That was 3 months ago, and while I hate that so many people are sick and dying, this is my "clearing." I just didn't expect- and never would have wanted- it to arrive this way.

It has taken me almost 3 months in self-isolation to get through my "to do" list, which shows how unsustainable it was to begin with. Season One of my show, "Sister President," should be complete within two days, and I will be happy to announce the premiere date as soon as it is. I see the light at the end of the tunnel, and feel the breeze that lets you know when you're near an opening.

There's a worldwide uprising taking place that I'm sure I'll write more about in later posts. It affects me viscerally, and right now I'm doing more listening and keeping watch than talking. I am not bored, I am not lonely, I am not pushing myself to the brink of exhaustion. I am examining myself, debriding wounds, and healing. I am honoring myself in ways that I haven't had the freedom to do in... ever, maybe.

Bring on the new normal. My hands and heart are open.💜


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